On Wednesday I floated the idea of the TSP-DRT or The Survival Podcast Disaster Response Team. Since then I have been amazed by three things…
- The amount of positive input by those that want to help
- The tremendous amount of negativity by the well-meaning that I feel didn’t really hear what I said
- The sheer number of, “why not just be part of _____ group that already does that”?
Let’s take these one at a time and try to help everyone understand this a bit better.
The amount of positive input by those that want to help
This has been great just understand in the early stages what I most need are “national coordinator honcho types”. The reason will be outlined in the next section. Those just saying you want to help, etc, likely won’t hear back for a bit and should stay tuned in as the project progresses.
Those of you wanting to help at the honcho level, I have responded to most but I am going to try to sync all of you up some time next week. Right now I am away and there is always a lag in stuff being on the show and responses coming in. I think we have a core already of very professional experienced folks to set up the structure, procedure, interaction with authority, etc. Those in this group please understand I won’t be telling you what to do, but asking you to tell me what to do.
The tremendous amount of negativity by the well-meaning that I feel didn’t really hear what I said
This is directly addressed by the above. In the episode I stated that I had realized that “I am not prepared to help people hundreds of miles from where I live and I should be”. This doesn’t mean more stuff in my preps and increasing the range of my vehicle, it means the organization to make it logistically possible and for that matter helpful rather than harmful to other responders.
So many have commented that “volunteers are often in the way” etc. Or that FEMA doesn’t want private groups just showing up, etc. The reality is that there are ways, procedures and systems in place for private groups to be effective and help out. Systems like NIMS. I knew about NIMS but was not aware that such groups could just plug into until last week. One of the prospective honchos explained that to me in an email and explained how it does a lot to give FEMA etc. a feeling that your group is legitimate.
That is just ONE fact I was not aware of two days ago, and it is a critical one. This is why the Honcho Team is being assembled. It is also why they will take control of this with me only providing the vision and the promotion to garner volunteers. Our team will be all volunteer but it will be professional because it will be run by professionals.
Come on guys, I am not some dumbass that wants to load a bunch of TSPers into a bus and show up and say, “okay we are here to help”. Far from it, responders will know what they are to bring, what they are to secure in route, where they are to go, who they are to report to and what to do when they arrive.
The sheer number of, “why not just be part of _____ group that already does that”?
Let’s begin this with CERT. I find CERT to be a colossal waste of time. Bryan Black at ITS took the course and said it was mostly how to tag victims as (treatable, dead, going to die so let them die, etc.). Others have had better experience with the training. However, the universal thing I hear about CERT is the CERT teams show up and are told to go away during actual disasters. This is NOT my goal. Now perhaps there is value in all DRT members having CERT as one qualification? I don’t know, not my decision, the honchos who actually have done this stuff for a living will decide.
I started with CERT because it is unique from the other groups I keep hearing about. Groups like Rubicon and ANTS, etc. I keep being urged to just support one of them or partner with them and I just sigh every time I do. Do any of you guys suggesting this have any idea how special you and the other members of the community you are part of really are? Seriously, do you understand that at all, do you have any idea?
Look at the TSP Forum, there is nothing like it on the web. No other preparedness forum is run as well, I say that with confidence. None is more diverse; none more welcoming to beginners, none more fairly run. Why? I don’t run it, I don’t do much at all. In the beginning I set a vision, a tone and an expectation for excellence, found a core team and got out of their way. Now they have expanded their team, are 100% self-policing and tirelessly help the entire TSP community even those never on the forum.
Look at the TSP Zello Channel, same thing. The channel is so awesome that Zello Ownership and management are working with our team to improve the entire platform. The folks running the channel are surprised that I am not more involved, I don’t plan to be. I got it running; I set the tone, the expectation, let leaders rise, gave them authority and got the hell out of the way. Why smart leaders never want to run everything. When you do that you rob other leaders of their potential and you do a shitty job on many things verses a great job on a few things.
Why would I want to hobble the leadership in the TSP community with the limitations, politics and expectations of an existing group? Or in another sense why would we now practice community socialism instead of republic based capitalism? Innovation, improvement and meeting unmet demand do not come from becoming an employee in a successful company. These attributes arise from creating new organizations that fill in the gaps. Whether a company is “for profit” or “not for profit” doesn’t change the way real innovation is attained.
The DRT will be unique and fill in gaps in the current system. If there were no such gaps, the DRT would not be needed and all victims would already be getting help as soon as is reasonably possible. Clearly that isn’t the case, so innovation, uniqueness and a new form of agility are needed. This new format however, must plug into the existing system and not step on the feet of other groups; this is why we will have honchos that know the current system to build a new component of it.
You know a lot of people think I am most proud when it comes to TSP of the fact that I can actually do what I love and make a decent living with it. Such people are wrong. I am most proud of the community itself. You guys are absolutely amazing, seriously. Everything I touch seems to work only because it isn’t me, it is you. We can coordinate with other groups, learn from them, work with them but we are not going to be part of them. DRT will be uniquely TSP because frankly you guys are awesome folks; we have tremendous diversity, ethics and leadership here. Such things are best set free and allowed to develop fully, not merged into an existing system.
Someday next week I will do a show laying the vision out at a deeper level.