Podcast-EOC blockaded in-place 501(c)(3) rescue forces eager to collaborate with government agencies to save lives in peril due to Hurricane Florence. Dr. Perrodin interviewed Katie Pechon and Jamie Hough of Triton Relief Group to obtain true, at times horrific, accounts of rescue efforts attempting to assist the Carolinas.
DIRECT LINK to MP3 of this Episode: https://tinyurl.com/SDP80
WHAT IS TRITON RELIEF GROUP?
Triton Relief Group (TRG) is a non-profit, registered, 501(c)(3) organization committed to our goal of providing a helping hand, where it’s needed, through rescue, charity, donations and support. TRG has morphed from rescue to providing relief efforts; delivering food, water, medicine and much more. It has a huge store of experience and wisdom with several members with military training and numerous special certifications.
WHAT IS A 501(c)(3) AND WHY DOES THAT MATTER?
Being “501(c)(3)” means that a particular nonprofit organization has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt, charitable organization. “Charitable” is broadly defined as being established for purposes that are religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering of national or international amateur sports, or prevention of cruelty to animals and children. Triton Relief Group ensures that all donations to support the organization are diligently routed to supporting the boots-on-ground efforts of the rescuers – from diesel fuel to meals for weary rescuers. As the organization skillfully uses technology, it has very little overhead and dispatchers work from their homes, not an office complex.
WHAT HAS IMPROVED IN RESCUES SINCE LAST YEAR?
Katie quickly noted the technology app, Zello, has sharply improved to allow for confidential communications and that TRG follows FEMA response protocols preventing an overlap of rescue dispatches with other agencies. TRG also has a more efficient ticket system and conducts background checks on all members. Despite these gains, significant barriers arose…
WHAT IS WORSE THAN RESCUES LAST YEAR?
Katie and Jamie, a boat captain who had conducted numerous rescues in Hurricane Harvey, agreed that government EOC, or Emergency Operation Centers, were passively refusing to cooperate with TRG – to the point where TRG had numerous boats in the Carolinas before flooding impacted communities. It’s difficult to determine the root bottlenecks in EOC as state governors were openly supportive of not-for-profit rescue forces assisting local municipalities. Through his first-hand stories, Jamie expressed frustration that local governments would call for help, but then refuse to accept it and not explicitly state concerns of liability or, as Dr. Perrodin suggests, perhaps FEMA’s EOC’s stubbornness was due to the agency’s unwillingness to admit that it could not maintain the “social contract” of the government being able to protect its citizens. Dr. Perrodin believes the hesitation resides at the federal level of FEMA EOC and is manifested at sub-levels through informal directives. The 10th Amendment appears to have supported previous large-scale civilian rescues forces on 09/11/01 and again with Hurricane Harvey in 2017 – both of those with much less technical resources, expertise and scalability of Triton Relief Group.
WHAT IF WE OUTLAW CIVILIAN RESCUE FORCES?
David warns that if civilian rescue forces are no longer allowed to exist that our country becomes immediately weaker and less able to mobilize and scale in response to sentinel disasters.
HOW CAN FEMA SURVIVE?
Katie noted that her organization is not trying to work against EOCs. I argue that FEMA has become outdated and should be struck from the record and a totally new agency installed in its place to embrace the inventory of, and connecting of, all available resources. I even have a name for the new agency: National Emergency Inventory and Activation Network (NEIAN).
SUPPORT TRITON RELIEF GROUP
I urge you to support Triton Relief Group by visiting www.tritonrelief.org
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