When buildings are damaged and a country's infrastructure has reached a halt, one of the biggest challenges facing these teams is finding the right distribution and storage space in a short time scale and facing extremely challenging conditions.
Thierry Schweitzer, a logistics coordinator for the British Red Cross, is regularly part of the "Emergency Response Unit" (ERU), which is often the first response team on the ground. Varying his positions in order to the demands facing him, Schweitzer has filled the role of warehouse manager, operations manager, team leader and systems controller in various disaster zones around the world.
Depending on the demands of the situation he is facing, Schweitzer can find himself controlling databases and paperwork, training and coordinating staff, or assessing the distribution needs of the area.
"When I first arrive, I am part of the Field Assessment Coordination Team. In this case I am coordinating the ERUs coming in on the logistics side, as well as working with relief, distribution to ensure that we do not run out of stock, planning for the supply chain to come and distribution planning for what's coming in, to make sure we do not order in blankets where we need plastic sheeting," he explained.
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