Forward Watch

Forward Watch, December 4

Team Rubicon returns to the Navajo Nation to combat a spike in COVID-19 cases.

New COVID-19 Response Operations

Gallup, New Mexico

Since the beginning of November, the Navajo Nation has experienced an alarming spike in the number of reported COVID-19 cases. 

On December 1, the Navajo Department of Health reported 310 new cases – a 484% increase over the number of new cases reported on November 1.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, the Navajo Nation has experienced 17,310 confirmed cases and 663 deaths.

How Team Rubicon is Responding

Team Rubicon has returned to the Navajo Nation, deploying six Greyshirts to the Gallup Indian Medical Center. This operation is expected to last for 90 days.

The team will fill gaps in the medical center’s staffing schedule and accompany mobile testing units to help provide COVID-19 testing in remote areas of the reservation.   

Core Operations Overview

As of December 3, Team Rubicon has assisted over 3,437 individuals with 12,381 Greyshirt deployments on 44 core operations responses in 2020.

New Disaster Relief Operations

Flood Recovery

Bladensburg, MD

On September 10, a narrow corridor of extremely heavy rain developed over the immediate Washington D.C. metropolitan region resulting in widespread flash flooding.

Subsequent rainfall from weather systems associated with Hurricane Sally, Hurricane Delta, and additional severe storms has further impacted the area and added to residents’ cumulative trauma.

How Team Rubicon is Responding

Team Rubicon is sending six Greyshirts to conduct a muck-out and provide debris removal for a family whose home was affected by the flash floods and heavy rains. 

This one-day operation will allow the family to quickly and safely return to their home.

Continuing Operations

Hurricanes Eta and Iota Response 

La Ceiba, Honduras

Like the U.S., Central America has experienced a historic hurricane season in 2020.

On November 3, Category 4 Hurricane Eta brought floods and landslides to Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala, resulting in 189 fatalities and widespread evacuations.

Less than two weeks later, Category 4 Hurricane Iota struck the same area with high winds and additional flooding that worsened the existing humanitarian crisis.   

Situation Report

The number of people reportedly affected by Eta and Iota in Honduras is over 2.5 million and approximately 94,000 evacuees were last reported in shelters.

According to the Pan-American Health Organization, roughly 68 communities are currently inaccessible by road. People there are cut off from medical care facilities and, in some cases, there is a lack of clean drinking water.   

Honduras’s government has made a formal request for international emergency medical teams’ assistance as the country’s existing healthcare infrastructure has been overwhelmed.

There is a general need for water, sanitation supplies, and hygiene essentials.

How Team Rubicon is Responding

Team Rubicon has sent a task force of trained Greyshirts to work with officials and local agencies in Honduras to pilot a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) program.

The task force will provide clean water for recovering communities and implement a “train the trainers” model with local partners to amplify impact.

This response began on November 24 and will demobilize on December 6.


Completed Operations

Hurricanes Laura and Delta Response

Lake Charles, LA

After 12 weeks of hard work in Lake Charles, Louisiana and the surrounding area, Team Rubicon has completed its response to Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta.

At last count, 800 Greyshirts deployed on this operation, providing route clearance, expedient home repair, and debris management for residents affected by the storms. They completed 327 work orders and helped 811 people.

Team Rubicon significantly upgraded its on-site training capabilities to meet the needs of this operation. Instructors at the Disaster Training Camp located at the Lake Charles FOB skilled up to 613 Greyshirts, including 169 new sawyers and 121 roof tarpers.

This is not the end of Team Rubicon’s relationship with the communities served on this operation. Soon, Team Rubicon will begin the Gulf Coast rebuild program to assist with long-term recovery in the region.

Hurricane Sally Response

Robertsdale, AL

Team Rubicon has concluded its response to Hurricane Sally that began on September 17. Over the course of this operation, 270 Greyshirts deployed to Baldwin County, Alabama and Escambia County, Florida to help storm survivors there.

Greyshirts completed 269 work orders that included roof tarping, expedient home repair, muck-outs, and debris management. Their service assisted over 560 individuals in the community.