Episode-1015- Disaster Response and Backyard Bee Keeping — 65 Comments

  1. Jack,

    With all due respect, unless you are targeting small rural disasters where command and control is considerably less bureaucratic, your idea is probably not going to succeed regarding a Disaster Response Team. I have worked with FEMA, IMEA (Illinois Emergency Management Agency) and Chicago’s OEMC (Office of Emergency Management and Communications) on numerous occasions and the number one word out of their mouths is “liability”. The last thing in the world any large emergency response organization wants is “spontaneous volunteers” on-site and, without the paperwork mentioned in the next paragraph submitted in advance and having all the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed, that’s unfortunately exactly what they’ll think of your DRT. And then they will tell you to leave. Bluntly. And by leave I mean be gone not just move somewhere else. Sadly I have seen this twice before with church groups being told to leave major disaster scenes simply because they were considered “not under some agencies control” and thus a liability. What were they doing? Just trying to hand out food and clothing.

    My suggestion is you start by looking into what is needed with regards to credentialing, volunteer background checks (if the incident is receiving federal funding background checks are required), memorandums of understanding (MOU), waivers and, of course, liability. If a TSP DRT volunteer gets hurt at a disaster scene who’s responsible for, and the paying of, their evacuation and care? Try contacting several outlying suburban and rural EMA (Emergency Management Agency) coordinators, float your idea and concept, and see what they give you for feedback.

    That’s the bad news, and I think it primarily applies to larger urban areas where bureaucracies, political egos and government funding are at perceived risk by those in charge. The good news? The idea has a lot of merit and I think TSP’ers would be interested in forming of a few DRT’s. Just remember the devil lies in the inevitable paperwork…


    A quote…
    “Spontaneous, unaffiliated volunteers – our neighbors and ordinary citizens – often arrive on-site at a disaster ready to help. Yet because they are not associated with any part of the existing emergency management response system, their offers of help are often underutilized and even problematic to professional responders. The paradox is clear: people’s willingness to volunteer versus the system’s capacity to utilize them effectively.”

    • @Hank, well you worry about all that if you wish, there is a way to get this done and we will figure it out. The problem with most volunteers is they show up ready to “help” but doesn’t mean much if they don’t know what they are supposed to do.

      We are all private citizens and all free to do things like give stuff away, it that means we have to back off ground zero a bit and let folks come to us so be it. We are not talking about digging people out of rubble here, just providing supplies, food, water, etc.

  2. Jack, I think the disaster response team is a great idea. It shows commitment to the communities encountering a disaster, and shows commitment to humanity in general. I think a non-profit could garner respect with the correct training, and reminds me a bit of a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program. ( CERT programs may not be a bad program to look at to mirror if someone has gone through it in the past. I have been thinking about taking it, have tried contacting my local CERT office, but have had no response in the East Rutherford , NJ. Here is a URL on starting a CERT program for reference as well:

    There would probably be great partnering opportunities with these community CERT teams as well.

    • While listening I was thinking of CERT too. Basically, a 50,000 strong geographically distributed CERT. That would provide a parallel for official responders to understand what we are.

      Jack, sent you an email on subject. I’m engaging my company (electric utility) to see how they might interact with us. We get credentials during disaster response so our folks can get into the affected areas to restore power. We also know where the LAST people to get power will be – intel that could be useful in locating the TSP DRT. Our service territory is also prone to natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms). Like Hank above, I’m curious how the response will come back if the lawyers get involved. However, I know we have sufficient personal liberty in our community to do the right thing regardless of any interaction with officials.

      This has me seriously jazzed. Awesome idea. I wish I could help on a more global level.

      • Sorry I see CERT as a colossal waste of time. Some good training, a lot of how to tag people (dead, treatable, critical, gonna die so let them die) and you get your green helmet and stuff.

        CERT teams constantly show up at disasters and are told to go away.

        • Jack, I would like to offer my assistance to this project. In reference to CERT, not all CERT programs are created equal. Some just give the basic CERT class, hand the student a bag of gear and say, “wait for the disaster to come to you.” Many programs, however (like the one I was in charge of for 4 years) were more organized and active. The link here is to a story from one of our deployments.

          CERT training could be a building block for the TSP-DRT.

