BEAUMONT, Texas — Although we don’t currently have tropical weather in the forecast, Southeast Texans know it’s the best way to weather the storms when they come.
They said the best way for them to prepare in advance is to find volunteers.
“We’ll be on the ground before the wind dies down,” said Rob Gaudet, Founder and CEO of Ground Force.
When disaster strikes, rescue teams like the Cajun Navy Ground Force spring into action.
“We call ourselves Ground Force because 99% of the time we’re on the ground and just helping,” Gaudet said.
Gaudet said if a storm hit tomorrow his teams would be ready to help. Trained volunteers are key to their operations.
“Such last-minute efforts, while very noble and brave, sometimes become a logistical nightmare,” said Gulf SAR’s Ken Turner.
Turner said they train and certify their volunteers before sending them out.
“Safety is our top priority. We don’t put anyone on a boat who hasn’t been trained,” Turner said.
And in order to have the time to train them, they are now recruiting volunteers.
“Rescue work, police work, firefighters, law enforcement, each of these types of work definitely aligns with the goals that we’re trying to pursue,” Turner said.
The same goes for the Cajun Navy. Gaudet said her volunteers are divided into three programs.
“Our goal is to be the organization that helps people in any way we can until they feel like they’re back on their feet,” Gaudet said.