Sumatra quake: Behind the scenes
Written by Albert Deby S., Yohanes Baskoro and Victor Dimas B. Putra (Karina-KAS’ volunteers for Caritas Joint Response).
Logistic team on the unloading process
“Working in the warehouse is very boring!” Those words sometimes emerged among the volunteers.
The preconception is that the logistic team in the warehouse must be ready to cope with exhausting physical work, the same activities, and a lack of challenges. Those who work in the warehouse very rarely have the opportunity to meet directly with the beneficiaries, something that is generally loved by social workers.
These negative images inevitably have an impact on the number of volunteers who are willing to be placed on the logistics, especially new volunteers.
In fact, the challenges faced by the logistics team have a different character than those who plunge into the field. Working in a warehouse in the emergency will be a lot of wrestling with numbers and physical strength. It takes more effort to concentrate, especially on numbers, and the ability to work under pressure.
"We must be ready at any time needed. One time, we had to get up at four in the morning to unload emergency aids from truck", said Saptono, a member of Caritas Logistics team in the Padang Joint Response (CJR).
The Caritas Joint Response warehouse is located at Prayoga Sport Center (GOR Prayoga), Padang. Procurement is handled in Pekanbaru, a small town that requires 10-hour trip from Padang. The arrival of goods is often outside the normal working hours.
"Checking and rechecking the availability of goods should be done whenever there are activities related to storage and distribution. We also have to be physically ready when we lack personnel,” he said.
During the whole emergency period the number of members of the logistics team was never more than six people. Most of the volunteers worked in the assessment, distribution, and monitoring and evaluation team that required a lot of personnel.
"Being part of the Logistics Team requires more patience and awareness. Managing a warehouse has different characteristics compared with other jobs. The challenges are different," Saptono said.
"Better remove the stereotype that logistic is boring. Do it first. In fact, I'm enjoying this," he said. Now the warehouse is being used as a sport centre again as well as storing aid. One part of the warehouse is used for badminton, making the life of the logistics team even harder.
RESOURCESAnnual Report 2011Emergency GuidelinesEmergency Response Tool KitEmergency Appeals 2012Emergency Appeals 2011Emergency Appeals 2010Emergencies on Caritas BlogBridging the Gap between Policy and Practice