Author Topic: TSP disaster response  (Read 10786 times)

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2012, 11:39:01 AM »
Jack just posted a bunch of further thoughts on this project:

Thoughts on the “TSP-DRT” – Disaster Response Team

Offline kenser321

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2012, 11:53:02 AM »
I would suggest talking to an organization like Bella Medical whom Jack already has a contact with. Clearly they were allowed in to these ravaged areas. I agree a certification should be in order. Or otherwise make it a team format where you must  have 1 firefighter, 1 e.m.t, 1 hazmat person, etc. if thats the goal you are looking for. I believe that might help you get into the area quicker. Otherwise what are the requirements to help your neighbor?

Bake some fresh bread, charge cell phones, bring in cases of water, etc? We don't need an official organization for that just a group of good aquaintances from this forum who want to help. I believe we already have a sub structure in place with the regional boards.

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Offline rikkrack

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2012, 11:57:04 AM »
Thanks Mr Bill! I needed that. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2012, 12:08:27 PM »
Okay, I'll just shut up, then.  Apparently my "negativity" is posing a problem to the issue.  If anyone wants to ask what it's like to run something like this during an actual disaster, please feel free to ask.

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Offline rikkrack

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2012, 12:24:29 PM »
Okay, I'll just shut up, then.  Apparently my "negativity" is posing a problem to the issue.  If anyone wants to ask what it's like to run something like this during an actual disaster, please feel free to ask.

The Professor

I didn’t think what you contributed was negative, but useful from real world applications. You have been there, seen it, and experienced first-hand. Your perspective in my opinion is appreciated. We often like to think other people are like “us” and not those “other” kinds of people. The ones with hands constantly out asking for more without doing anything to help themselves. And the lawsuit happy people are out there as well. Let never forget about them. Those living on hand outs and ungrateful people when they do get help IS a reality. Lawsuits for saving a life IS a reality. Turning much needed help because form isn’t filled out correctly IS a reality. But what we have to do is think of how to CHANGE that reality. I for one never liked conforming to the reality or the norm. 

Some of this makes me think of a post and not sure where or when it was about a TSPer who was stranded due to a loss of job and how the TSP community rallied and get the guy home. WAY small scale but to that one guy and his family it was huge.  Just think of what we could do with a purpose, when we are even more organized, when by helping we touch the lives of those we touch and it spreads.
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Offline Dainty

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2012, 01:13:50 PM »
Now, I do understand the desire to help people.  I also understand that it's ridiculous what happens in our overly-litigious society.  I am not a lawyer, but I still would be concerned that this is being led by intelligent, conscientious people wanting to help those in need.  The problem with most intelligent people who have a great deal of common sense is that they tend to underestimate the stupidity (willful or otherwise) of their fellow man.

...

There was a thread here on TSP Forum that linked the story of one person's experience trying to help out post-Katrina.  I don't remember the whole story, but their church opened up one of it's facilities to house some displaced persons.  The people, rather than be thankful they had a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs, became even more demanding.  The poster (or the person in the link in the thread) shared the story that they wouldn't even change the roll of toilet paper when it ran out in the bathroom.  Rather, these people considered the small staff there to be nothing more than Hotel Clerks.

I'm not hating, here. It sounds like an interesting idea.  Again, perhaps I'm just jaded by the experience I've had in similar situations.  Perhaps something like an Advisory/Assistance Group that utilizes the adaptive brainpower and skills of TSP would be a greater benefit.

Sorry to douse the enthusiasm, but I'm a realist.  I'd rather look at all the problems that arise and work ways around it to maximize the potential benefits while protecting those who are willing to step forward and help.

Having the entity sued because of someone who doesn't have sense to pour water out of a boot with the instructions on the heel is an even worse downer.  "My wife and son died and I spent a week in the hospital.  The guy told me not to use the propane grill as a heating source for the house, but he didn't say nothing about not using a charcoal grill."

There are ways to help.  TSP'ers would be an excellent resource.  But you have to think about the repercussions and do what you can to protect yourself and the entity.

