It is important that the humanitarian agencies sustain their capacity to respond in an effective and timely manner when disasters / emergencies occur. Normally, agencies will send their assessment team to go to the disaster sites and it is very important to include logistician to conduct logistics assessment in order to understand how the logistics services are to be provided.
The overall objective of the logistics assessment is to ensure that appropriate and adequate arrangements are made to respond in a timely, effective and appropriate manner to the needs of the affected people.
The strategy of the assessment normally made in order to answer six questions:
- Who – who are the beneficiaries or affected people
- Where – location of the beneficiaries or affected people
- What – identifies most urgent needs or prioritization
- When – when the relief items is needed or to be delivered
- How many – total quantity of relief items needed or required
- How – this is logistics part – how the relief items will deliver / send to the beneficiaries – this will talk about transport, warehouse, handling, packaging as well as communications and other supporting activities.
Based on the above, we could see that the most important part of the logistics assessment during disaster is to identify impact on the transport infrastructure as well as resource infrastructure, e.g. airport, sea port or river port, roads, bridges, local trucking capacity, vehicle rent, warehouses, electricity and other supporting information.
The assessment should also highlight any special concerns, for example airport congestion, customs clearance procedures, labor issues etc.
Logistics assessment during emergency will be depending on the circumstances or depend on the scale of the disaster. Normally, assessment cycle will include:
- Identify information needs and sources
- Collect data and information
- Analyze and interpret data
- Conclusion including provide logistics response plan
- Design or modify the response