« Continuity of Operations Planning

Alaska proposes long-term food bank

Alaska is seeking donations of non-perishable food items that can last up to five years at a time.
Alaska is seeking donations of non-perishable food items that can last up to five years at a time.

Whenever a natural disaster impacts a community, a slew of operations are delayed. Homes may be out of power, there's a lack of food supply and travel is limited.

Regardless of whether the storm hits a dense urban area like New York City or a village like Stebbins, Alaska, it is pertinent that local governments have a continuity of operations plan in place to protect everyone who is affected.

Alaska continues to try to improve its continuity of operations strategy by proposing that the state establish emergency food banks in Fairbanks and Anchorage because 95 percent of the state's food supply is imported, the Alaska Dispatch reported. Moves to implement these food banks were denied last year.

Due to a directive from Alaska Governor Sean Parnnell, the state will begin building the emergency food cache. Parnell allocated $4.8 million and the government is seeking donations from vendors to house and provide these supplies.

The food sources in these areas are expected to provide 40,000 people with three meals per day for up to a week — at the minimum supplies have to last three days.  

A single weather event can keep residents isolated for many days. The Dispatch described that an earthquake in 1964 disrupted Anchorage's ports for three to five days. In fact, last month's storms destroyed pipelines in Stebbins and Kotlik, which cut off local freshwater supplies.

"It's not a matter of if, but when a natural disaster will hit Alaska," Parnell's spokesperson Sharon Leighow wrote in a statement.

Business continuity consultants can help other territories develop a strategy that allows locals to bounce back from similar weather events.