The World Economic Forum created a Disaster Response Network (DRN) to leverage the resources of engineering and transportation industry firms to assist with disaster relief efforts.
The non-profit Forum, based in Geneva, Switzerland, will recruit and coordinate corporate commitments of services and materials to assist in the initial response to disasters. The DRN is focused on developing coordinated regional units to become a one-stop shop for disaster relief. Instead of putting out an appeal, those in need of relief aid, in the form of such things as engineers, would simply contact the DRN.
“It is a global network coordinated regionally,” said Amy Linden of Parsons Brinckerhoff, a founding member of the DRN. “It will focus on the immediate aftermath of a disaster, natural or otherwise.”
Fifteen companies, including Parsons, Bechtel Group and Ryder, have made initial investments into the start-up, which needed about $200,000 in funding. Other companies have offered in-kind donations.
Those companies participating in the DRN will need to identify volunteers and send them for disaster relief training. Those volunteers will be committed to going where the disaster is, at any time they are called, even if that means leaving a job they are completing.