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Supply Line

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Red alert! There’s an emergency situation in your town, and you have been tasked with distributing supplies to different supply depots. Your challenge is to figure out how many of each type of supply should be placed in each depot so that you still have access to the things your town needs, even if some unforeseen circumstance should arise. You’ll need a steady stream of supplies soon, so start sending them out!

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Supply Line Brochure

Supply Line Brochure

What is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is an emergency oil stockpile that the United States owns. The reserve has about 570 million barrels of crude oil in underground salt caverns in the Gulf of Mexico. Each barrel holds about 42 gallons of oil. That's about 24 billion gallons of emergency petroleum! Created in 1975 after the 1973-1974 oil embargo, the United States wanted to be prepared in case of an oil cutoff. The reserve has enough petroleum for 60 days, and is used only in emergencies. The only times that the reserves have been used was during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

How is traffic managed during evacuations?

In evacuations, contraflow lane reversal is used. When a whole city has to evacuate, the city can use contraflow lanes. In cases of emergency, the city allows traffic in these lanes to flow in the opposite direction than it normally moves in. This allows traffic to leave the city at a faster rate than it normally would be able to. Because of the lane reversal, the signs and traffic control devices do not function properly, so many police officers may be needed to guide the traffic. Another way to open up more lanes is to open the emergency shoulder lane so that people can drive on it. An important thing to consider is that not only does there need to be a good evacuation plan, but a method is needed to inform motorists of the traffic pattern changes as well. In times of evacuations there could be panic, which could lead to accidents and slower traffic flow. For successful evacuations, traffic should be rerouted with as little confusion as possible.

What is SUMA?

SUMA is a program that manages the resources and aid that come in for emergencies. When there is a disaster or emergency in a country, international communities and individuals want to help the country by donating a lot of supplies. Because of the overwhelming amount of materials, SUMA is used to track items so that they can be sent to the correct locations where they are needed. Founded in 1992 under the World Health Organization, SUMA was created to provide a more efficient way to distribute aid. Before SUMA, many supplies that weren't needed or not a priority would come in and would take up workers' time with having to organize and sort through all the supplies. Now with SUMA, donated supplies are classified when they arrive, and are prioritized for distribution according to the needs of the affected people.


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Tier 2 Lessons: Grades 7 - 12+

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