The Professor

I would agree with these concerns.

My jaw dropped the first time I heard someone I knew personally was attempting to sue their relatives to cough up more money, because they were unable to work due to a disability and the family had recently decided to reduce the amount of financial aid they provided on a regular basis.

That's right, their family had been providing a sum out of the goodness of their hearts for years on end, and now when they decide to not give quite so much the threat is to sue.

I'm no longer susprised at these sorts of things because I've seen it so many times. Helping people can come back to bite you.

That isn't to say we shouldn't try to help people, just that there is legitimate reason to be cautious in how we go about doing it.
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Offline BaldDragn

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2012, 01:50:34 PM »
Thank you Professor for sharing your experience, please do not "Shut up"! As a long time volunteer I can relate. I wouldn't want to work on the scale that would put me in the position you describe.

I love the idea, and my approach to this would probably be very small scale. In most cases I'd probably be loading the Kawi KLR into the back of my pickup with a literal ton of bottled water (I have), then once as close to the area as I can get, loading the KLR with 300 lbs of mostly water, a few emergency rations at a time (and big 3+ day BOB on my back) and using the best possible route to get into the affected area, cow path and RR tracks (yes, aware of the risks) if need be. I know most alternate routes in my AO since my passion is to find new paths to use to get where I want to go and I have the equipment to do it.

Once there find people in need and deliver the goods, on the way out I could remove anybody that was reasonably able to ride and capable of making the decision for themselves. Return to the truck, refuel, and do it again.

This would not be a new situation for me since I have launched these pirate/underground rescue raids before, when the Sacraento Delta flooded. Even going as far as rigging an air snorkel on the bike and driving seat deep through flood waters to get supplies to people stranded on levees out near Walnut Creek CA and bring people back out. The CHiPs had no idea how I kept returning from the flooded area through their road block, but they never saw me go in after refusing to let me pass the first time. I made about an even dozen runs that day/night.

I may be off base here but it seem to me that we would be best suited for looking in the nooks and crannies of a disaster area while the red cross and Fema handle the huddled masses.

Offline rikkrack

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2012, 02:00:59 PM »
I may be off base here but it seem to me that we would be best suited for looking in the nooks and crannies of a disaster area while the red cross and Fema handle the huddled masses.

Read Jacks post on the blog today or the link here from Mr Bill. You are exactly right.
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Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #38 on: November 09, 2012, 02:29:33 PM »
After listening to this idea on the podcast I was stoked! Maybe because Jack said some magic words that resonate with me and my family. I don't have an exact quote but he said something to the effect of 'wouldn't it be great to show up and start dishing out hot meals?' I grew up with a mom in the restaurant business. My first job was dishwasher, then waitress, then cook. My brothers and I, individually and together, have a number of events throughout the year that we cook at. THIS IS NOT OUR FULL TIME JOB. We usually call these 'vacations.' We are usually lucky if we do a little better than break even. Maybe not the best financial way to spend 3-10 days. When you go to my house, my sister's or any of my brothers houses for dinner, it's me or my siblings doing the cooking. Have a big famly event? We are doing the cooking. Maybe because we didn't have a lot growing up but we always had TASTY food, even if it was just American Chop Suey, food is important to us. I don't eat for comfort but I also know that when the world around you is falling apart an empty belly will magnify the problems and a hot meal can make everything seem more manageable. A cup of hot chocolate to a child can brign a smile even in the worst disasters. Does a hot meal and cup of cocoa solve the world's problems? No. But they do provide for a basic human need.

As for The Professor's concerns: these are questions that need to be addressed but should NOT stop us. If every time someone told another they couldn't do XXX because of YYY MIGHT be a problem, we would still be in caves.

DH and I are a mini disaster response team in our neighborhood. We check on our neighbors to make sure they are ready to weather 'the storm' before it hits,make sure they know they can call us if they need anything, and give them anything we can spare that they can safely use (many elderly). We would really like to be able to help others on a larger scale. A number of years ago we were TOTALLY unprepared and had a horrendous 4 days without power, heat and knowing where we would lay our heads (including our young son and dog) on a nightly basis.

