CB2: Oil Spill Heroes and a Personal Update

A Shout-out to Heroes

With all the talk of heroes on GovLoop, I thought it would be cool to highlight some of the real heroes in this oil spill: the National Guard and Coast Guard. Over 2,000 of these men and women have dropped everything to work around the clock protecting our coast and wildlife from the threat of oil.

Sleeping in bunk trailers, working long days in the sand and hot sun, then getting up to do it all over again is the story you’re not seeing in the news. I’ve never heard them complain (aside from food) nor slack off on the job. They’re hard working, friendly, funny, and keep me pumped full of Gatorade.
So please remember these great folks protecting our home, and never pass on a chance to thank a soldier.
A Personal Update
Over this past week I’ve seen an amazing cleanup effort on Grand Isle and Elmer’s Island, Louisiana. As we were completing the construction of over 8 miles of Tiger Dam, cleanup crews were shoveling and skimming oil from the waters and beaches. It’s far from all gone, but no longer is there thick, heavy oil in these areas.
In the weeks ahead I will focus more on what we’re calling nearshore oil vacuuming, a process where we can use small boats to vacuum oil directly into the Tiger Dams. Unlike large barges carrying big vacuum trucks, we will be able to get into the shallow, sensitive marshlands to remove the oil. It started a an idea of “Cajun Ingenuity” and has evolved quickly. I hope to bring this technology to my home state of Florida as well.
Here are some of my best pictures taken recently:

Website(s) of the Week: Where to Volunteer

Preparedness Tip of the Week

Myth buster: Taping your windows does nothing to improve their strength. It just creates one hell of a mess when you try to get them off.

Question of the week
I’m stealing this question from CNN, admittedly. In a prior CB2 blog I made the point that since the oil spill presents no immediate threat to the everyday person’s survival, property, ability to communicate, or his fulfill basic needs, we don’t care about it “as much” on a whole as other large-scale disasters. Agree or not, I believe this poll reflects that.
So, would YOU donate time or money to help fight the Gulf oil disaster? Why or why not?

Factoid About Me
I look damn sexy vacuuming oil in rubber hip waders with red suspenders in 99 degree heat.

Read Last Week’s CB2: CB2: Did Obama make you feel better?.

About Chris Bennett – CB2 (Chris Bennett’s Crisis Blog)

Chris Bennett is a self-proclaimed emergency management innovator who is trying to make government better by improving citizen preparedness and crisis communications. He’s a graduate of Wharton with a master’s from Harvard with in “Technology, Innovation, Education.” His portfolio of companies and former projects include OneStorm Hurricane Preparedness, ReadyTown, GovLive, TexasPrepares and America’s Emergency Network. Chris was the recipient of FL Governor Crist’s 2008 Public Information Award. He lives in St. Petersburg, FL, loves to fish, and has been spotted sharing a pint with GovLoop Founder Steve Ressler in Tampa.

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You beat me to this post – I have one thanking all of the responders in the hopper – I’m a few behind because my first week has been so busy I usually just make it back to my room in time to crash!

Andrew Krzmarzick

Like Sara, despite the pictures, this post gave me hope – hats off to the Coast Guard and National Guard…and I’m really encouraged by the clean-up results in Grand Isle and Elmer’s Island.

Thanks for keeping us posted…and, for goodness sakes, get some red rubber boots to match those suspenders. 🙂

Kathleen Smith

Chris, thanks for the great post and giving us hope in the human spirit. We sometimes get lost in all the negativity and forget that we can all make our own differences without waiting for “someone” else to take the lead.
And yes you do look “good” in your waders doing the vacuuming.

Brian Bovaird

Chris, Awesome pics! I would love to here more about the clean up efforts from your perspective, and more on exactly what you are doing.