Urgent Call to Action for Flood Relief Along Mississippi River Valley – Volunteers and Donors Needed
May 28, 2019: flooded homes along the Arkansas River in Sand Springs, Okla. (Photo: DroneBase via AP)
Oath Keepers and Patriots,
There is an imminent threat of catastrophic flooding in the Mississippi River Valley (from Illinois all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico), including the major tributaries, such as the Arkansas River (already flooding). See the below map showing the flood danger areas.
If a worst case flood happens (becoming more likely every day) it will result in catastrophic loss of life and massive evacuations. For just one example, it could result in the forced evacuation of over two million people, and perhaps as many as four million, between Lafayette, LA and Gulfport, MS. It would also result in the interruption of the flow of vital resources, such as natural gas, fuel oil, and petroleum products, to the Eastern United States. Read this for a wake-up call on the potential danger, and to emphasize our duty as a national organization to step up. Also read this, this, and this to see the flooding that has already happened. Levees are now breaking in Missouri and Arkansas.
The Red in the Above Map Shows Flood Danger Areas. As the Map Makes Clear, The Entire Mississippi River System (the Mississippi and Its Tributaries) is at Risk of Flooding. Map is From the Myradar App.
Oath Keepers is preparing now to deploy to flooded areas. We expect to be doing work in the following skillsets:
Search and Rescue
General disaster relief
Be prepared to conduct extensive anti-looting operations.
Preliminary staging areas are Ruston, LA on the West side of the Mississippi River, and Meridian, MS on the East side of the river. You DO NOT have to be a member of Oath Keepers to volunteer. Just willing to help.
To volunteer, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the subject line of the email put “Flood Relief Volunteer in (insert State).” In the body, tell us your town and state, which of the two preliminary staging areas you expect to report to in the event of flooding (Ruston, LA or Meridian, MS), your skillset and any equipment you have. If you have a team, please tell us how many, and any special equipment.
We are also open to working with other volunteer organizations. Just email us at email@example.com and let us know what group or org you’re with.
If you cannot volunteer, please donate to support those who can.
As in the past, we expect to be doing not just general disaster relief (such as distribution of food and water), search and rescue, medical checks, and road clearing, but also extensive security and anti-looting operations. Oath Keepers always brings along built-in security whenever we do disaster relief because we have so many retired police, infantry veterans, and others trained in security in our ranks. But we need to be prepared to provide dedicated security teams for relief distribution centers, relief supply convoys, and security team escorts for medical teams. We also need to be prepared to provide security for entire communities and towns (after being invited in), in a very overt anti-looter mission. This is something we have done in the past.
For example, Oath Keepers was formally invited by the mayors of the towns of Malone, FL and Bascomb, FL to provide anti-looter security for both towns (at the time, we were the security for those two towns as all other law enforcement was overwhelmed and deployed elsewhere). We did similar operations in Texas, North Carolina, and Puerto Rico, working closely with local communities to help provide community anti-looting security. We also worked closely with other volunteer search and rescue, medical teams, and relief teams and orgs, and provided security escorts for them.
Be prepared for both night and day operations. Be prepared to live out of your rucksack, and bring your own sleeping gear (bring a cot if you have one). Bring handgun, rifle and/or shotgun, with appropriate weapon lights on each. Bring body armor if you have it. Bring any night vision equipment you have. Bring any handheld or vehicle mounted radios you have. If you don’t have such gear, bring what you do have, and we will do our best to fill in any gaps in your gear. But please bring sufficient gear to be self-sufficient for at least seven days.
Again, preliminary staging areas are Ruston, LA on the West side of the Mississippi River, and Meridian, MS on the East side of the river. We must prepare for a worst case scenario where the flooding is so bad we cannot cross the Mississippi. Where we stage is subject to change, depending on what happens, but that gives you a general idea of where you will need to go when the time comes (we will update this call to action when we have a rally point/base of operations established for each major area).
Those who are more physically fit will be assigned to a field team. The less physically fit will be assigned to a “B” support team/base team or other fixed location (such as conducting fixed location security). This means that whatever your current physical condition, we will find work for you to do within your limitations.
NEEDED SKILLSETS: ALL SKILL-SETS ARE WELCOME, BUT BASED ON PAST DISASTER RELIEF WORK, WE ARE IN PARTICULAR NEED OF:
- Security – Prior LEOs, Infantry (or other combat arms MOS with appropriate training), and trained security personnel
- Search and Rescue/fire trained personnel
- Emergency communications personnel
- Emergency Medical personnel
- Truck drivers/operators/owners
- General disaster relief workers
- Chaplains/ministers with field experience
Any other field type skillsets who can help in the wake of a natural disaster are welcome. If you want to help, we will find a job for you.
