At least, that’s what it feels like!!
No matter how significant the event or how much of a need we anticipate, SMART can actually only deploy when it is asked to do so, either by the state, local emergency management officials or by other organizations.
In a situation like Sandy, we started preparing days ahead of the storm so that we would be ready in the event that we were needed. Some of you responded immediately to that request, only to wait several days before we were able to let you know definitively if your services were needed.
While we do get back to everyone immediately with a “standby” notice, we may not actually know for quite some time if you will be deployed.
We know that it can be frustrating and, at times, can also be difficult to plan your life around the possibility of deployment. And we do appreciate your patience.
But this is also very much the name of the game in disaster response. We all line up available resources so that we’re ready to go if needed and then we just have to wait for the official word on how many people are actually needed, with what skills/experience and where.
So, for those of you who are new to SMART, be aware that this is part of the process and we will do everything we can to minimize the waiting time, but sometimes it’s just unavoidable.