In the case of a major disruption such as a natural disaster, ports can act as strongholds allowing a continuation of supply chains and the availability of transport capabilities for relief. It includes four core aspects:
- Strategic asset. As a transport facility, a port provides access and distribution capabilities to global and national markets. This also includes power generation facilities, essential to maintain electric power supply, many being adjacent to port sites.
- Secure facility area. The port areas must be secured to promote safe access, which involves setting a perimeter and checkpoints. The core purpose is to maintain the operational capabilities of the port, which requires the presence of key personnel and equipment.
- Inventory management. Ports commonly have co-located logistical facilities (warehouses and distribution centers) that should be considered part of the secure perimeter. These logistical facilities support critical supply chains by ensuring the procurement of energy, parts, goods, food, and medical supplies. During a disruption, these facilities are expected to assume a larger share in the storage of critical inventory because of the declining availability of resources, safety, and security considerations, including the lack of labor.
- Secure corridors. The port must allow access to local areas of production and consumption through the setting of high-priority corridors. Convoys can be organized from the facility to securely bring supplies to local distribution points or important facilities, such as hospitals.