There are several vehicles, and CAC volunteers actively assisting in relief efforts. So far the teams have already delivered many supplies and done roadside assistance. One of the teams is moving even closer to Houston today, other efforts will be to the west and south west of Houston. We will be updating the team’s Facebook page when possible at https://www.facebook.com/CitizensAssistingCitizens/. You generous contributions are still needed. Click HERE to donate.
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Citizens Assisting Citizens (CAC) is developing quickly into an agile disaster relief team. How we utilize initial funding is crucial to that goal. How are donations being allocated? I’m glad you asked. After vetted volunteers are fully trained and ready to deploy as Scout Anchor vehicles, we will be outfitted with a standard set of supplies. These supplies will be purchased in advance of a disaster and would be transferable from one volunteer to another ensuring that whoever can respond is 100% stocked. That list includes the following.
- 800 Watt whistler inverter. This will provide the electricity for LED lights, charging phones, and other basic needs.
- 10 power gen 4.2amp 20 watt dual USB chargers. The charging station. This will be capable of powering 20 or more cell phones at one time. We will also carry charging cords for most major phone and tablet brands.
- Other extension cords, reflector lamps, and 9 watt LED light bulbs to round out the lighting and power essentials of those in need.
- Flashing orange strobe light, 2 magnetic signs for truck sides, green vests, and lanyard identification. All of this will convey our commitment to professionalism and allow both victims and other first responders to quickly recognize our presence.
- 20ft heavy duty 10,000 lb tow strap.
- Basic First Aid kit.
These items along with a pop-up canopy tent, six foot folding tables, and accompanying chairs, round out the standard set of equipment all Scout Anchor vehicles will be heading into the disaster area with. (Also included is as much water and food as can fill up the rest of the vehicle – see below for more on that.) The cost to equip each vehicle in this way is estimated to cost between $800 and $1000. You can help us right now – just follow this link.
Now we get to the rapid response portion of the organization and its fundraising efforts. When a disaster strikes and volunteers are officially dispatched, each volunteer will be armed with a debit card that in times of calm will be empty. When a volunteer confirms they are able to deploy, the Board of Directors are able to load the debit cards with funds to enable volunteers the ability to purchase things like bottled water and deploy quickly. This system will be utilized for both our front line Scout Anchor volunteers and each of the subsequent Feeder vehicles that will continuously keep the CAC presence supplied. By tapping into the already existing inventories and logistics of warehouse stores present across the country, we save on storage costs, storage management, and most of all, time. Our team is nimble and uniquely reactive to the specific needs of any emergency that may arise.
This also means that donations received in reaction to a specific call for help (like a gulf coast hurricane) will be applied to that specific CAC effort, often in less than 24 hrs from when you donate. Only surplus donations will be set aside for future catastrophes, and only once the CAC response at hand is completed. While larger non-profits are still trying to organize their relief concerts, your money can be put to use for food, water, and other essentials on the ground helping people in need.
CAC has four goals at heart. In each tragedy, funds donated will go toward these efforts.
1. Food. We are not currently equipped to provide full meals, but snack crackers that will give much needed calories and comfort will be part of the relief effort.
2. Water. 1 liter bottles and we will keep them coming.
3. Power. As mentioned above all Scout Anchor Vehicles will be outfitted with a robust charging system to give victims a lifeline to family and friends.
4. Basic Sanitation. Soap, water, wipes, towels and feminine products are just as good for the physical health as it is for the psychological health of victims.
In the future we will look to these four goals and how we can expand them to improve the road to recovery for our fellow neighbors.
CAC has already established 501 3C non-profit status and is gearing up now. Of course, as a fledgling organization, we are working with limited funds to become operational. To help achieve our goals, no board member or regional director receives a salary of any kind. No one. We are a 100% volunteer force from the top down. In an emergency, CAC is preparing to be there in the first hours, not days later, and we need your help.
There is a need now. There will be a need in the future. And we are here to grow and make a difference. Please consider making that difference by volunteering or donating now.
Signing up to volunteer for Citizens Assisting Citizens (CAC) is an easy decision, even donating is easy. If you have not signed up, please do so HERE. Waiting for your application to be processed is not. This article will guide us through what we can accomplish while we wait. Whether you want to be the first wave of highly trained system of Scout Anchor and Feeder volunteers, or you want to contribute to the national logistical network of professional fundraisers and community leaders that we are developing, here is a guide to the next steps the training you will need and some you will want.
In order to make the impact we know we can in those first hours and days of a disaster, we will need to gain the respect and support of the already existing professional emergency responders like EMTs and local law enforcement, as well as the Federal agencies like FEMA and the Red Cross. They have their own duties to perform, and we want to ensure them and the citizens we hope to assist, that we can be an effective tool towards overcoming the tragedy that has befallen the community.
To do this, in addition to background checks, every volunteer who wishes to be deployed is being required to complete a minimum number of specific disaster relief training classes. In the future this training may come directly from CAC developed courses. Today, however, we have educational resources already available to us that will not only provide solid training, but because they come from the same organizations we will be working alongside, completing this training will help other responders understand that we respect their methods and their skill sets, and wish only to become another component towards recovery.
The CAC leadership team has selected the following training courses, which are available free online, as our Minimum Training Requirements. No matter what skill level an individual may already be at, our team will be unified with this common knowledge base. We can complete them now, while we wait for applications and background checks, etc. The courses provide certificates of completion which can be forwarded as soon as you receive them, to your specific Coordinator who will keep track of who is and isn’t certified.
CAC Minimum Training Requirements
One additional request is being made for front line volunteers that may be deployed as Scout or Feeder vehicles, and that is first aid. CAC is not and will not be in the business of dispensing medical assistance for all the legal and liability reasons, however, some basic medical knowledge can be important to the scenarios we may encounter. The ability to identify potentially serious medical conditions like broken bones and symptoms of shock may save lives. Two agencies are listed below for first aid courses, but any equivalent training will be accepted.
Even if being part of the Scout Anchor/Feeder system of rapid response is not our area of interest or feasible with our other commitments, the above training, especially the online FEMA courses can help in order to have the same knowledge base behind the scenes as our front line volunteers do.
In order for CAC to succeed, we will also need a network of Public Relations volunteers. These individuals, (who could also be Scout Anchor/Feeder volunteers) will be in communication with our regional coordinators and could act as a go-between for more localized branches of law enforcement and disaster relief. We may be in charge of setting up County/State Fair booths, driving both awareness and volunteer sign-up with fair-goers, but also scheduling other CAC volunteers to man the booth itself. It could mean piggybacking on other preparedness training in your area such as Red Cross First Aid classes (with approval by trainer) in order to give a 5 minute intro to class members on who we are and what we hope to accomplish. A few resources for individuals interested in this essential but non-emergency educational development are listed below.
Other Sources of Training and Education
National Council of Nonprofits
ASAE Center for Association Leadership
Knowledge is invaluable, and as we train for CAC, you may find a hunger for even more. Below are some additional preparedness training resources, educational opportunities, and organizations that can strengthen our commitment to our families and communities. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
The Survival Podcast
The National Association for Amateur Radio
Civil Air Patrol
National Ski Patrol
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
National Association for Search and Rescue
The International Rescue Committee
We all know CAC can do great things, and we are attempting to grow from nothing to something powerful and professional seemingly overnight. What we will accomplish together will change and possibly even save lives.
If you know of any other training opportunities you’d like us to add, please send them to email@example.com with “CAC education” in the subject line.