  3. Supplies, 5 gal. buckets, ham radio seems to be the place to start. I am studying for the HAM the rest I can do – as the military taught me “Follow me (inf motto), all the way (82nd motto), let’s go (325th motto)”. I have been trying to figure this thing for over a year.

    • I am not really looking to “partner” with anyone, my hope is there ends of being 100s of such groups all with their own identity. One of the reasons stuff moves so slow is groups get to big. Small groups are fast and agile. In some cases a few groups could be in, deliver supplies to those in critical need and be long gone before large groups like FEMA and big Charities even show up. In fact that might be a key goal of this type of thing, provide supplies before the big boys show up and get out of the way once they have their shit together. Some level of interaction on mutual deployments is a good idea but a merger of sorts, nope that isn’t what I have in mind.

  4. Could Hank Curmudgeon’s post be a better illustration of what’s wrong with America today! The gooberment ABC agencies spend our resources controlling everything and getting very little accomplished. Then if that’s not enough there’s the “paralyzed by lawyer syndrome” that spreads fear over everything worthwhile. My oh my, what have we become.
    Just sayin

  5. I believe you have the support of a group of Can Do people that can pull together a true group of Americans to help those who are in a temporary time of need. Work and Financial recovery help could make this group put the Red Cross to shame. I would donate to Survival DiRT. (Disaster in Recovery Team)
    I don’t know where Steve Harris stands with his mentor, but Roy McAlister has a great way to use hydrogen to heat and have waste as pure water idea. Though I don’t know how far they have gotten or even if they are blocked, I like their idea.

  6. “I am not really looking to “partner” with anyone, my hope is there ends of being 100s of such groups all with their own identity.”

    The pro of this is that small groups are fast and agile, as you said.
    The con of this is that you’ve got tons of groups all stepping on each other’s toes. They end up overlapping each other and wasting time/effort/resources because there is no “partnering” or communication between the multiple groups. Instead of two groups serving the same block trying pass out the most water/blankets/MREs, you could have one group doing that while another group moves over to the edge of town filling sandbags. You *need* partnership and communication in long-distance solutions like this.

    • @Carrie B, I don’t see the negative that way. Provide water to a thirsty man he will drink it, food to a hungry man, he will eat. Give a mom out of diapers a box of them along with some formula and she will hug your neck.

      Note I said groups can coordinate with each other on specific responses. That is find, partnerships are much more formal and end up with the very toe stepping on you mentioned.

      Think of the people standing in line to dumpster dive in NYC. I would expect such people would never complain that too many people showed up with too many supplies.

  7. Jack,
    I think the surest sign that this is a good idea and is exactly what is needed is how much push back you get – already off to a good start! You don’t need permission to be a good samaritan. You don’t need partners before you can act effectively. Mobility. Flexibility. Rapidity. It is why terrorist cells are so effective. Let’s use this model for good!
    Doc K

  8. jack,

    i would be willing to join a group to help. i have many skills that could help. even if its serving soup, i would do it. let me know when someone gets it together.

    • Jack I brew a 50 gallon every year. I want for international Celtic fest the awards for my meaD. my favorite is a blueberry infusion

      • It also helps to have the hives shaded in the summer with less shade in the winter, e.g., deciduous trees, with at least a little bit of windbreak for the winter. I have 8 acres here to site the hives, but if all you have is a backyard, then you do the best you can.

  9. Jack:

    Not sure if you thinking under the radar with this but if you are needing a non profit let me know. We could also do a flash mob kind of thing but with positive intentions. In-drop off supplies-drop a few seed bombs-out.

    I am liking Survival DiRT.

    • lol! flash mob relief…

      “Sir, what happened?”
      “Well, after the disaster these people showed up out of nowhere, fed us, clothed us, charged our iPhones, and left!”

      • Stealth relief officers (SRO), Ninja relief workers (NRW), come on the possibilities are endless.

  10. Great idea – please feel free to add me to the responders list. I’d also offer to do custom web/software/database/etc stuff (I’m a developer by trade) to assist the ‘honcho’ in setting up any IT back office type stuff if/when needed.

