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 What We Do

Building Adaptable and Resilient Supply Chains after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

Table of Contents

Project Scope

After Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, a thorough and impartial examination needs to be conducted of the private sector’s realistic supply chain constraints and considerations, and how private sector and government response plans and planning can best collaborate based on lessons learned. The recommendations that arise for this study, accomplished through a Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) compliant report and applicable to both the private and public sectors, must be coherent, coordinated, sustainable, affordable, and easily implemented.

FEMA seeks to better understand:
  • The state and knowledge of the pre-incident networks and capacity of critical supply chains, distribution systems, and infrastructure
  • How these systems were affected by the storms, and how subsequent response actions produced further effects on network integrity and operations 
  • The network structures, linkages, and behaviors most adaptable to effective intervention
  • How supply chain systems can be strengthened in the short term to be efficient in day-to-day operations, and made adaptable to sustain integrated disaster and humanitarian supply chain operations during disasters, especially catastrophic events.
A committee of recognized, subject matter experts will conduct a study to document and understand the strengths and vulnerabilities of the supply chain networks in the four primary areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017. The study will capture key lessons and observations concerning supply and distribution networks under strain during these hurricane events. These regions include Houston/Galveston, Texas (Harvey); Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Irma); Puerto Rico (Maria); and the US Virgin Islands (Irma and Maria). The study will provide options and recommendations for the future swift and effective conveyance and distribution of essential supplies and commodities, and for the restoration of utilities, during disaster response and recovery operations. The work will focus on the conveyance of food, fuel, water, pharmaceutical supplies, and medical equipment. Considering tactical and operational priorities, the report should provide advice that is applicable to the private and public sectors. These recommendations will concentrate on the effective and efficient integration of capabilities and planning between the private sector and of government at all levels.

The Committee shall produce a consensus report. The report will consider implications for supply chain resilience at the regional or national level and geographical and seasonal considerations. Specifically, the report will:
  1. Discuss commonalities and differences in how supply chain systems were affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in the affected areas of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
  2. Identify and explain crucial interdependencies, supply chain nodes, and disruptions to supply chains in each of the impacted areas that affected response and recovery.
  3. Present options and recommendations for future effective conveyance and distribution of food, fuel, medical supplies, water, and pharmaceuticals, as well as efficient restoration of utilities during disaster response and recovery operations. 
Committee Members

Mr. James Featherstone (Chair)
President and CEO
Los Angeles Homeland Security Advisory Council

Dr. Özlem Ergun
Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Northeastern University

Ms. Kathy Fulton
Executive Director
American Logistics Aid Network

Dr. Wallace Hopp
C.K. Prahalad Distinguished University Professor of Business and Engineering
University of Michigan

Dr. Pinar Keskinocak
William W. George Chair and Professor
Stewart School of Industrial Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

Mr. Bryan Koon
Vice President, Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Ms. Alice Lippert
Energy Analyst and Strategic Advisor
Independent Consultant

Dr. M. Sam Mannan*
Regents Professor of Chemical Engineering
Texas A&M University

Dr. Craig E. Philip
Research Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Vanderbilt University

Mr. Kevin Smith
Sustainable Supply Chain Consulting

Project Staff

Lauren Alexander Augustine, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Special Projects, and
Director, Resilient America Program

Sherrie Forrest
Senior Program Officer


June 26-27, 2018:  First Committee Meeting
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Keck Center
Washington, DC

August 15-17, 2018:  Hurricane Maria Impacts in Puerto Rico
Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Oct 23-24, 2018:  Hurricane Harvey Impacts in Houston
Omni Houston Westside
Houston, TX  

Jan 28-29, 2019:  Hurricane Irma Impacts in Florida
Marriott Miami Dadeland
Miami, FL 

Mar 28-29, 2019:  Hurricane Irma and Maria Impacts in U.S. Virgin Islands
Emerald Beach Resort
St. Thomas, USVA 

Please visit the National Academies' Current Project System to
submit feedback on this study.**

**Public Comment: Any comments or material you submit to the committee, including your name and identifying information, will be listed in the Public Access File for the Committee on Building Adaptable and Resilient Supply Chains after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, in compliance with Section 15 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). By submitting comments, you acknowledge and agree that the National Academies will be authorized to use any such comments or submissions in the committee’s report or related materials in accordance with the institution’s Terms of Use Statement, which includes the granting of a Nonexclusive License.

Study Sponsor

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

This website contains unedited papers/verbatim presentations by individuals and is not an official report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Opinions and statements included in this material are solely those of the individual authors. They have not been verified as accurate, nor do they necessarily represent the views of other meeting participants or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 

 *Dr. M. Sam Mannan passed away on September 11, 2018.


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