Fleet Managers are Responsive in More Ways Than One
As the devastation of the California wildfires is still unfolding, we are reminded that even though winter is upon us, the fire season has not yet concluded. Each year an average of 7,500 wildfires burn approximately 1.5 million acres on National Forests and Grasslands. Research shows that over the last ten years, approximately half of these wildfires have been caused by humans, while the rest have likely been sparked by lightning. The U.S. Forest Service responds to all wildfires detected on National Forests and Grasslands, regardless of how they start so they are prepared for the potential. However, every year the danger becomes riskier and more wide spread. Hundreds of agencies across the country are in position to address the outcome – and the trucking industry is included. Fleet managers in the vulnerable areas have strategies in place for immediate action, and even those fleets that are not close to the danger are preparing for the fall out.
Fleet Managers Find Guidance in ALAN
The trucking industry is considered the life blood of the American economy, so when the fleets shut down there is a direct impact on individual households, businesses and services across the country; not the least of which are those services in the path of the devastation. Fleet managers are directing resources to organizations that help with the need in the areas that are most directly impacted. The American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) engages fleet managers and the industry as a whole to supplement logistics capabilities where they are most critical.
The mission of the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) is to save lives and reduce suffering for disaster survivors in the United States by engaging industry to supplement nonprofit agencies’ logistics capabilities. We serve by coordinating logistics, providing education, and building cross sector relationships before, during, and after disasters. — Kathy Fulton, Executive Director, ALAN
The programs are divided into three areas focused on streamlining the logistics of humanitarian relief efforts. All activities are provided free of charge to all participants and these programs would not be possible without the help of the volunteer truckers and assistance from fleet managers coordinating their available rosters. The three areas that ALAN requires focus are as follows:
- DISASTER RELIEF: ALAN identifies and coordinates logistics solutions for non-profit organizations responding to disasters and humanitarian crises. Needs are met by connecting non-profits to fleet managers with the capacity and the interest in supporting response activities.
- EDUCATION: ALAN conducts free webinars featuring logistics and supply chain experts, as well as two versions of a disaster simulation exercise. The first exercise is focused on the preservation and restoration of private sector supply chains, the second is an extensive cross-sector exercise aimed at educating the “whole community” in conducting a coordinated, collaborative disaster response.
- RELATIONSHIP BUILDING: ALAN facilitates active relationships between and among businesses, non-profits, government agencies, fleets and fleet managers that can be solicited throughout the disaster cycle.
Preparing Your Fleet for the Impact of a Disaster
In the midst of a disaster most immediately turn to humanitarian efforts, but there are other sources of preparation and support that are also critical in considering especially for the fleets themselves. Companies like EFS are in place to streamline the payment processes in an effort to get cash where it is needed as quickly as possible. While EFS has made it their business to leverage technology and data to execute on and inform the payment process in the trucking industry, fleet managers are particularly thankful for what EFS offers during a disaster like the California fires. Fleet managers and owners alike rely on EFS to enhance the value of payments by delivering meaningful data and information to help make decisions faster and smarter. And while it certainly provides an edge over the competition on the day to day, during a disaster, it can be life-saving.
There are a variety of ways that EFS can provide relief during a disaster, but it starts with one word and the word is mobile. Obviously with drivers on the roads and possibly in the midst of it all, their phones are worth their weight in gold. With EFS mobile you are able to put power and safety in the palm of your hands with real-time control anytime and anywhere. EFS mobile applications for drivers and fleet managers deliver on-the-go convenience with the ability to manage cards and funds remotely from any iPhone, iPad or Android device or smartphone. When cash is critical, these mobile applications provide the ability for fleet managers to make sure the drivers have what they need which, in turn, provides security and confidence to the drivers in the heat of the moment. While EFS mobile is just one of the ways that fleet managers are responding to the disaster, it might well be the most important one for the guys and gals closest to the danger. Benefits not to be taken for granted include:
• Find discounted fuel prices and accepting merchants by route or location
• Check your balance
• Review your transaction history
• Register checks
• Manage your EFS SmartFunds®
• Transfer funds to external bank accounts
While we are hopeful that this catastrophic fire season will be brought to an end soon, we also know that the same possibilities await us next year. However, there is some good news. Forest management, government officials, and fleet managers alike will be more informed by the action taken this year. The trucking industry can be thankful for the partners they have in companies like EFS, the support they have in public safety officials and the humanitarian example they have in an organization like ALAN.