How to Volunteer in Kentucky

Julie H. Case

Thousands of flood survivors in Appalachia still need assistance. Here’s how to sign up and serve Kentucky, now. Plus: Answers to volunteering questions.

In the early morning of July 28, 2022, devastating flooding swept Eastern Kentucky wiping out bridges and roads, destroying houses, and displacing thousands from their homes. Nearly a month later, thousands of flood survivors are still awaiting assistance. 

Even as volunteers in Kentucky have been mucking homes as quickly as they can, thousands of homes still need urgent repair help. In fact, as of August 22, more than 1,110 requests for assistance remained unfulfilled. 

To meet those needs, Team Rubicon is putting more volunteer boots on the ground in Kentucky and recruiting more volunteers to stand up and serve. 

How to Volunteer in Kentucky

Whether you need to register to volunteer with Team Rubicon or are a longtime Greyshirt looking to deploy, here’s how to sign up to help flood victims now. Plus, answers to some burning questions.

Become a Team Rubicon Volunteer

If you’re not already a Greyshirt—a Team Rubicon volunteer—it’s easy to register to become one. 

Step 1: Register to Volunteer

Simply click here to register using your email address and phone number. We’ll also want a street address so we know where to deploy you from. 

Step 2: Complete Your Deployment Profile

Once registered, you will receive an email with this link to create your deployment profile. You’ll need to log in with the password you set while registering.

By the way, welcome to Roll Call! Roll Call is where you’ll find trainings, calls to register for disaster relief operations, and more. 

Step 3: Complete Your Background Check

Team Rubicon’s background check policy is to ensure a safe operating environment for our team members and the communities we serve. Background checks typically take 15 days to complete, but due to the urgent need to serve Kentucky, Team Rubicon is expediting the process as much as possible. Know that Team Rubicon is processing them as quickly as possible and working to prioritize in order to get people out quickly.

To complete your background check simply login to Roll Call, click on your name in the upper righthand corner of the page, then click on the status of your background check. 

Step 4: Complete TR101: Step Into the Grey 

While we await the results of your background check (the status will read “In-Process”) take a few minutes to complete the online training TR101, Step into the Grey. Step into the Grey is Team Rubicon’s introductory six-part training series that takes approximately 40 minutes to complete. The course will cover the history of Team Rubicon, how best to prepare for a deployment, safety protocols, what to expect when you deploy, and what to expect after a deployment.

To enroll in TR101, click on your name in the upper righthand corner of Roll Call, then click on “take it” next to TR101. 

Step 5: Open that Text or Email and Register for an Operation

Once your profile is complete you will begin receiving texts and/or emails inviting you to deploy on operations. Simply click through to register your availability, then pack your Go Bag and prepare to deploy. 

How Greyshirts Can Volunteer in Kentucky

Already a registered volunteer? Pack your Go Bag, it’s time to serve Kentucky, Greyshirt. Register here to serve Kentucky now

Greyshirts who previously registered to deploy to Kentucky should update their availability, now. While operations in Clay and Perry counties are currently demobilized, operations in Letcher County have extended through at least the end of September. 

Have other questions about becoming a Greyshirt or helping flood victims in Kentucky? Check out answers to these FAQs. 

Do I Have To Be a Veteran to Volunteer with Team Rubicon?

No military experience is needed to become a Greyshirt. Team Rubicon may be a veteran-led organization, but anyone can serve. 

Do I Have To Be Vaccinated?

Yes. In order to deploy on any operation, volunteers must be fully vaccinated. 

As you complete your profile in Roll Call, you’ll see several sections on the left menu bar that need your attention. One of those is your COVID-19 vaccine information. Please complete this information if you want to serve in Kentucky.   

If I Volunteer in Kentucky, What Will I Do?  

The biggest need in Kentucky at this moment is helping clean out flooded homes, so survivors can return to them safely. 

At Team Rubicon, we call these muck outs. 

A muck out is the first step in flood recovery. During muck outs, Greyshirts assist with interior debris removal—everything from shoveling out mud to tearing up carpet to pulling out soaked furniture. Volunteers also often take down drywall that has been breached in the flood and pull up flooring. Then, they allow the house to dry out so that a contractor can come in and refurbish. 

If you’re volunteering to help flood victims, prepare to mop, muck, demolish, and remove debris. You’ll love it.    

Do I Need to Buy My Own Plane Ticket or Gas To Travel to the Operation?  

Volunteers who live more than 450 miles from Letcher County, KY, will be deployed to the operation on flight waves. If you’re flying to an operation site, Team Rubicon will provide a plane ticket for you. Do not buy your own airfare. Flights are either donated by an airline or purchased by our Mobilization Team. All you have to worry about on deployment day is your Go Bag.  

If you’re within driving distance of an operation, Team Rubicon will reimburse you for your miles.  

Do I Need Health Insurance To Serve in Kentucky?  

Yes. Team Rubicon requires Greyshirts to carry health insurance before deploying for an operation of any kind (resettlement, mitigation, response, or recovery). Disaster response and prevention can be risky. The best way to protect yourself during an operation is to make sure you can access emergency healthcare when you need it. 

How Long Will I Serve? 

Currently, Team Rubicon is deploying volunteers to Kentucky for three full-week stints—Sept. 9–15; Sept. 15–21; and Sept. 21–27. 

For this operation, Team Rubicon is also mobilizing Greyshirts for some shorter five-day deployments: Aug. 29 through Sept. 2; Sept. 5–9; Sept. 12–16, and Sept. 19–23.

Before you sign up for an operation, make sure that you’re available for all the days outlined. While we may not need you for all operation days, it’s imperative that your schedule is open so that we can plan our mobilization efforts as quickly as possible. 

How Long Should I Wait for Confirmation After Signing Up for an Operation?  

While it may take a few days to determine if you fit into the next deployment wave, you will receive confirmation of your deployment at a minimum of 48 hours before your first listed day of availability.

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