Cajun Navy Ground Force is grateful to have such an outpouring of support in Rolling Fork, Mississippi when we need them the most. For the past couple of weeks, dozens of citizen volunteers have put their lives on pause to lend a hand at our SAFE Camp. We have been able to feed hundreds of disaster survivors each day and help many elderly and disabled people of Rolling Fork with debris cleanup, thanks to these kindhearted people. We have accomplished a lot in a short time, but there is still work to do.
On March 24, 2023, just after 8:00 p.m. CDT, a sizable EF-4 wedge tornado struck the town of Rolling Fork, which houses about 2,000 residents. The National Weather Service issued a tornado emergency as the storm wreaked havoc on the community, with most of the buildings in the small business district damaged or destroyed. The local water tower was blown over, two grain trucks were thrust into each other, power lines fell, and trees were uprooted. Sixteen people lost their lives from the tornado in the towns of Rolling Fork, nearby Midnight, and Siler City. At least 15 more people in the same area were injured.
Not only have Cajun Navy Ground Force volunteers served as a huge asset in our efforts, but our partnering organizations have really stepped up, as well. Volunteers with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints joined forces with us last weekend to help with debris cleanup in Rolling Fork caused by an EF-4 tornado. Volunteer Mississippi met up with us at our SAFE Camp, a place for volunteers and organizations to gather to bring swift intervention to those who need it the most – the elderly and disabled victims of the natural disaster. We have also been collaborating with MEMA (Mississippi Emergency Management Agency) to drive relief efforts in the area.
While these volunteers have been hard at work in Rolling Fork, another Cajun Navy Ground Force Team has been busy meeting with other disaster relief organizations at the National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans. The conference is held annually to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation in order to save lives and property. It also serves as a national forum for federal, state, and local officials to exchange ideas and to recommend new policies to improve emergency management. The conference emphasizes lessons learned from hurricane strikes, state-of-the-art programs worthy of emulation, new ideas being tested, and information about new or ongoing assistance programs. By meeting with the best of the best in disaster intervention, our team is forming critical alliances for future collaborations.
While many of our volunteers work on the ground, others work remotely. Our Remote Team members provide essential dispatch, technology, marketing and logistics support from an offsite location. These roles vary, but their jobs require them to provide critical information and oversight to the entire operation. They might be in constant communication with our teams, Incident Commanders, SAFE Camp Director and Local Community Caretaker Volunteers. Our Remote Team operations are broadcast on the Zello Channel, Cajun Navy Disaster Response.
Cajun Navy Ground Force is always looking for volunteers who are willing to give an hour, a day, a week, or any amount of time that fits into their schedule. If you have a heart for helping others, reach out to us and we will find a role that works for you!
Become a volunteer by visiting https://gocajunnavy.org/.
Give at https://give.GoCajunNavy.org/
Find us on Zello: https://zello.com/channels/s?name=Cajun%20Navy%20Disaster%20Response