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09-11-2014 How to Stay in Business After a Disaster

Homeowner looks at the Remain of His Neighborhood

FEMA News Photo


 How to Stay in Business After a Disaster
Thursday September 11, 2014


Event Overview: September 2014 marks the 11th Annual National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the US Department of Homeland Security. One goal of Homeland Security is to educate the public about how to prepare for emergencies, including natural disasters, mass casualties, biological and chemical threats, radiation emergencies, and terrorist attacks.

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Businesses can do much to prepare for the impact of the many hazards they face in today’s world including natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and widespread serious illness such as the H1N1 flu virus pandemic. Human-caused hazards include accidents, acts of violence by people and acts of terrorism. Examples of technology-related hazards are the failure or malfunction of systems, equipment or software.

In conjunction with American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN), we will be conducting an interactive exercise simulating the challenges of maintaining supply lines during a disaster. Using mobile device technology, participants observe in real time how allocation decisions impact their businesses and the communities in which they operate. This exercise will also clarify hidden interdependencies that exist in today’s complex supply chains.

About the Simulation Exercise:
In 2013 ALAN’s work with the Mid-Atlantic Supply Chain Resilience Project under the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program identified five strategic impediments to supply chain resilience, those being: lack of demand (pull) signals; lack of timely and relevant situational awareness; lack of pre-loaded and targeted relationships, both private-public and private-private; lack of effective and efficient access protocols for products, drivers, and trucks; and lack of effective emergency planning by private and public sector employees and their families. These findings led to the development of a mobile technology based simulation as a platform to examine these impediments and opportunities for mitigation.

The simulation uses interactions between shippers and transportation providers to illustrate complexities of supply chain relationships throughout the disaster cycle. Participants work to counteract disaster impacts and deliver goods to market despite physical and information disruptions. A leader-board type display shows real time the performance difference between those who had (or were able to establish) relationships for situational awareness and expedited support and those who didn’t. The simulation hot-wash addresses regulations, processes, resources, and activities of all sectors, and drives discussion of how these items enable or inhibit an effective response.


  • 8:00 am – 8:30 am Registration, Networking, and Breakfast Sandwiches
  • 8:30 am – 10:00 am Organization Introductions; Disaster Simulation Exercise
  • 10:00 am – 10:15 am Break 10:15 am – 11:30 am Disaster Simulation Exercise (Continued)
  • 11:30 am – 12:00 pm Event Recap & Discussion, Q&A, Networking

Organization Representatives:

  • Kathy Fulton; Interim President and Director of Operations, American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN)
  • Ian Becherer-Gerrie; DHS FEMA Region V, Recovery Division
  • Megan Chamberlain; American Red Cross, Chair

FEMA Region V Headquarters
536 South Clark Street 6th Floor
Chicago, IL 60605

Note: FEMA is providing their Region V Headquarters for this event at no charge to CSCMP.

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Visiting Region V

Cost: $40 member / $60 non-member

Event Contact: Rebecca Pike, email: Rebecca.catherine.pike@gmail.com

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