    • metaforge, I will be calling on you, I see a real way to differentiate ourselves with that. I am seeing an ID card worn around the neck with a number. A LEO or Coordinator can go to the site and verify the DRT member. Likely something that LEOs etc will seldom use but since they can and can verify the vetting process, active status etc, we should be well received. Thanks SO MUCH for offering to do this.

  11. Believe it or not Portland has a community based disaster response organization called Portland NET. I am not a Portland resident so I am not eligible to participate. While Portland NET is local / community based only and TSP-DRT is more regional / national based it might be nice to look at how they have organized themselves to get some ideas.

    @Jack, love the TSP-DRT idea! The only problem is I keep reading DRT as “Dead right there”… I got to get that out of my head.

  12. Did anyone else realize the figure at the left in the picture at the top of this page is the Governor of NJ Chris Christie?

    • Nick, I think you are the first one, I didn’t say anything but the photo was provided by a listener. I was wondering who might notice this, it is a photo by a private citizen not a member of the press. The caption I think is fitting, this is a politician leaving that alone and just being a fellow man.

  13. I am part of a group with my local United Methodith Church that talked with the United Methodith Church State Disaster Response person about how we could help out more when disasters happen local, within 100 miles. The recommendation that he said would be the best help is to organize small team 4 to 6 people that know how to work together and what skills everyone has

    Have these team go out and do things for people in your community like changing light bulbs and clean gutters for people that can not do it on there own. These team will get experience working together before a disaster happen so that when one happens the can go help.

    Each of these teams will have access to ladders, tarps, generates, water and things that will be help in those first few to a day after the disaster. We would not be part of the registered CERT or even one of the registered teams for for our churches disaster response teams(we can be but that is not the purpose of this groups). Our groups purpose is to be a first responder to help close up holes in roofs or just give people the first bit of hope that they can survive. Once the larger organization like Red Cross and UMCOR are on scene we will pull out.

    The main reason we where asked to work in this way is because of the rules about who can help and how the funds for the disaster can be used. If we are a first responder we may be able to do the most help and it will not count against the funds allocated for the disaster(At least this is how I understand what was explained to me).

    Even though I am part of a group with my church already I would love to be part of a TSP-DRT too. It was TSP that made we want to be part of this group with my church. Hopefully I can learn something from both groups.

    I will help how I can, but I know I am not the person to organize this.

    • @Jeremy, you said,

      “Once the larger organization like Red Cross and UMCOR are on scene we will pull out.”

      At least to a degree this is how I see the DRT. Now the crap about how much can be spent and the bureaucracy, etc. NOT OUR PROBLEM. The need for groups like the DRT exists because of that nonsense.

      I keep hearing about CERT and my opinion so far about CERT is good training but useless group. All the CERT people I know tell me when they have shown up to disasters they have been told they are not needed. This is the problem with being under government control, you become government’s problem. Ask a government type what they need you to do and if they don’t know right now this second, the response is always the same, go away.

      DRT needs to cooperate with government but not be under their control other then the same way anyone would be in a disaster area as a private citizen.

      I am also leaning toward DRT focusing more on stuff then recovery/repair work. This is another reason G men send volunteers away, fear they will get hurt and sue, etc.

      I think the primary focus is

      Comfort Items

      Show up and distribute these items, when the big boys get on site, if they are getting it done, give them the supplies to distribute or give out all we have and back off. Or stick around and stop feeding the victims and start feeding the responders hot meals.

      The other thing I am not digging is the “regional” thought. I see people more saying “I am deployable with in 250 miles of my home”. If one guy is able to go to Atlanta and so is another I don’t care what region they are part of I care that they can and will go. This is the type of flexibility that big groups don’t have.

      I have been getting some folks that do know how to respond to this stuff and have been coordinators, unit commanders, etc. My goal is to work well with existing groups but build this thing in a way that is not an attempt to emulate others. Again the fact that many times in the first three days those folks are NOT getting the job done it the way behind DRT in the first place.