I agree with ChemSoldier (I think that's who said it) that we can bring help while preaching some preparedness 'gospel'. Will we convert everyone? No. But if we convert a few maybe next time we won't be needed in that area. Ad mayb they will be able to help others given the chance.

Offline Hellbilly

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2012, 07:56:02 PM »
This sounds interesting, I head Jack talk about it and had to come find the post. Any ideas on how to find people with the same interest in your area?

Offline rikkrack

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2012, 08:19:03 PM »
Go to your regional boards. I was going to go there next but wanted to wait until what was going out next week from Jack with maybe more direction or guidance. There may be more coming out next week. Stay tuned. I got all kinds of jazzed but need patience. Keep an eye on the forum and watch for a broadcast. Best I can say as of now.
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Offline ahughes1171

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2012, 09:21:28 PM »
When I heard Jack talk about the DRT, I had to pull over and rewind to listen again. I'm in Region 4 (Central Illinois), and am excited that we can finally do something more (tentatively) than just sit on our preps waiting. Yes we can, and should train for events like what the DRT would respond too. But, without breaking OPSEC, it's hard to involve our immediate communities and expose ourselves for what we have. The DRT would provide a great opportunity to help and get the word out, without alienating the community at large. If we can help ease the "suffering" of a few disaster victims, while at the same time, educating them in how to prevent them ending up in the same situation, Count me in.

Offline Oniwaban

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2012, 12:21:21 AM »
Hello Friends,
Well, where to begin here? I would like to start by addressing some of the concerns found in the previous posts. First and foremost is liability, I believe that this is a very actual and valid concern which can be addressed by a couple of different ways; first and simplest would be anonymity. No banners, no name tags, no magnetic car signs, not even introducing yourself by name, etc. Staying on the periphery and trying our best not to get in the way. I also find this to be the hardest to enforce and most likely to subverted unintentionally.
Second would be training. This can afford such luxuries as being covered under the state your participating in's workman's comp insurance. Many states such as Alabama DO NOT HAVE GOOD SAMARITAN LAWS to protect you. To the best of my knowledge the minimum level of training that can limit your personal liability is C.E.R.T. Community Emergency Response Team training. Any other group I can think of may not self deploy without opening yourself up to grave personal liability issues. CERTs are self deployed! I'm not a lawyer (thank God) and do not pretend to understand how this could affect liability in connection to any group. Enough on that...
Next would be communication. Outside the affected area I imagine it should not be much of a problem to use such things like the forums here, e-mail or even a phone number tree to get coordinated before going in further. However while inside an affected area the only way to ensure reliable communication will be radio. Here is where M.U.R.S. comes in. Ham requires a license, FRS will likely be overused and the best way to communicate up to a couple miles will be M.U.R.S radios. They offer similar range to C.B. and will be much less likely to be "stepped on" or eavesdropped upon.
Any constructive criticism is welcome. Will address other issues in later posts.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 12:49:10 AM by Oniwaban »
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Offline Alan Georges

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2012, 10:17:35 AM »
Here's an old article on some of the stuff that worked pretty well:
A Healthy Dose of Anarchy: After Katrina, nontraditional, decentralized relief steps in where big government and big charity failed.
http://reason.com/archives/2006/12/11/a-healthy-dose-of-anarchy

It's not exactly a how-to guide, more of a summary article.  Another decentralized group that didn't make it into the article is Burners Without Borders – the Burning Man cleanup crew who just up and decided to come down here to help.  (web: http://www.burnerswithoutborders.org/)

Good reading, and maybe we can learn something from these groups.
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Offline High in the Mountains

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2012, 01:50:35 PM »
So here are some thoughts from the token lawyer....

Great ideas are flowing, none should be stopped. There is room in this world for a group like this.

