Preparedness With GARD

Man is no match for the power of earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions or floods. But there is one thing people can do: they can prepare themselves, so that natural disasters do not automatically become humanitarian disasters. The severity of the impact of extreme natural phenomena can increase if communities and infrastructures are not adequately prepared.

Bottlenecks occur often at local airports, which quickly become overwhelmed with the large volume of incoming relief supplies. This can delay or stop the onward transport of life-saving relief goods. This is the focus of our training program Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD), which we developed together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2009.

Experienced employees from DHL Aviation train local airport employees and representatives of disaster management authorities free of charge. In workshops lasting several days, they show participants how to rapidly increase the capacity of their airports in the wake of a natural disaster. They also analyze the airport’s maximum capacity for processing goods and passengers in the event of an emergency. The airport assessment is later transformed into a comprehensive report. Should a natural disaster occur, the airport is in a position to use its capacities more efficiently. Since 2009, more than 30 airports in 14 countries worldwide have been assessed and received GARD workshops. To deepen the integration of the initial workshop results we developed a refresher course in 2012 called GARD plus, which we piloted at the Beirut airport (Lebanon) the very same year.

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