The large tent looked almost ready as the Disaster Response Team volunteers put the finishing touches to what was supposed be a makeshift warehouse for incoming humanitarian aid.
Outside, another team of volunteers quickly received and dispatched the humanitarian aid to partner organizations on the ground.
The entire operation ran smoothly without hiccups — a first for a post-disaster deployment. Except the “disaster” here did not actually happen.
Designed to be as realistic as possible, the simulation was part of a three-day training session for new volunteers of the Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL) Disaster Response Team (DRT), supported by partner organizations including the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre).
When natural disasters strike, the foremost priority is the timely delivery of humanitarian aid. However, the airports in the closest proximity often become choke points due to the influx of aid relief goods and support teams arriving to provide help.
Under the guidance of experienced DRT volunteers, the participants picked up essential skills to eliminate such logistical bottlenecks, ensuring the smooth flow of humanitarian aid through the airport, and that all goods were accounted for, properly stored and prepared for distribution to the affected areas.
To get a better sense of what DRT training sessions are like, the Logistics of Things team joined the group of 21 DHL participants from the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia at the most recent DRT training held in Manila, Philippines in June.
Here are the top photos of what the participants went through over the three days.
In order to stay well-prepared when dealing with disasters, the Disaster Response Team continues to train new participants and existing volunteers regularly in various locations throughout Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East.