CALL TO ACTION: Volunteers and Donated Items Needed to Help Tornado Victims in Georgia
UPDATE: This operation is now over and done. Thanks to all who pitched in to lend a hand. We will post up an article on how it went shortly. – Stewart Rhodes
Oath keepers (and all other American patriots),
Volunteers and donated items are greatly needed to help the tornado victims in Georgia, which has been devastated by over thirty tornadoes in less than three weeks in two separate major storm impacts, the first on January 2, 2017 and the second on January 21 and 22d, 2017. See this map for details on affected areas in Georgia: FEMA declaration JAN 2017 Storm IA PA MAP
President Trump, to his credit, has reacted swiftly to fast-track federal disaster assistance and has now called Georgia’s Governor twice to coordinate (in contrast, Obama didn’t even bother to call the Governor, despite the first tornadoes hitting while Obama was still President).
However, the people of Georgia are still in desperate need of our assistance while the federal cavalry gets ramped up. We now have an Oath Keepers CPT team on the ground there in Ashburn, GA, led by two of our North Florida leaders, Dave Schiffman (communications expert) and Ernie Bridges (82nd Airborne vet, and retired Jacksonville PD). They are in direct communication with the Turner County Sheriff’s department incident commander, Lt. Reckley, and the Georgia State Defense Force, led by Lt. Colonel Yates and 1SGT White, and the word is they desperately need volunteer boots on the ground to help with disaster relief.
Lt. Reckley, the incident commander for the Turner County Sheriff Dept, is advising us that she will take anyone who wants to show up and help, male or female. You don’t have to be some high speed low drag operator, you don’t have to be a member of Oath Keepers, you don’t need to have a skillset at all, so long as you have a pulse and the willingness to help, you are needed. They need help with checking people in and out, processing supplies and donated items, clerical, administrative, directing traffic, assisting relief recipients, general manual labor, etc. Of course, if you have awesome skillsets, come on down, but anyone is welcome. Whatever your skillset, or lack thereof, whoever you are, in whatever group or as an individual, show up. You will be put to work doing something.
We are basing this effort in Ashburn, Georgia, in Turner County, but we may send volunteers out to other nearby affected areas within the state of Georgia, provided we have enough boots on the ground to do so.
If you are within driving range and willing to help, please pitch in. An effort will be made to try to arrange donated fuel to help you with gas (see below), but no guarantees on that (it will depend on whether people send the Sheriff’s office enough gift cards for fuel).
You need to bring your own outdoor clothing and foul weather gear (prepare for anything between 30 degrees at night and 75 degrees during the day). The Sheriff’s office will provide a place to sleep indoors but you need to bring your own sleeping bag, blankets, cot, etc. and your own personal hygiene supplies, and any special medications you need. Food and water will be provided to volunteers.
If you have a handheld dual band HAM radio, such as a cheap Baofeng, or an FRS radio, please bring it.
If you are an Oath Keeper, feel free to wear your oath keepers gear, if you have it (if you don’t, we may have some available when you get there). But otherwise just bring comfortable clothing. If you are a member of another patriot group, you are welcome as well, and by all means wear your colors.
DIRECTIONS TO CHECK IN POINT:
Use Exit 82 on I-75, exiting to the West (for GPS purposes), into downtown Ashburn on E. Washington Ave, and then within a mile, turn left onto Industrial Drive, right after the local KFC. Warehouse #8 will be on the left.
DONATED SUPPLIES NEEDED
UPDATE 1/29/2017: We do NOT need more donated supplies at this time. We will update again if that changes. A sincere thanks to those of you who donated supplies. You are great American patriots!
However, if you would like to mail in a Visa or Mastercard gift debit card, to be used to provide fuel for volunteers, you can mail it to:
Ashburn, GA 31714
Such gift cards to be used for fuel will still be very useful. Please DO NOT send supplies to the Sheriff Dept. Only gift cards for gas.
NOTE: Oath Keepers will NOT be handling any donations, whether supplies or gift cards for gas. Only the local Turner County Sheriff Office will handle the donations. So please only use the above addresses for them. This is our preferred way of helping in such operations, with all donations going straight to the recognized leadership among the locals. We are here to help them get boots on the ground, but they are in charge.
Any questions, please contact our Oath Keepers CPT leadership team on the ground in Ashburn, GA at:
For the Republic,
ADDITIONAL MESSAGE FROM STEWART RHODES:
As I said during our call to action during the flooding in Louisiana, EACH AND EVERY TIME there is any kind of disaster like this, every member in this org that is in that area, or within driving range, needs to step up and help. Not only is it simply the right thing to do, as an American, but it is also a golden opportunity to win hearts and minds, and to work our mission, leading by example to show Americans what they need to do as citizens. It is a win-win all around, on many levels.
You should consider it a “standing order” or standard expectation of you as a member of Oath Keepers (or just as a patriot) that you will step up in your community when any disaster strikes, including natural disasters (fires, floods, tornadoes, earth quakes, hurricanes, etc) and man-made incidents (such as riots, terrorist attacks, mass shootings, etc), and pitch in to help. Even if all you do is help serve soup or unload trucks, you need to do it. If it is outside your state, then you of course have more discretion and whether you travel across state lines to help will depend on your ability to get time off work, whether you can afford the gas, etc. That is up to you to decide. I would encourage you to go and help if you can, but I won’t fault you if you cannot do so.
But if it is in your area, such as in your county, or in your town, you MUST step up. A failure to do so is a failure to do your duty both as an Oath Keeper and also simply as an American. I am of course not telling you to try to do anything outside of your capability, training, physical limitations, etc. but if you show up and offer to help, you will be put to work, doing something.
We need to lead by example, and all it requires is the willingness and a bit of time. Even if it is a couple of hours after work, do it.
And, I would also remind all of you of how critical it is that you become involved in your local first-responder community even when there is no current disaster. Join your local volunteer fire department, EMT team, search and rescue, police auxiliary, sheriff posse, reserve deputy program (if they exist), local CERT, or state defense force (Georgia, for example, has the excellent Georgia State Defense Force, that would welcome new volunteers) etc.. There will be some form of volunteer first-responder team you can join. I have yet to see a community that didn’t have at least one of the above or something similar. Again, we need to walk our talk and lead by example. And there is no better way to strengthen your local community and also reach, teach, and inspire them than by being part of the existing first-responder community.
Make Your Community Stronger. Become a Volunteer First Responder
And once you have done so, then you can start to work on building what else should be there, but is missing, as discussed here. If you go back and read our initial launch of the CPT program, you will see that joining the local first-responder community was listed as a high priority first step for all CPT members. It still is. These tornadoes, along with the recent floods and fires, just serve as examples of why that is so critical. Disaster can hit any community, at any time.