Hurricane Matthew relief with the Civil Air Patrol part 2

With Hurricane Matthew barreling down on us, CAP sprung into motion. I’d sorta heard about some of this disaster stuff. And I knew they had all kinds of training that senior members (read old guys) and cadets take. But neither Spork nor I had taken anything related yet. But it was neat to get all the official government briefings on the progress of the storm and the preps underway. Kinda felt like I was one of the cool kids getting the inside scoop.

Our commanding officer, Lt. Colonel Beckett started hitting the squadron with instructions to get training on certain emergency services so we’d be ready to deploy. Spork and I soaked up as much as we could and got ourselves checked off as best we could in the short time available. Once the hurricane was over, and we’d recovered to something sorta normal here on the farm, Spork and I received our tasking to get to Washington, NC and start helping. We weren’t sure if we were staying overnight or for the rest of the week so we packed the kitchen sink and headed out Tuesday afternoon.

We arrived directly at what is called a Point of Distribution (POD). PODs are where the government distributes food, water, tarps, supplies, etc to the public in times of disaster. We arrived to find about ten CAP members, about five National Guardsmen and women, and about three local sheriffs deputies. The site was pretty busy and we jumped into action handing out food and water. Well Spork did, I went around and talked to everyone, making acquaintances, politicking, that sort of thing. Hey! We are instructed to let the cadets do as much as possible! I did help where I could.

Two Civil air patrol cadets handing out water and food at a POD
Spork in uniform, working to help the locals.

Sadly the torture was not successful because Spork fell right into the groove helping people, loading their cars with supplies to help them get by till normalcy was restored, and working with cadets and adult guardsmen side by side.

CAP cadet getting off of a military truck
Spork getting off of the military truck after his test ride

One of the highlights of the first day was an opportunity to get a ride in the military transport truck.

NC National Guard armored transport truck
NC National Guard armored transport truck

All the cadets jumped at the idea and the guardsmen were more than gracious. They only toured the parking lot but it was a cool treat for the hard working kids.

It was interesting that the guardsmen were not that much older than the cadets. Most were 19 or 20. Spork was 12, the youngest you can be to be in CAP. However he looks 14 and acts 25 so he blended right in. He’d get much more opportunity as we progressed, but that is the next post.

 

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