Over the past week Limburg, a southern province of the Netherlands, has suffered devastating floods following a record-breaking amount of rainfall. Multiple security regions are helping the affected areas in Limburg in the battle against the water. Aid is being provided on a national scale too; the specialized Logistics & Support (Logistiek & Ondersteuning or ‘L&O’) task force from the Dutch Institute for Physical Safety (IFV) and the Netherlands Fire Service has provided submersible pumps and sandbags.
Action and reaction
As soon as L&O received the request last week, the logistics task force immediately started making the necessary preparations. The first shipment of 110,000 sandbags and 100 submersible pumps plus generator was dispatched to the fire brigade in northern Maastricht at the end of the same afternoon.
The task force received another aid request from northern Limburg that evening and responded by shipping 20,000 sandbags to three different locations in the region on the same night. This was an impressive demonstration of how specialized logistics can play a very important role in tackling acute safety risks.
The power of working together
As we have seen in the past week, speed is of the essence in crisis situations in order to mobilize help rapidly. It is extremely important to keep the crews replenished and to relieve them, as well as to get the necessary materials and equipment to where they are needed quickly. That calls for smooth-running logistics collaboration. To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the response in the case of large-scale and complex incidents like these, it is necessary to work together at national level. That is why IFV and the Netherlands Fire Service set up the nationwide Logistics & Support task force as part of the Large-scale and Specialized Fire Brigade Activities (GBO-SO).
They decided it would be better to coordinate everything centrally at nationwide level than for each of the 25 security regions to do their own thing. This ensures that there is always a clear overview of the availability of materials and resources and that they can be better managed, maintained and deployed. Thanks to the national approach, all the necessary resources and expertise can be provided in the right location at the right time.
Proud and thankful
We are extremely proud to see that these relief efforts are the result of a powerful combination of logistics and collaboration. We want to express our thanks to all the crews that have been – and still are – working so hard in Limburg, Germany and Belgium, and to wish them lots of success in the continuation of their efforts.