Notes from the Road, Pete Wine, Isaac Deployment 3rd post

Day 3 – We were let out of our box!

Its still hot. Its only going to get worse too. I’m not used to so much humidity.

We all got to headquarters from our hotel and started our jobs. Wendy gave us some unfortunate news. Well.. It wasn’t really unfortunate. Bittersweet. Our first friend we met on this DR (job) was on her way to New Orleans to be a staffing manager. We exchanged Facebook friendships and she went on her own path of adventure.

There was still a lot of the same thing going on here. Disaster Service Technology makes a disaster operations world go ’round here. Computers need to be set up or taken down, networking issues, print errors.

It probably sounds boring, working on computers, but when you take it in a disaster response perspective, it wakes you up. It becomes more urgent than convenient. It gives you the opportunity to have a positive effect on someone who is afflicted with the negativity of tragedy. If you’re an IT-guy and still feel used and abused after that little pep talk, you need to join the Red Cross.

Finally, today we got a new opportunity. It can get kinda boring behind a desk. So when you get a chance to do field operations… You take it. Let me out of my cage and let me go wild!

Noel and I were requested to respond to the warehouse and install a work laptop for the logistics team. It was an easy service call, and we went about our way.

The Celtic Media Centre of Baton Rouge graciously opened up 2 of their studio lots for the American Red Cross to open up Staff Shelters. Celtic Media Centre is known for movies filmed there such as the famed “Twilight”.  The studio lots are huge. Alot of volunteers and responders will be calling this place “home” for a while. People don’t understand that it’s not all hotels and rental cars. At some point there will be a moment where the responder is really roughing it. It may not happen on this deployment, but eventually, it will happen. I mean, really… it’s a disaster zone. Don’t expect the Ritz when nature gives you the pits.

Today’s lesson of deployment… education and training. The best training I’ve found, is on-the-job training. I specialize in radio communications and technical deployment strategy, but here I’m spending 2 weeks learning hardcore network management and computer program and repair. And of course, be humble. There may have been a lot learned, but there is so much more to learn.

I’ve already started to lose track of days too. I’m finding myself going back to my bed, and falling asleep immediately. A lot of these posts are being written later, because I keep falling asleep.


Pete Wine is on deployment in response to Isaac in Louisiana

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