Civil Air Patrol volunteers train in Johnson County to respond to disasters
IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - This weekend, the volunteer group Iowa Civil Air Patrol trained in Johnson County to prepare for any type of event.
During disasters, the group gets called out to help document the damage or locate lost items.
“Any type of damage by natural causes, we’re able to go out and assist with the emergency management community,” First Lt. Anthony Doremus said.
The training was put to use during the August 2020 derecho to capture a sense of the massive storm’s destruction.
“I was at my house when the storm blew through, and myself and many of our members responded to the disaster,” Cmdr. Jonathan Lartigue said.
Lartigue said 10 pilots captured 4,500 photos of the damage, which helped secure Federal Emergency Management Agency funding and declare a natural disaster.
“These young men and women are out here learning a craft and learning how to respond to a crisis in our community or across the state,” Doremus said.
Lartigue said the training this weekend was needed because it wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when the next disaster would happen.
“I hope we don’t see it again soon, but seeing that damage from the air, and tarps still wrapped on roofs two years later, it doesn’t take much imagination to tell when a community has seen hardship,” Lartigue said.
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