    • @Jeremy that is much like what our church does. The need is there. Often travel more than 100 miles. Leave after work friday, work all Saturday and Sunday, drive back once dark. Bring your own sleeping bags, gloves, chain saws, water bottles, supplies etc. Sleeping in church building, their food cooked and served there so not a drain on local resources. My sons have gone to several of these such as Gulfport after Katrina. An experience none of them will forget. They mostly carried stuff such as logs, branches, tarps. Lots of putting up tarps, chain saws, hauling stuff, etc. Making homes livable for the first responders living there, then moving out to rest of the community, many small groups. Some residents hesitated to accept help as there were others trying to take advantage of the situation. Were surprised to receive free help, no strings attached. And once own house unburied and secure, many paid it forward, doing the same for their neighbors. Clean up takes a long time, even after the larger groups are on scene. For supplies more like trucks loaded ahead of time, waiting to go in as soon as storm passes.

  14. I could write pages on this subject. Prepers are perfect volunteers post storm because of the knowledge base they have;this is an idea that needs to be fleshed out. I like that flash volunteer thinking…I live in the gulf coast of Mississippi n was here during hurricane Katrina. I’m a nurse n my hub works for the local power co, needless to say we were both busier than a one legged man in a butt kick contest. Post storm we had 3 families living with us. FEMA etc were all eventually here doing their thing but frankly it was the private individuals that came in association with churches n any number of groups that really hit my heart. I can’t even express the sense of relief to have someone step in, if only for a moment, to help with the mind numbing drudgery of trying to get back up on your feet…let me just wrap it up cause I could go on. Will say this, during the first post Katrina mardi gras parade, the biggest cheer went to the Americorp volunteers who marched beating on plastic pails n what not.

  15. Any MSB or Listeners from Staten Island ?? I’m originally from Staten Island, I still have friends and family that live on the Island. I presently live in Pa. and I’m looking meet up with TSP Listeners/MSB members to help out disaster victims.

  16. I am a member of and instructor for a volunteer search and rescue team in the Pittsburgh area that has disaster response as a major element of our training and mission. Hank is correct regarding spontaneous volunteers (even if as a well-organized, well-dressed group) not being permitted to engage in response and aid missions. Until we registered with the Am. Red Cross so we could help with Katrina, our offers to respond to numerous national and regional disasters were rebuffed or ignored. Even the local county EMA coordinators would not (and some still don’t) take us seriously.

    I still think it is a good idea to have guerrilla response teams that get in early, do good work, and hand-off/stand-down as the government organizations (and NGOs) go operational. It is essential to be small, agile, well-organized, and to have practiced protocols, especially for communication and knowing when and how to stand-down and fade-away.

    It will be necessary to have effective but discrete security – balancing local laws and emerging risks. We will also have to answer the liability question. Volunteers do occasionally get hurt or suffer adverse effects from the environment or unforeseen events. Each of us may be willing to assume personal risk, but that won’t prevent a spouse or relative from pursuing litigation if we are hurt or killed. (Hence the hard-line from the likes of FEMA and the NGOs.)

    I really like this idea and am willing to help organize, but probably not as head honcho, I already have too many chainsaws in the air.

  17. I’ve a small bit of experience with disaster response, and as much as I like your idea the only way you will be able to make it work is with a lot of effort. The problem is that people who just show up to help often 1) don’t have any idea how to help 2) don’t want to help in a coordinated manor -meaning they want to go in and save the day, not work with others 3) often do things that make the situation worse, or interfere with recovery operations and 4) are unaccountable.

    What you want to set up is more along the lines of a “VOAD” Volunteer Organization Active in Disaster. A group that will have a plan to help, will help in a way that works with the recovery operations, knows how to help and how to avoid conflict with recovery, and holds its members accountable for their actions. (

    In 1998 I was part of the response to the “great ice storm of 98”, where upstate NY got over 4 inches of ice/freezing rain. After the initial response by local responders, the state level response came in and took over the coordination of over 10,000 responders along with the 2,000ish already in the area. I was on an assessment team trying to get an idea how bad things were. We came on people clearing trees all the time, they lived there and were doing what they could. No problem. Great source of info. But on day three we came on a small group of people who felt that cutting up the trees was taking too long from what they saw on the news, so they brought up a bulldozer to the area and just started pushing. They pushed a lot off the roads (tearing them up in the process) and into the drainage ditches and creeks. Making great dams that as the ice melted and rain fell, flooded homes. They meant well, thought they had a good idea.

    We also had to deal with people showing up with a chainsaw to help. Sounds like a great idea, but when 200 people show up in 190 cars into an area with roads open to one lane only traffic became a major issue and pissed off a lot of the people who wanted to help when they got tickets for impeding emergency traffic.