Bring whatever magazine pouch chest rig or other web-gear you need to function, but leave the military cammo uniforms at home. Wear solid colors or outdoor hunting gear. We are here for disaster relief. This means that if your chest rig, body armor carrier, etc is in some cammo pattern, that’s fine. Just no military uniforms. We want to present a lower profile, less intimidating profile to the public – as much as possible. Solid color green, brown, or tan 5.11 pants, for example, are fine. They are every bit as functional as BDUs, without the “scary militia” vibe. Don’t worry, the looters will still get the message. If you have Oath Keepers shirts or hats, feel free to wear them. If not, no sweat.
Bring sleeping gear (cots and sleeping bags are best), and appropriate hygiene gear for field bathing as well. Anti-bacterial soap and baby-wipes are important. Hygiene is a priority in a flood aftermath environment.
RECOMMENDED GEAR (NOTE, IF YOU DON’T HAVE ALL OF THESE ITEMS, DON’T LET THAT STOP YOU. WE’LL MAKE IT HAPPEN):
- Bug spray and face nets (if you have it).
- Radio (FRS or Ham; cell towers and power are spotty)
- IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) with lifesaving gear such as tourniquets and pressure bandages. And a “boo boo” kit for minor scrapes and cuts, with ability to clean out and cover up such minor injuries.
- CamelBak or other hydration system
- Sleeping bag and air mattress or cot
- Personal water filter
- Life jacket
- Rain gear/poncho
- Tactical, medical, and work gloves
- Phone charger bank
- Personal hygiene items (baby wipes, betadine, rubbing alcohol, soap, etc)
- Lysol and other cleaning supplies
- Spare socks, boots and clothing (we recommend at least three sets)
- Face mask (such as available in hardware stores) and respirator
- Anything else you need to sustain yourself and stay healthy – plan on living out of your vehicle
- Bring as much water as you can, we will be in dire need of potable water
Oath Keepers Military and LEO Vets Boarding Plane to Deploy for Hurricane Relief to Puerto Rico in 2017
DETAILS ON SKILLSETS NEEDED
We will especially need anyone with a medical background, Search & Rescue, LEOs, infantry veterans and other combat arms veterans with appropriate training, or others with security training and experience, emergency communications, combat engineers or civilian counterparts, such as industrial electricians and mechanics. We will conduct assessments of need as well as rendering assistance when needed. As we did in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Puerto Rico, we will be coordinating our disaster relief efforts with local first responders, including law enforcement and emergency management.
For medical, we need everyone with any medical training, from former medics, corpsmen, paramedics, EMTs, acute care nurses, and ER techs. Basically, if you have any medical training and can hit the ground running we can use you. Bring whatever first aid supplies you have, however, please add in Betadine and rubbing alcohol, as much as you can.
While on this op, we will abide by all state and local laws regarding concealed carry, so it is imperative that you make sure that your state concealed carry permit has reciprocity. Be prepared to carry open or concealed. We may do open carry of shotgun or rifle, but also be prepared to stow them in the vehicle until needed – depending on the local environment and laws. Our intent is to be low-key with a low profile posture regarding weapons, while also keeping people safe. Be adaptable to the proper profile for the circumstances.
In addition to medical personnel, we need communications experts (HAM radio operators). However, bring any radios you have, such as FRS handhelds (the kind you can buy in any sporting goods section at big box stores).
As we did in the past, we expect to be escorting medical teams, relief supply trucks and convoys, and also protecting relief centers and aid distribution points, as well as backing up local first responders. While we are focused on disaster relief, the need for protection against violence is a reality and is part of what we do. Again, we also expect to be conducting very overt anti-looter operations. Looting is a fact of life in the aftermath of flooding.
We also need people with search and rescue and practical mechanical/engineering skills. Fire-fighters, combat engineers, mechanics, men who can run a chain saw, etc; we will put you to work. Truck drivers will be needed, especially if you have your own rig. Anyone else who is willing to help, we will find a place for you.
Any questions, ask in comments below on our website, or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Again, if you can’t help directly, please donate to support those who can! It takes money to support disaster relief volunteers with fuel, food, equipment, and other supplies. It also takes money to purchase critical supplies to distribute to survivors. Every little bit helps, so please chip in.