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UPSers Provide On-Demand Relief in Wake of Hurricane Isaac
Ray Waguespack, UPS LAT Coordinator, supports restoration operations in Gulf Coast

Tuesday night, August 28, exactly seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans and battered a broad swath of the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Isaac crawled ashore at roughly the same spot.

Ray Waguespack, UPS Logistics Action Team coordinator in Louisiana, began serious emergency management preparations as soon as Isaac rounded the Florida Keys as a tropical storm and headed north, gathering strength over warm Gulf of Mexico waters.

Coordinating with authorities, Ray oversaw preparatory efforts, he says, by “a whole handful of UPS drivers,” along with Tulane University volunteers for the American Red Cross of Southeast Louisiana, UPS Freight personnel, and other volunteers.

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UPSer Shares Why He Hearts Logistics
relief flight

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Business Civic Leadership Center’s national conference, which was focused on corporate citizenship. While there, I led one of four rotating sessions focused on skills-based volunteerism and had the opportunity to share a bit about what UPS does to apply its logistics expertise to relief agencies before and after urgent humanitarian relief situations.

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Logistics and Disaster Relief: How to Help (and Not Hurt) Relief Efforts When You Donate or Volunteer
coat_drive

I just returned from the annual meeting of the National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) in Kansas City, just hours from Joplin, Missouri. The outpouring of support from the public has been unbelievable. But based on feedback I heard from first responders at the meeting, unsolicited donations of water, clothes and other items have significantly challenged relief efforts. One relief organization told me they have thousands of cases of water in their warehouse. The AP highlighted this issue in a story about junk donations creating problems for relief agencies helping tornado victims in Alabama.

In my role with The UPS Foundation, I receive hundreds of calls asking for UPS to ship unsolicited goods. The challenge is that these donations don’t meet the needs of the relief agencies that are helping victims. UPS does not transport collected items from unsolicited donors for relief efforts. Instead, we’ve established in-kind agreements with relief organizations like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, CARE, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the Aidmatrix Network. Our goal is provide logistics support to deliver the right items to the right place at the right time.

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UPS Executive and His Family Volunteer with American Red Cross in Tornado Ravaged Alabama

During the days and nights from April 25-28, 244 tornadoes ravaged the southeastern United States. This outbreak became the largest in U.S. history, beating the 170 record set in May 2004. In particular, on April 27 a massive tornado struck the Alabama town of Tuscaloosa.

In response, UPS activated its Logistics Action Teams to support the American Red Cross’s (ARC) relief efforts. The UPS Foundation also pledged $600,000 to the ARC’s Disaster Fund.

UPS VP of Transportation Al Bedran and his family watched the devastation unfold on TV. They were among the thousands whose hearts were so touched, they were compelled to lend a hand to those most affected. Al, his wife Wendy and her mother Linda Waldrep headed to Cullman, Ala., a town about 100 miles northeast of Tuscaloosa, and volunteered their services to the ARC.

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Pakistan’s Catastrophic Flooding

Helping those in need

On July 29, unusually strong monsoon rains in Pakistan caused massive flooding across the region, which led to the death of approximately 1,600 people. Severe rains have continued to wash away homes and businesses leaving thousands without basic necessities or their livelihoods.

It is estimated that about 13.8 million people are affected with nearly half of those needing some type of humanitarian aid to survive.  

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