    In a tornado response in 2007 in Missouri a group loaded up a school bus and came down to help. Out of the blue this group of 18 showed up, set up a tent in a parking lot and started handing out supplies. It was summer, these supplies were sunscreen, gatoraid, trail mix, etc. Thing was that where they set up was between the access road and the POD (Point of Distribution). They put up signs and miss directed people into the parking area with only one in/out driveway. This created a mess as the POD was set to pass out 2,000 supply packets for three with out anyone having to get out of their car. But these people were in the middle and had only brought 200 “kits” (plastic grocery bag) with one bottle each. Then they were out and started sending people away.

    Later they showed up at the Emergency Operations Center and demanded a place to sleep. When their bus got stuck on the way out it blocked traffic on one of the main routes in. Turned out that the bus had been borrowed with out permission from the owner. (or so it was claimed when action was taken)

    These are things i’ve seen. Things i’ve had to deal with in a response. You don’t have such major problems like this with VOAD’s. Mostly because they are organized, have a plan (they tend to focus on a few things they will do: provide tents, provide soup tents, aid with POD’s, focus on brush removal, etc), they work with the IC (Incident Command) or EOC for recovery. And they hold their members accountable. If you go in to this with a plan to do that, or limit to just doing X. In most cases this should not be a problem.


    Perhaps the actual problem is your hearing? Not to be terse but to hear so much negativity so fast is really sad.

    Here is what I mean by your hearing, did you not hear me call out for volunteers to organize and coordinate the effort who have and I quote “done this before”. Well we already have about 6 such folks some with DEEP experience.

    A man must know his limits, I know mine. I am setting a vision, providing a platform and then LETTING PEOPLE THAT ALREADY KNOW HOW TO DO THIS, set the structure, procedure and interaction.

    Right now Team Rubicon is deploying about a thousand people with chainsaws to NJ, they are well received and getting it done. If they can do that so can we. All this crap about people showing up and not knowing what to do is exactly why I laid stuff out the way I did.

    In short have a bit of faith guys, I am not some dumb ass that is naive as to how the world works. We will do this right, we will have a very well organized group responding to immediate needs and when asked to back off we either will or we will go find a place where people are still in need.

  19. I think this is a great idea. Yes you have to get your ducks in a row duh. But CAN be done. Economically efficiently and EFFECTIVELY .

    I loved the interview with Keith. So glad to hear about his ups and downs. Experts and people that are well on their way have tons of good information on how things work. Often times leaving out all the trials and tribulations.

    I had to laugh it all sounded way to familiar. Yes we have turkeys pigs chickens alpacas no bees yet. I am in no way an expert in how to do it “right”. If you want to know what NOT to do well I could write a book lol. Every day something pops up. Every day I want to pull my hair out. Every day I say ‘good grief now what”. But I love it and keep on going. Nice to know others have had their issues too.

    Cracked me up where did all those bees come from oh they are mine. Goat in the house? *laughing shaking head* Oh I so know that one! Our Jake knew where the crackers were & would try to get them out of the cupboard. The pigs know how to open sliding glass doors and I can’t tell you the times I have found chicken foot prints in the butter. So many stories. Nice to hear others have stories too. Maybe I’m not doing it so wrong after all. lol

    The pigs are adorable ! So smart and funny! However they go from little tiny pigets to piggies to pig to big pig to oh look at those hams. Last night I had all 9 piggies trying to sit on my lap for a belly rub while I was rubbing big daddy’s belly and clipping his hooves and poking at his teeth. Those little runts just couldn’t pass up the attention. Baby Spirko was in usual form on top of the pile. Going off on one of her regular rants!

    Thanks Keith for sharing very inspirational. Maybe now we will go ahead and get bees sooner.

  20. I have worked disasters in the past, red cross and military, and am willing to help out in any way possible. Being displaced is a lot tougher job than volunteering to help the displaced – so your lookin’ for hands I have two.

