Disaster preparedness program: "Get Airports Ready for Disaster" (GARD)
Extreme natural phenomena such as earthquakes or tsunamis can turn into disasters if communities and infrastructures are not adequately prepared. Bottlenecks occur most often at local airports, which quickly become overwhelmed with the large volume of incoming relief supplies. This can delay – or even stop – the onward transport of lifesaving supplies. To avoid such scenarios, in 2009 we developed the GARD training program together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The GARD training program is constantly being developed in terms of both content and structure.
Efficient airport logistics are critical when it comes to getting aid to the people.
Over the course of 2012, three workshops were held in Lebanon, Turkey and Indonesia for approximately 80 participants. We also conducted a refresher course - called "GARD plus" - for the first time in 2012 at the Beirut airport in Lebanon. The primary aim of the course is to help deepen the integration of the initial workshop results. For 2013 we are planning workshops in El Salvador, the Philippines and Armenia, as well as one GARD plus.
Partnership with UNDP
Deutsche Post DHL has forged a long-term partnership with the UNDP and cooperates closely with governments and local authorities. This facilitates the coordination and the roll-out of the training as well as the implementation of follow-up activities after the trainings. Therefore, GARD becomes a platform for experts of humanitarian logistics and disaster management.
GARD - Training session at the airport
Training und methodology
Local airport officials and national disaster management personnel is trained by our experienced aviation trainers. The training is kept close to reality and consists of a mix of in-class instruction, assessment work and on-site fieldwork. To assure effectiveness, the training is always held at the airport to be made disaster-ready and lasts four to five days. In close cooperation with the trainers, participants evaluate their airport and identify potential bottlenecks in the event of a disaster. The goal is to develop a surge capacity plan to optimize the throughput capacity of relief goods and to allow smoother processes at the airport.
In order to ensure the program’s sustainability, the GARD methodology is implemented in annual airport-security trainings and disaster risk reduction plans. In addition, our trainers have developed the follow-up program GARD plus, which allows repetition and application of the training content one year after the full GARD training. Therefore, it contributes to a sustainable implementation of disaster preparedness activities.