It has been a rough month for the Southern States and many parts of the Caribbean. Names like Harvey and Irma are regularly mentioned in the news as these hurricanes have caused devastation throughout the regions. When disasters such as these happen many services are required and the transportation industry usually gets the call.
How does the trucking industry get involved?
How involved a company gets involved with this type of operation will depend greatly on how the type of equipment they have, the areas they are authorized for, and the size of the fleet. Some companies may send supplies on their own, but for the most part carriers able to help will be listed with Government agencies as willing to help out in these situations. Many times there will also be a call out to the transportation industry for a certain amount or types of equipment depending on the needs of the situation.
If you think about what is required during disasters different materials are required at different times. When the incident happens the basics normally required include water, food, and medical supplies. Once these primary supplies are received then items like clothing and building materials will be required. One of the biggest issues that are noted many times are having items sent that are not required. There have been countless stories of loads of clothing and other items being sent to an area and the loads have to be trashed because it is not what people required at the time or there was no way to handle the freight. Make sure you follow the needs listed by the agency websites or requested instructions so that items required are what will be received on location.
Do drivers get paid for disaster relief?
When you hear politicians dedicating billions of dollars to a situation that money is to cover expenses of rebuilding the region. Price gouging is unethical and illegal in many areas, but that being said many times this is a profitable time for some companies because things have to happen right away. Carriers are paid good rates and usually everything is covered from detention time to miles run and more. While this may seem profitable it isn’t all gravy. There will be extended times away from home and long hours performing the relief efforts. This won’t be an eight hour shift.
Everyone can get involved
The good thing is that no matter how big or small your carrier is they can be involved. There are one truck carriers involved and fleets with thousands of trucks involved. They are all involved in a way that benefits the relief efforts the best. In fact if you look at the latest relief efforts happening in Florida they have people with pick up trucks delivering water and supplies from the local distribution centre to the victims.
So if you want to help out in these situations don’t just show up unannounced. There are lots of logistics to be sorted out. Register, answer the requests required, or list your carrier with the appropriate agencies. Don’t get involved for the money! These are terrible situations with people that have lost everything due to the situation. If you want to help, help from the heart not the wallet.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com