  21. I highly recommend you check out CERT: Community Emergency Response Team ( They train/certify citizens to assist communities specifically in disaster situations. My husband and I took the course a year ago, and it has changed our lives! You are already well skilled, and that will bring a lot to the class, which will give you an official capacity in assisting your neighbors and the community in general. It trains folks to be prepared for specific situations, to secure safety of family, and then to reach out to neighbors. The program is nationwide. Check with your local fire department for date/time/location. If you find that CERT is not active in your community, see about getting it started. The more trained citizens there are prepared and helping, the easier it will be for folks waiting for first responders to show up. Please, if you appreciate what CERT is doing, maybe you will promote it on your podcast. It is a worthwhile citizen organization. Everyone should take this invaluable training.

    • Have been through CERT, and agree it has merits. Like Jack has said, many who go through it think it’s great training. The problem is never being able to actually use that training. Can give two local examples where local CERT could have helped with a regional emergency that involved the local area. Was CERT involved? Nope. There is a disconnect with the program after training takes place and lack of coordination to use that volunteer help effectively.

  22. Bees….Colony Collapse is a worldwide problem with groups in many countries trying to figure it out. I lost all three hives this year to it. I did all I knew to do to take care of the bees, including feeding, but they left anyway. There’s so many chemicals in the environment and we don’t even know the affects of or GMO, yet. Only thing I know to do is keep on starting over. At least the bees leave all the equipment behind when they leave. Before getting more bees next spring, I will douse for magnetic lay lines near the hive boxes. Just an idea. Losing the bees hit me so hard that I couldn’t even speak those words for more than three months, and still tear up when I do. They’re loveable buggers. : )

    • Aayla – instead of having to purchase new bees have you ever thought of trying to trap them? I read a book Swarm Traps and Bait Hives by McCartney Taylor about 2.5 years ago. I have since been catching all my bees via traps I make myself. I caught 11 in 2011 and 14 in 2012. I have had better over-wintering from the bees that were caught locally. You could probably make 4 or 5 swarm traps for what it costs to buy a 3# package of bees.

      • Jason,
        Thanks for the tip. I’ve caught swarms off and on for years, but generally that’s when I discover one locally or get a call from someone with a swarm hanging on a bush in the backyard. I haven’t seen the book yet, but the word trap would imply to me that it can be setup, left unattended and checked periodically for new residents. Thanks again.

        • YES I put up traps in late March and leave them up until sometime in late July. Last year I took to putting them in people’s yards. That way you get a call when a swarm moves in, plus it gets people excited about bees. You need to leave them alone for a couple of days once occupied, until the queen starts laying. Once they are bringing in pollen you can move the trap and the bees won’t leave.

          The book was good, but it was very basic. If you are new to the idea of trapping it is a quick read. I would probably get the e-book instead of spending the extra couple of bucks to have it in print. The book focuses on using scrap lumber. I use old DEEP hive bodies. If you know an old beekeeper you can get a bunch of them for free. I posted plans on my blog European honey bees look for a new home of about 35 liters, Africanized bees look for smaller homes more like 13 liters. In Ohio you shouldn’t need to worry about African genetics anyway.

          It is like fishing, once you find a “honey-hole” you will catch swarms there almost every year. I live in Indiana 8 miles from Oxford, OH. I have caught swarms around Oxford, Reily, and Eaton (OH) as well as through a huge swath of Eastern Indiana along the border from Portland south to Brookville. If you can use some basic hand tools you can catch your own bees. There is no need to buy them.

  23. Thanks for the interview on beekeeping. I’ve been at it less than a year and love the hobby with my 17 year old son so far. My situation is similar to Keith’s in that we self-educated ourselves and then dove into it. I would add that if anyone is fearful and hesitant, that they contact their local beekeeper association and hook up with a local person willing to mentor. Go view a few hive openings. Go to bee school with your local association BEFORE purchasing equipment and bees; you’ll likely get discounts and good advice particular to your local area. I’ve met some great people this way and it has made beekeeping a very rewarding experience. Now is the time to do all your research, so by early Spring you’ll be ready to go. Watching my teenager manage the bees = priceless!