Ok, practical stuff. Liability. The bigger the group the bigger the bulls-eye on your back for some lawyer. Lawyers love insurance. Easier way to get paid. Going after someone as an individual is not common in a situation like this. So the training and the certs and all that are a double edged sword. You make yourself known, as a group, they know who to sue. I would advised Jack to keep TSP out of this area so that he is not pulled into something should something happen. Unless he want to go on radar and then he would need corporate protection, insurance, policies and procures, etc, etc. but still something outside of TSP.

What is someone going to sue for in a situation like this? Negligence. Did you do something that caused damage to someone else and do it in a reckless manner? Look at what we want to do and what actions we want to take. For example-pass out bottled water (bought from a store), pass out food (bought from a store), pass out blankets (bought from a store). I do not see a lot of liability there. However, any type of security actions, stopping looters, etc big no-no.

Next, you gotta know who someone is before you can sue them. Are you wearing a name tag while doing this? Don't. You are Joe Shmoe from the next county over along with three friends. By the time someone thought to sue, you are home eating your preps watching the rest of the event on tv.

Just some thoughts.

If this keeps moving forward, I am willing to do some legal research on the laws that we may encounter out there.
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Offline Louisiana Suvivor

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2012, 02:32:36 PM »
this is a great idea. i'd love to see where this goes as the community irons out the details. we must be careful. there are haters out there and there's even more people looking for a buck. we have to know what we're getting in to, but we need to get into it none the less
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Offline Dainty

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2012, 06:13:56 PM »
Great post, Hitm.  :) I was wondering along those lines of particularly the problem of making yrouself known as a group.
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Offline bdhutier

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2012, 10:51:24 PM »
Disclaimer: I have not heard the episode yet, and there were a few posts which were too long for my ADD to handle. 

I really think this is a good idea, and am looking forward to seeing it implemented.  I would also caution the brainstorming committee to lead the "group" structure AWAY from traditional EM.  Performing any function which would require interaction with the incident command structure equals a nightmare for a group like ours.  That means large disasters are out by default.  This is where you are looking at requiring liability insurance, personal insurance, certifications, a "corporate" structure which will allow you to interact with the Operations Chief and his staff, and be dispatched and recalled by the Incident Commander...

It seems the focus of most of the respondents here are more interested in helping people on the periphery of the disaster, who are often unknown and overlooked but the main response.  Cruising the back roads looking for granny who can't leave her home because of fallen trees.  That's where we can step in and make a difference.  Out there, we're not the response effort, we're locals helping our neighbors. 

From Illinois, and have the time and resources to go help in Texas?  Great!  We happen to have a structure which will link you up with the TSPers in the affected region you can roll with.  Meet up, and go help grannies who call you "Sugar" for a week until you have to get back to your life. 

On the flip side, small towns would probably welcome the help from us.  If your town is serviced by a VFD, you're probably a candidate for a TSP team.  Once the TSP DRTs are established, the word should be spread face-to-face with VFDs and such in the local area.  Show them what you bring to the fight, and in a disaster they will welcome not only you, but also the two out-of-state guys who came down as well.

Well, that's my input so far...  ;)
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Offline Oniwaban

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2012, 01:58:48 AM »
I would like to respond to bdhutier's post. The most important thing to remember about disaster response at any capacity is...NEVER BRING VICTIMS TO THE DISASTER... Therefore I believe that a baseline for training must be established. While the training for C.E.R.T. is born of the bureaucracy you wish to avoid, Its principals are sound and C.E.R.T. has a proven track record. While It probably covers more than will be necessary for the task we wish to accomplish, it will cover the safety concerns, provide a basic understanding for the politics involved and more importantly how to avoid said politics. For people who have never been involved in something like this before I believe it would be valuable while providing the structure necessary within our group to function. I agree with the statement about avoiding traditional Emergency Management however having people involved on scene who do understand how "the system" works will be very important to recognize it and steer the group away from it.
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Offline rikkrack

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2012, 12:16:06 PM »
FYI new podcast today on DRT just published.
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Offline Adam B.

