Team Rubicon Encourages Americans to Get Ready During National Preparedness Month

Be disaster aware, take action to prepare

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Team Rubicon volunteers, mainly military veterans, helped Pateros, Wash., cleanup following the worst wildfire in the state's history. Team Rubicon photo by Kirk Jackson.

Don’t be fooled into thinking it can’t happen to me. By taking a few simple measures, you can lessen the effect of an emergency and possibly save lives.

Los Angeles, Calif. (PRWEB) August 31, 2014

Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster relief organization, is proud to be participating in the annual National Preparedness Month in September, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Campaign.

National Preparedness Month is a nationwide effort encouraging individuals, families, businesses, first responders, and communities to work together and take action to prepare for emergencies.

“Disasters present a number of hazards and challenges like prolonged power outages, shortages of food and other resources, and property damage,” said David Burke, director of field operations for Team Rubicon. “Don’t be fooled into thinking it can’t happen to me. By taking a few simple measures, you can lessen the effect of an emergency and possibly save lives.”

Burke urges the public to have emergency supplies—like non-perishable food, water, flashlights, a NOAA weather radio, and a go-bag for evacuation. When assembling supplies, be sure to think of your pets and any special needs like medications. It is also very important to develop a family emergency plan, and to stay informed by monitoring local media. Tips can be found online at http://www.Ready.Gov.

Beyond that, working together, as a team, will help ensure that individuals, families, and communities are ready. One way to do that, according to Jake Wood, Team Rubicon CEO, is to join or support volunteer organizations like Team Rubicon. What sets Team Rubicon apart from other relief groups is that it combines the skills and experiences of military veterans with those of first responders.

“It’s easy to think of vets as warriors, but they are also leaders capable of working in small teams, and scaling up as needed to bring order to chaotic environments,” said Wood, who served as a Marine sniper in Iraq. “We have medics, logistics experts, even tech geeks—and they are all driven by a sense of purpose greater than themselves.”

Domestically, the nonprofit’s services include debris removal, volunteer management, damage assessment and expedient home repair. Team Rubicon has also taken on incident management for overwhelmed communities lacking local emergency managers.

Internationally, Team Rubicon’s volunteers have performed medical relief and training; water and sanitary health operations; and refugee camp management.

Team Rubicon was founded in the wake of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake by Wood and fellow Marine William McNulty. It has grown from eight to 17,000 members with 75 operations under its belt, including Haiti, Superstorm Sandy, and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

More recently, Team Rubicon has responded to historic wildfires in Washington; flooding and tornadoes in more than a dozen states; and helped Hawaii cleanup from Hurricane Iselle.

Becoming a volunteer is as simple as visiting Team Rubicon online. Volunteers will be assigned to one of ten regions, based on where they reside. From there, volunteers are asked to take a series of free, online courses at their own pace which introduce members to incident command and expectations.

Further hands-on training in skills like wilderness first aid, chainsaw and heavy equipment operations is offered at the regional level, throughout the year. In addition to disasters, volunteers stay engaged throughout the year through community service projects and social events that build camaraderie, promote fitness, and help bridge the civilian/military divide.

Team Rubicon does not charge for its services and receives no government funding. It relies on donations from corporations and the public to perform its work. To join or learn more, visit http://www.teamrubiconusa.org.

About Team Rubicon: Team Rubicon (TR) unites the skills and experience of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. TR offers veterans a chance to continue their service by helping and empowering those afflicted by disasters, and also themselves. For more about Team Rubicon, visit http://www.teamrubiconusa.org.