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Hold Us Accountable

Team Rubicon owes a lot to our stakeholders — the communities we serve, our volunteers, donors, academics, journalists, the general public, and, most of all, our mothers (c’mon, where’d we be without them?) — who make this organization possible. We owe accountability, clarity, mission focus, and of course, measurable outcomes and impact. If we do it right, TR earns trust and support.

In our response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Harvey, we will do all we can to “do it right.” We’re going to share everything we possibly can about what we accomplished with your support. Hold us accountable.

Over the coming weeks, we’re going to share our approach to decision-making and measurement of outcomes. We know (and will never stop sharing) the feel-good stories that occur when a team of veterans and first responders help a survivor on their worst day. But feel-goods don’t drive our decisions — measurable outcomes do.

Team Rubicon takes data and data-based decisions seriously. We’ve built an organization on cloud-based systems that allow for much easier integration than traditional ones. That said, we’re still maximizing these systems to drive decisions.

We have an incredible number of corporate partners (from Palantir Technologies to Cornerstone on Demand to Google to Splunk to Everbridge, and many more). They are investing resources from services to money, as well as the time of incredibly talented employees. With their help, our aim is to assist disaster survivors at the highest quality possible as quickly as we can.

Hurricane Harvey came at Texas with complete disregard for humanity. We prepped as the storm approached. As officials asked for assistance in rescuing people from rising water, Jake Wood, our boss, asked, “Do we step up and get vetted teams in boats?” The answer was, “We’re already on it.” What we did next was something we’ve been building a deliberate approach towards – developing new ways to serve disaster-affected communities. The rest is now history, and we were fortunate to be able to assist 73 individuals get out of the water to safe ground.

Disaster response and recovery can be messy. There will be moments we rise to the occasion based on gut, intuition, and a call to action, but we strive to make our approach as clean as possible. And we want you to challenge it. Leaning into the next eight weeks, we’ll share both quantitative and qualitative data to provide insight into the key data points we’re using to drive our planning, execution, and monitoring of the services we’ll be providing to those affected by Harvey.

In the week since Harvey made landfall, generous donors have provided $3.7 million (as of Sept. 1) to drive our services from Corpus Christi to Lake Charles. Soon, we’ll begin to distribute key operational metrics, and finally, we’ll start to share what our plan will be for our long-term recovery efforts thru 2019.

We’re glad you’re here.

David Burke

David Burke, the Director of Field Operations, graduated from the University of Iowa where he majored in business, bicycle maintenance, and beer snobbery. He served just under 5 years in the Marine Corps as a logistics officer and he deployed to Iraq with RCT-8 and to Afghanistan with the 2d Marine Division. David finished active service as a Captain in Quantico, VA, supporting the M1A1 Tank and M88 Recovery Vehicle. After a short stint in consulting, David and his wife, Amanda, traveled the US logging 1000‰Ûªs of miles on the road and 100‰Ûªs with a backpack.