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2012, 01:46:27 PM »
I'm glad to see that most people share the same "concerns" that I voiced in my last post, in one way or another.

It is AWESOME when you have a group of people who want to help — and DEPLORABLE and INEXCUSABLE when you have a bureaucracy getting in the way and letting people die for the sake of "paperwork," etc.

The thoughts that immediately come to mind (without links to back these up) are the stories about how a bunch of Power Utility workers showed up in New Jersey to VOLUNTEER with the relief effort and getting power restored — and were TURNED AWAY because they were not part of in a UNION.

Or during Hurricane Katrina — SEMI TRUCKS full of bottled water etc headed to the Superdome etc were turned away because of a lack of proper paperwork or some other ridiculous B.S.

Natural disasters are one thing, but in my opinion we need more protection from our own worthless GOVERNMENT than anything mother nature can dish out.
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Offline rikkrack

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #51 on: November 12, 2012, 02:05:14 PM »
After hearing more detail about the DRT (1018) I feel more energized to help and contribute. I know there needs to be foundation and framework but is there anything we who want to be involved and help can be working on or doing in the meantime?  Keep posting ideas and suggestions here?

Put me in coach(s) ready to play….

Just want to keep the energy alive and moving forward.  Kinda feel helpless but really want to do SOMETHING, believe is a truly great initiative.

Yes, yes, yes patience…heard it all my life.  ;D
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Offline USMCAllen

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #52 on: November 12, 2012, 03:18:27 PM »
If you are interested and want to be doing something productive until more dtails come out, look at the independent study courses online by FEMA.

Training.fema.gov

If u don't already have those certs try to do the
Classes. They would look very good to anyone wanting to see your training. It is also the NIMS and ICS systems that jack mentioned in the show.

Offline rikkrack

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #53 on: November 12, 2012, 03:21:57 PM »
If you are interested and want to be doing something productive until more dtails come out, look at the independent study courses online by FEMA.

Training.fema.gov

If u don't already have those certs try to do the
Classes. They would look very good to anyone wanting to see your training. It is also the NIMS and ICS systems that jack mentioned in the show.

+ 1 for the link. Homework for tonight. After "honey do chores"
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Offline Oniwaban

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #54 on: November 12, 2012, 03:31:26 PM »
Just finished listening to today' podcast. Thanks for another great one. Let me attempt to communicate my support for your idea. Jack, its a great one. I have spent the last 2 years of my life training so I can help people. I claim no affiliation to C.E.R.T. or any other program. The skills I have learned are for the sole purpose of being able to better help people in times of need. For me there is nothing more satisfying that actually making that connection with somebody and being able to share with them the feeling of empowerment I get from preparedness to help myself and others. Let me also apologize for preaching CERT too much. I was only answering your question on how to screen people for a basic level of competency to the best of my ability. Having lived through the disaster here in Jasper Alabama back on April 27 2011, I know exactly what helps and what hinders. The entire area surrounding my town was leveled. By the grace of God, my neighborhood was spared. My family went without electricity, gasoline, open stores, safe water, cell phones and a lot of other things for 7 days. In that time we were safe, secure and well fed. That afforded me the luxury to go out and help others. I spend several days at the county EMA helping unload truck from the National Guard, distributing food and supplies to families in need and organizing. We also are responsible for the creation of the "Animals in Disasters" part of CERT program. This is an almost always overlooked aspect of disasters. We setup a huge temporary kennel at the fairground and collected all the displaced animals we could find, later to be reunited with their families. Like you I am a mechanic by fate so, fixing things is my nature. Before the storms I became involved in CERT, during and after only cemented the need for such a program in my head. Please believe me when I say I'm not married to it, only to helping people to the best of my ability.
Look forward to talking with you more.

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #55 on: November 12, 2012, 03:52:58 PM »
First I have to admit I've been a listener and lurker for a while now.  DRT got me out of the shadows  and into the sunlight, and I'm excited about it.

