Storage & Distribution Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response

When a natural disaster strikes, emergency response is imperative. Resources are necessary from local, state and federal government entities to provide rescue and evacuation support; law enforcement; on-site medical aid, equipment and supplies; shelter; food; personal hygiene supplies, and more. It is during our largest natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina (2005) that we learn ways to become better prepared for crises of similar magnitude. It became evident through Katrina, there were not enough supplies, easily sourced, that could be packed and deployed in an immediate fashion, in response to a catastrophe.

The Mission

The mission behind developing a Storage & Distribution Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response was to safely store a vast number of vital supplies in a secured environment, that could be easily picked and combined into "kits", that when produced, could be quickly deployed to the disaster site.

The Challenge

The design challenge for this project required a simple layout that would provide significant storage capability and maximize production efficiencies. The design needed to be flexible, to accommodate variety of individual product dimensions and changing needs for production "kits". Safety and security measures were also addressed throughout.

The Solution

The Storage and Material Handling Solution provided by McGee encompasses three distinct areas:
  1. Raw Materials - Selective Racking was installed to allow 100% selectively of a large number of SKUs. The storage system is designed to adapt to any volume, weight or size of product. A structural rack type was chosen for its strength and durability.
  2. Production Area - A pick module serves as the central point of production, allowing an assortment of kits to be made. Due to physical space constraints, a three-level system was designed. Retractable, “mezz-nets” were incorporated to aid in worker safety during production.

    The Production area takes Raw Material goods and places them into three areas:

    • Carton Pick – Forklift-able flow modules were created to be filled at the floor level
    • Pallet Pick – To avoid double-handling, products that move quickly or are oversized, are left on a pallet and pick directly from it.
    • High Volume Floor – An area outside the primary Production area was set aside for the definite fastest-moving products.
  3. Finished Goods - A combination of single-deep selective racking and multi-depth push back racking was implemented to store finished kits. The total storage capacity is over 3,300 kits.

The Results

This tailored solution, provided by McGee, meets all requirements for storage, on-demand production, quick deployment and replenishment, safety and security. The customer is far better prepared with a Storage, Production and Distribution Center for Emergency Response.

The Photo Gallery