(BLOOMBERG) — On Monday, Sept. 25, five days after Hurricane Maria pounded Puerto Rico, Aaron Jackson got a LinkedIn notification on his phone from Michael Lee, supply chain and inventory manager for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “Contact me right away,” it read, followed by a number. Jackson was at Blue Lemon, a fast-casual restaurant in Sandy, Utah, outside Salt Lake City, eating dinner with his family. He stepped outside and dialed.
Lee needed help, fast: FEMA was running low on food rations. In the previous four weeks, the agency had supplied millions of meals to the Texans and South Floridians displaced by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Maria had created a third disaster zone with more complex logistics, having knocked out Puerto Rico’s electricity, gutted its roads, and destroyed its markets and ports. Restoring food security on the island could take months. Lee had to procure millions of servings of just-add-water meals to sustain the victims. Could Jackson provide at least 2 million and begin deliveries immediately?
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