I'd like to offer that I have about 30 years experience in LE tactical response to "events".  A little over half of that time was spent participating in the planning of our response for planned events and evaluating response to both planned and un-planned events.  I picked up the nickname of "doom & gloom" because part of my job became playing the what-if game, or devil's advocate. What we learned was the "doom & gloom" was the most important part of the planning and evaluation process. 

So I thank the naysayers, for it will force the "honcho team" to look at various situations that could become a problem down the road and come up with a solution for it now.

For what it's worth, if my services are not needed as a member of the "honcho team", I surely will volunteer as a responder in any way necessary.

Offline Rob_Cleveland

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #56 on: November 12, 2012, 05:34:22 PM »
I'm just hearing about the DRT today and haven't really gotten much info on it yet... but the CERT teams I've found locally weren't really for me. I love the way this idea is going to bring people with all the skills and the mindset of the TSP community together.

I've been kicking around the idea of starting a meetup group for a couple months to find like-minded individuals in my area, but everyone I meet seems to have a "lone wolf" mentality that doesn't resonate with me. You can't be a lone wolf AND want to help your neighbors. Let me know how I can help!

I have a vehicle that can run 1000 miles one way without refueling (thanks to Steve Harris) and I can cook while I'm driving. What's more is after I run out of fuel, I have ways to refuel with wood or any type of sugar.

Anyone in the Cleveland, OH area please reply!

Offline microdevil45

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #57 on: November 12, 2012, 08:08:42 PM »
Just a thought, what if we were to help out only fellow TSP members with this drt?  Let the other ones take care of the masses.  I know it sounds selfish but not everyone will understand and like our help. We get our family up and running they could then spread out to their neighborhood.   We can always say we're going to help family.  Maybe have something like dedicated people in each region that can respond and use something like a challenge coin to say "Hey were from TSP and we are here to help".  Just a thought.




Offline bdhutier

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #58 on: November 12, 2012, 08:22:26 PM »
It is AWESOME when you have a group of people who want to help — and DEPLORABLE and INEXCUSABLE when you have a bureaucracy getting in the way and letting people die for the sake of "paperwork," etc.

Adam B., I feel your frustration, brother.  I've been involved with Emergency Management for 10 years now, as a front line guy all the way to grant writing and award execution.  Unfortunately, sometimes it's not that simple.

The larger the incident, the larger the response.  Makes sense.  But the larger the response, the more bodies, supplies, and equipment are shuffling around.  Without the red tape kind of stuff, you wind up with a mass of confused elements flailing around the affected area, and that does no one any good.  So, I'm saying the government (which is local and state, BTW, not the feds) really does need to run a tight ship to ensure resources are properly used and distributed.  To ensure personnel are deployed and functioning effectively.  And finally, to safeguard the scene from a bunch of cowboys running around doing more harm than good.

That said, I believe there is a definitive place for the TSP to get involved.  There will be people on the periphery of the incident, or who fled to an unfamiliar area with nothing.  These people will be overlooked by the response.  They will need our help.  I believe the head-shed should find the gaps in the response structure, and we can insert ourselves there, where we're needed.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man with no convictions.
-- G. K. Chesterton

So go do some PT, then by all means take some ninja classes.
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Offline Hootie

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Re: TSP disaster response
« Reply #59 on: November 12, 2012, 08:59:16 PM »
Hey Mods/Admins,
Could we get a voting or check box thing for this thread were we could start listing ours skills and equipment? Maybe another thread is better. I just see us at a point where we got interested need to start getting organized (cause it is going to take some time....) and we need to see if there is gaps and/or overlap.

I know that the list needs to be appropriate for DRT.
Maybe something like this that we can have a checkboxes for:


  • 5gal  gas can
  • generator (or car alternator)
  • chain saw
  • taken the IS-100 and IS-700 courses
  • First Aid Kit
  • Blankets
  • Tarps
  • ability to make hot food
  • Ham Radio
"Don't be afraid, just be informed"
"If you live your life around what your neighbors think, you'll do nothing except mow your lawn." -Steven Harris Ep726