From ABC News
LAKE CHARLES, La., Sept. 29, 2005 ó In the hours after Hurricane Rita made landfall, one emergency operations center was tracking the damage, power outages, and flooding, while sending truckloads of supplies straight to the Gulf Coast.
But the effort was not organized by any government agency. It was happening at Wal-Mart's company headquarters in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas.
During disasters, Wal-Mart puts its own nationwide response center in motion, with sophisticated communications and a state-of-the-art shipping network.
The system is so efficient that after Hurricane Katrina, Wal-Mart sometimes arrived with much-needed food and supplies before the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA was widely criticized for its slow response to those in need after Katrina hit.
But Wal-Mart's response was faster and, in one case, the company even provided stranded police officers with clothes and ammunition. Now, in areas hit by Rita, Wal-Mart has already shipped donated clothes and supplies. It has even reopened stores in places with no electricity.
"If this place wouldn't be open, we wouldn't have nothing right now," said one resident of Lake Charles, La., where Rita wiped out electricity, phone service and running water."This has been a lifesaving place."
Why Can't Government Match Up?
With Wal-Mart's smooth response to Katrina and Rita, some are beginning to ask why government agencies can't perform as well as a discount retailer.
Companies like Home Depot, Lowe's Home Improvement, and the Waffle House restaurant chain have all been noted for their rapid ability to provide relief in disaster.
Should FEMA operate more like major companies? Analysts say it's not quite that simple.
"FEMA has to prioritize search and rescue, and moving equipment, moving people, moving medical supplies," said Jerry Hauer, a homeland security expert and ABC News consultant. "Wal-Mart just has to deliver supplies."
But there are lessons to be learned. Wal-Mart, for instance, requires its top managers to sit together while coordinating its disaster response.
Wal-Mart, for instance, requires its top managers to sit together while coordinating its disaster response.
Isn't this the way it's supposed to be done? Our County and local OEM do it this way. Doesn't everybodies??
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Thread: Wal-Mart teach FEMA??
09-29-2005, 09:09 PM #1
Wal-Mart teach FEMA??SAEPE EXPERTUS, SEMPER FIDELIS, FRATRES AETERNI
"Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever"
Once a Marine, Always a Marine
I got the best of both worlds- Firefighter and Marine
09-29-2005, 10:29 PM #2
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
Wal Mart also, I believe, sent much needed supplies to the Boy Scout National Jamboree in the July Virginia heat this summer. The Army and BSA screwed up big time there too. Wal Mart seems to be getting things done on the large scale like thatMike Hopper
09-30-2005, 01:45 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2000
- Somewhere in the Backcountry...
WalMart HAS to do it right 'cause their business depends on it! Stores closed or w/out inventory = no sales. People complained about the media - same deal. It is their business to be where the action is. Delivering the audience is the key and to deliver you've got to be where the action is. Advertisers pay for the audience. No audience = no ad revenue.
The lessons learned aren't just for FEMA......The same level of accountability has got to exist in those key areas of the public sector (local/municipal, state, federal) where we can't afford cronyism and incompetence. We also can't afford the not-invented-here mentality that seems all too common. We might even have to admit that, ** gasp ** someone may know more than we do about transportation logistics, communication, etc. We need to start thinking out of the box and not immediately decide that we need the taxpayers to fund a bigger box with more toys. We've got to start with an examination of the whole mutual aid concept and extend it beyond the doors of the firehouse in the next town. Some people get it. Sadly, many don't.
09-30-2005, 04:46 PM #4
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
I think that if you were to contact your local Chapter of the American Society for Industrial Security, you would find that almost every single major company hsa this sort of capability. Down time, to them, means money. So they have to be on top things at all times. They also track their top executives and can find and move them at a moments' notice.
It is amazing what not having to deal with low bid equipment and union contracts can do for a large organization.
09-30-2005, 11:18 PM #5Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFIRemember KQJ943
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