Planning for Natural Disasters

Ron Dombrowski September 5, 2019

This week Hurricane Dorian is at the top of the news feed.

The Bahamas took heavy damage, but closer to home there were lot of disruptions in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

In these places there was quite a bit of infrastructure damage, mostly electrical power and flooding.

Hurricane Flooding

If you have a business that delivers either products or services, you have several challenges:

  1. You have no power to run your business.
  2. At least some of your customers have no power and have closed their businesses.
  3. Some of your customers are open for business but the roads are flooded and you can’t drive there.
  4. Some of your customers need a significantly different mix of products to meet the needs of their customers.
  5. Maybe a competitor has customers that cannot be serviced, but you can provide the products or services that they need for their customers.

If you are shut down, there is very little that you can do other than to try to make some small deliveries wherever possible.

But in all the other cases, you can still deliver to many or most of your customers, but your normal order processing and delivery routes can be highly disrupted.

One long term way to reduce the pain in situations like this is to use automated route planning software.

You can specify which vehicles are available and which ones could be called upon from an outside vendor if needed.

You can then load the orders for your existing customers and for your new customers as well.

With the push of a few buttons, reasonable delivery routes will be created and you will know if you need extra vehicles to meet the demand.

Will the delivery routes be perfect? Probably not. It is hard to tell which roads will be closed when the vehicles leave, but an easy to use dispatching interface makes the job of fixing the delivery routes much simpler than doing it by hand.

It’s too late to do anything to get around the disruptions for Hurricane Dorian, but we all know that there will be situations like this in the future, and, after the cleanup is complete, it could be a good time to think about ways to minimize disruption in the future.

Visit us at Strategic Movements and see how Strategic Movements can reduce the cost of last mile route planning and the overall transportation costs, as well.

Like the blog? Sign up and be the first to hear what we have to say.