The floods in Louisiana have been devastating for the last week, with at least 11 people killed. Great story about volunteers with boats stepping up to save people, pets and property.
While this kind of same day miracle is amazing and heartfelt thanks should go to all participants, you have to ask the question why flood prone areas aren’t proactive in terms of training and coordinating volunteers ahead of time and doing some of the up front work so that even better response can be accomplished. All the local fishing guides have to have licenses, know first aid, and certainly aren’t going to be fishing if the river is 20 feet above flood stage. Does your community know who they all are? Does your corporate business continuity plan think outside the box for overflow capabilities?
On 9/11, the Coast Guard put out a radio call for all boats that could help to show up at the tip of Manhattan to help evacuate people. If you search for NY boat lift and Tom Hanks, you’ll find an incredible story of response from that fateful day.
Communities need to take those miracles and institutionalize them for the next time things go south. We have citizens with incredible capabilities that can assist ever more stretched city, state and federal groups. Today it might be the boat owners, tomorrow it might be another group, but in both cases, thinking ahead about who could be mobilized will pay dividends all around.