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global disaster relief

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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UPS Supports UN / World Food Programme in Nigeria
WFP-Logistics Capacity Assessment (LCA) of Nigeria team

Nigeria is a country blessed with abundant human and material resources. It is the most populated African country with more than 150 million people.

They are also blessed not to have the serious natural disasters common around the world. Typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc…

The country has also known relative peace and tranquility over time. But, in recent years the political divides and ethnic differences has lead to militants in the south, terrorist in the north, religious upheavals in the middle belts resulting in thousands of deaths.

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UPS at 104: Celebrating the Legacy and Philanthropy of Jim Casey
Jim Casey with UPS sign in Seattle, 1952

With the 104th anniversary of UPS just around the corner (Aug. 28), I’ve been thinking about our founder, Jim Casey.  Jim taught us a lot.  His speeches and writings in the 1930s, 40s and 50s would make a best-selling business book if repackaged today.  Thomas Friedman…  Jim Collins…  Gary Hammel… all the other business gurus of today – Jim had them all beat more than half-a-century ago.

But Jim taught us more than just good business.  He taught us about philanthropy, and about giving back to the community

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

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 Helps Japan Recovery, Pledges $1 Million in Logistics Support

Joe Ruiz with The UPS Foundation

For the last four days, The UPS Foundation’s Joe Ruiz has been on the phone. His job is to figure out how UPS can best leverage its transportation network, humanitarian logistics teams and funds to help the victims of Friday’s tsunami and earthquake in Japan.

Joe has been working with UPSers in Japan to assess whether the roads are good enough to reach the most damaged areas of the country. He’s been talking to colleagues at UPS Airlines to determine whether flights can reliably go in and out of Narita Airport outside Tokyo. Joe also has been coordinating with UPS’s relief partners around the world to determine if they need UPS resources, such as airlift, staff and facilities. Read More »

Haiti Recovery in Action: Craig Arnold Returns After the Earthquake

Following the earthquake in January 2010, UPS Sales Director Craig Arnold and many other UPS employees went to Haiti and worked in local communities to distribute supplies and establish basic services. As a Salvation Army local board member, Craig had previously volunteered in Haiti before the earthquake, making him familiar with the people and culture. These skills, combined with his contacts at UPS, allowed Craig to offer significant support, including the use of the UPS Trackpad technology, an inventory management system used to track/distribute supplies.  
In preparation for the one-year anniversary of the earthquake, this past October Craig returned for a week to revisit the areas and people he worked with last January.

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UPS Joins World in Celebrating Chilean Miners’ Rescue

Last month, we shared the story about UPS’s role to transport the drilling equipment that would accelerate the rescue of 33 trapped Chilean miners. Today, we’re watching and rejoicing with the world as the miners’ rescue takes place.

In early September, the Chilean Embassy asked UPS to help aid the rescue efforts and we gladly accepted. Just before Labor Day, UPS moved special drilling equipment from several U.S. locations to Copiapo. The total weight for the more than 50,000 pounds of equipment involved 7 separate shipments that required creative logistics with multiple flights and trucks. UPS funded the initial shipment under designation as a humanitarian mission, an in-kind charitable gift funded by the UPS Foundation.

Yesterday, we were honored to receive an invitation from the embassy to join the staff as they watched the rescue efforts from their office. In his thanks to UPS, Deputy Chief of Mission Roberto Matus stated, “As you well know, UPS played a very important role in taking the right equipment to Chile. This machine enabled us to move up the dates.”

We were honored to be a small part of this miraculous effort.

UPS Moves a Mountain of Machinery for Trapped Chilean Miners
Drilling equipment bound for Chile

Hope goes up and down at the San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile, like the temperature. 

On August 5, a cave-in at a gold and copper mine in the blistering Atacama Desert here blocked the only passageway in and out. Miners lucky enough to escape the disaster wept for 33 of their co-workers, left a half mile below the surface of the earth and presumed lost.

But hope soared when 17 days later a probe shaft drilled by rescue officials located all 33 men safe in a room-sized chamber of the mine. The miners had survived in utter darkness for two and one-half weeks on two teaspoons of tuna fish, a sip of milk and half a biscuit each every 48 hours.

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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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World Food Programme LETs Team Two: A Mission for Service

UPS’s commitment to helping the recovery in Haiti continues. Ivo Martinez and Francisco Martinez have taken over for John and Bill. Ivo is a UPS Air Cargo supervisor in Miami and Francisco is a Human Resources manager for UPS in Guadalajara, Mexico. 

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