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Old 10-02-2022, 10:08 AM   #1
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How can we help with the hurricane relief

We have pretty much cancelled our plans, Ft Myers to Tampa is typically our favorite place. I was thinking of going down to help with the cleanup but they probably want young tradespeople not a 65+ YO couple.
So why post? If there is some sort of communication between people needing free help and RVers willing to provide the help in return for a space to park and have basic hookups it would be great. So if anyone hears of such a thing or has any ideas on how to start one please post.
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Old 10-02-2022, 10:19 AM   #2
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Food. You can help with food.

There will be feeding stations set up everywhere: churches, municipal fairgrounds, Veteran's buildings, etc. There are a number of non-profits that will need volunteers.

Volunteering for food service can be everything from cooking, receiving donations, packing box lunches, handing out food, directing traffic in the line, and the list goes on.

https://operationbbqrelief.org/

https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunge...-hurricane-ian

https://wck.org/

This last one is World Central Kitchen. They were likely in place before Ian struck.

Forget FEMA or the Red Cross. Both will contract will local resources and are then very slow to reimburse. FEMA came to us to observe our operation during the Wine Country fires in 2017. The RC had two people on the ground, and they were playing catch-up, trying to keep up with us. We got up and running far quicker than FEMA or the RC.

We had a large number of older folks helping us and they would often outwork the younger ones.
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Old 10-02-2022, 10:50 AM   #3
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Organizations like propchief mentioned usually already have all the hands needed, what they usually run short of is money to purchase supplies to care for those in need.
If they do need more hands, out of work locals surely need jobs right now.
On facebook, the Florida RV parks and CG association is asking those wanting to help to stay away until electricity and water are restored. Many are still underwater.


Road conditions are highly questionable South of Tampa, even I 75 is closed by high water, as a post on irv2.com said.
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Old 10-02-2022, 11:58 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by propchef View Post
Food. You can help with food.

There will be feeding stations set up everywhere: churches, municipal fairgrounds, Veteran's buildings, etc. There are a number of non-profits that will need volunteers.

Volunteering for food service can be everything from cooking, receiving donations, packing box lunches, handing out food, directing traffic in the line, and the list goes on.

https://operationbbqrelief.org/

https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunge...-hurricane-ian

https://wck.org/

This last one is World Central Kitchen. They were likely in place before Ian struck.

Forget FEMA or the Red Cross. Both will contract will local resources and are then very slow to reimburse. FEMA came to us to observe our operation during the Wine Country fires in 2017. The RC had two people on the ground, and they were playing catch-up, trying to keep up with us. We got up and running far quicker than FEMA or the RC.

We had a large number of older folks helping us and they would often outwork the younger ones.

Grew up in Florida, this is not an opinion but a fact. The day after a hurricane the Salvation Army was setting up portable kitchens and feeding us all while the Red Cross was no where to be found. Full disclosure, when I was overseas, if an enlisted person had a family emergency, they'd first have to go kiss the ring of the Red Cross liaison before emergency leave could be authorized. I've never been a big fan of the Red Cross, ever since.
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Old 10-02-2022, 02:54 PM   #5
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If people are not part of an established agency response and just show up they become part of the problem as mentioned above.

No disaster recovery agency works in a declared disaster area without local county government knowledge and approval. They are vetted and placed in the overall recovery plan where the fit is the best. So you will have to check into them yourself.

Established agencies may be big bureaucracies but they coordinate with each county Emergency Operations Center, where I worked for some years. That means you are not duplicating services which wastes resources.

The Salvation Army is a wonderful faith-based disaster recovery organization and one I recommended you contact. The faith based agencies can and do move quicker at times.

LDS (Latter Day Saints) were also extremely helpful. Florida Baptist Convention disaster is another good one and I am sure there are others.

All of these accept help from anyone and are just good people to work with.

There will be an ongoing need for volunteers and money as this will be a long term recovery.

People don’t like to or are unable to send money to a QUALIFIED organization but it has these benefits:
Does not spoil
Easily transported to where its needed most
Can be converted into exactly what is needed at each location
It’s not random items placed in a box from someones garage or closet.

In 2004, as part of a state and local response team, I worked four hurricanes including two in my own county. Many volunteers quickly became exhausted and scarce. On the west coast I saw many just quit and go home from despair and exhaustion. It was beyond the scope of any previous hurricane relief at that time. We relied on FLNG if you could order them up. They too have a limit on manpower.

I suggest you research several that are recognized by the local EOC and choose one you think fits. You may be placed on a call up list as the current workers get rotated out.

There is also Volunteer Florida to check out and if you have some medical background, even as administrative, local Health Departments have the Medical Reserve Corp program.

I won’t argue my observations but maybe some of these ideas will help. Also good ideas are posted by others.

Thank you for wanting to make a difference.
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Old 10-02-2022, 07:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
Organizations like propchief mentioned usually already have all the hands needed, what they usually run short of is money to purchase supplies to care for those in need.
If they do need more hands, out of work locals surely need jobs right now.
On facebook, the Florida RV parks and CG association is asking those wanting to help to stay away until electricity and water are restored. Many are still underwater.


Road conditions are highly questionable South of Tampa, even I 75 is closed by high water, as a post on irv2.com said.
It's true they will always need money, but they are always in need of hands. Usually, the restaurant network is a close-knit community and they help organize volunteers. These folks also have contacts with major food and paper-goods suppliers to help with donations.

I'm not advocating that someone should just show up to a disaster area, but these folks have good networks and ways to sign up. The locals have their hands full and need help. Besides, these aren't jobs but volunteers helping others during desperate times.

We stopped donating actual money years ago and now instead donate time and services.
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Old 10-02-2022, 07:03 PM   #7
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The Cajun Navy is another great organization

https://cajunrelief.org/

They're already there
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Old 10-03-2022, 05:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propchef View Post
The Cajun Navy is another great organization

https://cajunrelief.org/

They're already there
Absolutely right. Good points.
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Old 10-03-2022, 08:05 AM   #9
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I have been on both sides of hurricane relief.

One of the most effective & immediate ways to help folks with nearly zero resources being sucked up by administration costs is your local churches (and other local organizations for that matter).

After the hurricanes hit our area (Rita 2005 & Laura & Delta '20) there were different churches from all over the country coming in and setting up in random parking lots all over town.
Providing everything from hot meals to diapers.
One group sent a whole tanker truck of gasoline and was giving it away to anyone who showed up with a gas can.

Our town reciprocated for Harvey, Michael, Ida, etc.
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Old 10-04-2022, 03:39 PM   #10
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I would keep in mind that RV facilities iare used by victims of the disaster. RVs arrive from all over the region for temporary housing either being purchased ,loaned or donated
In my opinion it complicates housing for the hurricane victims if RV sites are used by workers or volunteers
if you’re self-contained and willing to live off dry camping there should be plenty of parking.
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