Just got back from the meeting. Everything is obviously in the very early stages of organization. Right now it's an open Facebook group full of wheelers chomping at the bit to get out and help. Some things that were discussed at the meeting were:
- Leaving the current, open group up on FB in order to gather info on possible rescue events and make general announcements.
- Forming a closed FB group to more effectively dispatch a group to a rescue, cleanup, etc... An alert will be made on the group's page, and those able to help can roger up until the job requirement is met. This will also keep the craziness to a minimum. It's great when 70 capable vehicles show up willing to help, but it can obviously hurt more than help.
- There will be placards made up so the group can be identified. This is especially useful in areas where access is controlled by a formal agency.
- The group needs someone, possibly a couple of people willing to "manage". Nothing really formal, but a couple of points of contact to quickly organize a small group when one is dispatched
- Even bigger, would be someone with points of contact with various agencies, or someone willing to make contact when someone requests help, or when the group sees an opportunity to help.
This group as it stands now may not be super effective during this particular event, but I can see it being useful in future events as it has more time to organize. Unfortunately, there will probably be more fires next year, and there will probably be some good snow this year. If the group can get organized, I can see it being very effective. Getting the word out to the various agencies around the state could be extremely helpful in the future. As the group gathers a strong reputation, it may be allowed access to more restricted areas, say, to make drinking water runs to those fighting fires during the spring and summer... stuff like that. It is VERY ground level right now, but if we can get the word out and get some folks to help organize things, it could be really cool.
I'm sure I forgot some things that James (Overlander) may have written down. I'm not currently a RS member, but I can definitely see this club being a huge help in this instance.
For more info, the group is located here:
Thomas Graf is the organizer of this particular meeting, but as a business owner, probably doesn't have time to really sit down and manage this thing. This is probably the biggest obstacle right now.
Thanks for listening guys. Hopefully RS can come through and help get this group running efficient aid runs to those in need in our awesome state.