    Adding to my 13 in ’13 (Ok, so I started in 2009…it’s the on-going process…)
    Honeybees (check)
    Layer chickens (check)
    Vermicomposting (check)
    Organic gardening, cold frame starting (check)
    winemaking (check)
    sourdough starter with wild yeast (check)
    cheesemaking (check)
    Solar on the roof (check)
    Rainbarrel collection/irrigation (check)

    yet to do: Aquaponics, goats, root cellaring, gun safety course

  24. Quick thought on the tsp-drt. There were a lot of comments about gov. telling you to move or aren’t allowed in to disaster areas. What if you set up shop on a tsp listeners property. Maybe listeners that can’t or don’t want to be a responder could volunteer there front yard, and also be willing to put up a few volunteers for a few days. Maybe have a map with tsp listeners that agreed to use of there front yard, already knowing where you could set up ahead of time might help.

  25. Jack, I have read all of the comments and responses before posting my comments. I agree with you about the naysayers who are trying, with good intentions, to point out what they perceive is wrong with your vision. I am looking at this as a great adventure, not unlike explorers in the past who set out with a goal, overcame obstacles, and reached their destination.
    My great-grandparents came to this country from Norway in the late 1800’s, and made their way in a covered wagon to the part of Minnesota I still live in. They established a homestead, raised a family, and dealt with all the unknown challenges that came their way. They passed on to their children the need to look out for and help family, friends, and neighbors, sometimes at a personal cost. I see in your vision for the DRT a return to the values of neighbor helping neighbor, whether that is next door, the next town, or some other place where people need help. I hope this really takes off and helps to break down the false walls some have built to divide us.
    Onward and Upward!

    • Because I want to do something with OUR community OUR way and while we may coordinate with them an other groups this group has something unique to offer. Also Rubicon only wants ex military with “special skills”. I just want people willing to train and then use that training to help.

  26. Jack,

    Sounds like a good idea. I don’t have any disaster response or first aid skills, but I can transport, distribute, cook, etc., and think this would be a much better (not to mention personally enlivening) way to help than writing a check. Obviously more details to work out, but I think it sounds like a great idea.
    To the “Red Tape” crowd, remember, it is always better to “beg forgiveness, than ask permission” when dealing with the powers that be. We wouldn’t keep the doors of our small business open if we worried about all that BS.

  27. Cool, Jack. I’ll bet it’ll work, and if you did what you’re considering, with getting the people CERT or some other “officialy recognized” training, that might help as well!

  28. In addition to a response group, what about doing some public education? Like showing some basic tips that we use in our lifestyle as preppers at local events (county fairs, church and youth groups etc.).

    Jack….count me in as well.

    • Sounds like a great idea. Now is the perfect time to educate the masses. Many of our youth today want to do something that makes a difference, to be involved in something worthwhile, at least the ones that don’t waste their time playing video games.

  29. If there’s any justification for TSP/DRT, it’s the media report I saw of a woman in the aftermath of Sandy saying “Somebody just tell me where to go! Tell me what to do!” To me that was pathetic, both in her lack of having a plan/preps but also that it’s self evident that the sheep need a shepherd. They need someone to say “Come here, wrap up in this space blanket and drink a cup of soup while you charge your phone to call your “whoever”, at least in the short, near term until they get their s#!t together.
    I think I could hook up my BOT with it’s gear, throw 2 of my gensets in the pick up and at least be able to give someone a place to get out of the rain before can even put it’s pants on.
    There were neighbors helping neighbors long before any EMA existed. And when the hard choices have to start being made in the near future due to lack of funding etc, ie police cars locked up in impound yards, fire depts letting buildings burn down and paramedics unable to respond because their rigs can’t be maintained – it will come down to that again.
    We’d best start now.

  30. It seems like an interesting idea. I read the posts on liability and it seems like liability and security are always reasons why you can’t do anything, but I have hard alot of negative things about FEMA, some of which maybe I am not sure about completely. This is almost to the point I am either a bit scared of that whole bunch of government people (though I am sure some of them are well meaning and it’s a big agency and hard to generalize) or I may feel some resentment of the amount of government control there could be over alot of stupid things that just about anyone could take care of themseleves. I could possibly see myself trying to help out in my local area depending on alot of factors and how busy I was with other going on and Jack made some good points about the whole concept.

    I know nothing about the Red Cross, I tend to donate to the salvation army and mostly nothing else.

  31. Keith….thanks for the real-world examples of your homestead. I actually live a couple miles away and would love to see what you have set up. Thanks again!