While Team Rubicon (TR) and the American Red Cross have unique missions within the disaster response space, the partnership between our organizations has resulted in more efficient and more comprehensive support to communities affected by disasters. The Red Cross provides enabling resources such as blankets, cots, and meals for many Team Rubicon operations; and similarly, TR provides force multipliers for many Red Cross response efforts. Both are members of the National VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster).
A few examples of joint activities include:
- November 2012: Team Rubicon and the Red Cross partnered to organize and deliver Hurricane Sandy relief supplies to residents in Northern New Jersey.
- May 2014: The Red Cross helped TR establish a tornado response operation in Duanesburg, NY, and connected TR with additional resources throughout the operation.
- September 2015: TR helped the Red Cross conduct damage assessments of hundreds of homes in and around Middletown, CA, after the Northern California Valley Fire.
- January 2016: TR and the Red Cross partnered together to deliver potable water, filters, testing kits, and educational materials to affected populations throughout Flint, MI.
- November 2016: In partnership with the Red Cross, TR launched Operation Missing Lynx in response to the Yavapai County wildfire threats in Arizona.
- January 2017: TR launched Operation Rushing River to help the Red Cross conduct damage assessments in Guerneville, CA, in the wake of severe flooding.
- March 2017: TR partnered with the Red Cross and local fire departments across Region III to install free smoke detectors in neighborhoods that have the highest rates of home fire-related deaths. The multi-organization strike teams also helped citizens develop fire safety plans and educated them on fire hazards.
When TR volunteers encounter a community member with needs beyond the scope of the organization’s mission (e.g., sheltering, employment, medical care), they’re able to connect the individual with Red Cross caseworkers, who provide immediate emergency assistance to those affected by disaster through direct intervention and referrals to internal and external partners.
Operation Seymour Action – November 2016
During Operation Seymour Action, a veteran impacted by Hurricane Matthew contacted TR for social services assistance, which falls outside of the scope of TR’s operations. Volunteers met with the veteran at a local Red Cross shelter and highlighted the resources that Red Cross caseworkers could help him secure/navigate.
The Incident Commander and Public Information Officer on Op Seymour Action met with Red Cross shelter volunteers to exchange information (e.g., identification of damaged areas) and met with Red Cross leadership to discuss opportunities for future collaboration, including greater interoperability between both organizations’ situational awareness and disaster mapping technology platforms.
During this operation, TR also notified the Red Cross of a local food pantry that provided food free-of-charge to TR volunteers and community members. After Team Rubicon informed the Red Cross of the significant resources needed to sustain the food pantry’s operations, the Red Cross responded by delivering a large donation of non-perishable items and supplies to the food pantry.
When disaster strikes, many take action to address urgent needs within the affected community, those which cannot be fulfilled by any organization or entity alone. But when we maximize our resources and combine efforts in the field, the results and impact are optimized. Here’s to doing more good work together.