In April of 2015 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people and injuring 22,000 more. The earthquake's impact was compounded by Nepal's mountainous and rural nature, making aid delivery extremely difficult. Western Shelter is always up for a challenge, so when the US Department of Justice called us to assist the Nepalese Police we were ready to jump into action.
Although the earthquake took place two years ago, we just received a reminder of the event in the form of a glowing review from the Department of Justice. We have included the unedited report below, with the addition of pictures from the incident response.
In response to a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred in April 2015, killing over 9,000 persons and rendering over 100 police stations and many court facilities inoperable, Western Shelters was contacted to provide temporary shelters to allow the Nepal criminal justice to resume operations.
Western Shelter products were observed in use on the ground by various USG entities soon after the earthquake and noted to be of excellent quality. It was noted that these shelters possessed sufficient durability and versatility to enable their deployment in such a harsh environment. This was extremely important consideration in light of the Nepal Police critical needs, particularly in light of the impending monsoon season. It was quickly determined these shelters could fill a crucial role in putting police stations and court facilities back online.
Western Shelters immediately responded to our request for information and was able to quickly help DOJ determine the best product in their inventory to address the on-the-ground needs. This was followed by a readout of precise product quantities on hand, manufacturing projections, shipping options and general overall ability to meet our mission requirements. It was obvious from first contact that Western Shelter personnel were routinely accustomed to responding to crisis situations and fully prepared to perform satisfactorily in every step of the process.
Once the order was placed, Western Shelters helped simplify the complexities involved in packing, shipping and receipt of a very large order through a foreign port. Again, the company’s experience was exceptionally evident. The entire order consisted of two air shipments from the west coast to Kathmandu totaling 83 pallets. Not a single piece of equipment was lost and none arrived damaged.
Western Shelters’ assistance after the purchase was exceptional. At no cost to the government, they sent a factory representative to Nepal to oversee the receipt of the product and provided hands-on training to DOJ and Nepal Police personnel relating to the unpacking and erection of the shelters. When the Western Shelters representative arrived in Nepal it was quite evident he was thoroughly familiar with the product and was able to guide DOJ through every step of the process involving the receipt, inventory and customs procedure. He routinely traveled with DOJ personnel to some of the most devastated areas to oversee the delivery and erection of the shelters. Throughout the weeks the representative spent on the ground, he was subjected to extremely austere work conditions, particularly as the team ventured outside the capital. Many locations lacked electric and the cold rainy weather often made the job quite miserable. Nonetheless, the team pressed forward until all accessible areas received their shelters. The
Western Shelters product purchased proved to be a very durable and practical solution to address the need for immediate shelter following the massive Nepal earthquake. The shelters, once on the ground, were quickly deployed, erected put into operation to help restore the functionality of the criminal justice system. Without these shelters in place, the opportunity for increased criminality, particularly in regard to the trafficking of women and children, would have been greatly increased.
Western Shelters employed every option available to ensure the needed shelters were manufactured, packed and shipped by air in the most expedient manner possible. They kept us informed in every step of the process, allowing DOJ to accurately report the status to the Department of State and the US Embassy in Kathmandu.
Western Shelter worked closely with DOJ officials in Washington, DC, and on the ground in Kathmandu, Nepal, to determine the most cost effective means to ship the product in the shortest amount of time possible. At no cost to the government, the vendor provided a representative to assist in the receipt, customs clearance, training, deployment and erection of the shelters. Training was provided to both DOJ employees, as well as Nepal Police officials, which eliminated the need for DOJ to hire additional personnel for the rollout.
Western Shelters, once in receipt of the order, took charge of the process from day one and managed every aspect of the manufacturing, shipping, receipt and erection of the product. The progress of the order was tracked in an efficient and effective manner, keeping all parties informed of the whereabouts and timeline for delivery.
Western Shelters was thoroughly versed in the overseas shipping and custom regulations, and to the best of our knowledge, complied with all applicable rules throughout the process. The product cleared through customs in a timely manner, allowing for a timely distribution and employment as temporary police stations and court facilities.