Airlink and Partners Respond to Hurricane Lane
Cargo Shipment Brings Relief to Hawaiian Families
In early September, Airlink, in partnership with Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, and Flexport.org, delivered urgently needed mold remediation supplies to Hawaii in the wake of Hurricane Lane. The storm dropped more than 50 inches of rain on parts of the Hawaiian islands, causing flooding and landslides. Thankfully the storm was not as damaging as originally predicted, but the flooding led to significant home and building damage.
“While mucking and gutting work helps to remove the water-damaged portions of a home, underlying mold can still pose a threat to residents,” says All Hands and Hearts Program Director JJ Jahr. “The process of ‘mold sanitation’ helps to suppress mold. This allows homeowners to both live in a safer environment, and also move forward with the installation of drywall back into their homes. Thus, this is a very important step towards the ultimate goal of long term recovery.”
It was an important step, but difficult to accomplish because of the circumstances. Hawaii is not typically hit by storms of Lane’s magnitude, leaving remote areas of the state with limited supplies to address damages.
“It might not be something you immediately think of as important to have in the recovery process, but when organizations started calling for mold remediation supplies, we knew that our partners could get the cargo to the island quickly,” says Airlink President and CEO Steven Smith.
A true partnered response, Good 360 provided the much-needed supplies, Airlink mobilized the 8,842 pound shipment, and aviation partners supported the lift. Responding organizations on the ground like All Hands and Hearts helped to clear the homes of damage. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers from Texas then identified and treated 21 homes with the mold suppressant Shockwave.
“We depend on donations from our partners and organizations because shipping is so expensive,” says Darrell McCain, Director of Disaster Relief Ministries for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief - Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention. “This allows us to use our limited funds here on the ground more effectively throughout the response and preparedness in non response times.”
As with most disaster response logistics, moving the cargo from its origin in Nebraska all the way to Hawaii is no small task. Good 360 got the eight pallets of cargo from Nebraska to Denver. Airlink, with help from freight forwarder Flexport.org, then coordinated the lift from Denver to its destination in Hilo.
“This relief shipment was unique in that it required inter-island flights, which meant it would require more than one flight,” Smith says. “We really benefited from Flexport’s support and added visibility and were grateful that both United Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines were able to move so quickly.”
United Airlines supported lift from Denver to, Honolulu, on Oahu. Hawaiian Airlines was able to pick up the pallets and get them to Hilo, their final destination.
“If we had been missing just one of our participating aviation partners on this effort, this shipment would not have arrived when it did,” says Smith. “We are proud to work with so many people intent on using their resources to provide the aid that is really needed when disaster strikes.”
Airlink connects nonprofits and the aviation sector to deliver disaster responders and supplies in the wake of natural disasters and humanitarian crises.