Overland Expo East 2017

* Talking to Mr. Cagle about the impact HAM radio can make in the overland community.

Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Maria and now Nate have made for an incredibly busy hurricane season for the Atlantic and Caribbean basin. The other side to the devastation it has caused has been the ability to take note of some of the gaps that still exist within emergency management community, and Overland Expo East exposed us to groups of people who were able to elaborate on those gaps. Our mission is to aid in filling some of those gaps by working alongside first responders, and by filling in the void that tends to exist with larger organizations such as FEMA with regard to getting boots on the ground.

  • Jim listening to this gentleman detail his trip to Alaska to bring awareness to suicide within the EMT/Fire Rescue community. One of the many profound stories heard over the weekend.

In getting this message out to those who stopped by our tent at Expo, we were given a lot of feedback from individuals who have a background in emergency management, and will use this message to perfect our game plan when we organize teams. One of the main points that seemed prevalent throughout our conversations was the need to bring a medical focus to the overland community. Our requirement for volunteers to enroll in a first aid course isn’t to simply have something that will sound good in conversation, but rather something that people can count on if and when needed. Our hope is that once this basic course is out of the way it will spark an interest to pursue additional training that can serve the community, whether responding to an natural disaster or walking a trail, these skills can mean the difference between life or death. We thoroughly enjoyed the people met, and the conversations had at Overland Expo and look forward to applying the advice and stories to our mission. However, we have to admit that while the days conversation focused primarily on our story and listening to others experiences related to disaster relief or the medical field, there was plenty of time to talk to people about their vehicles and stories from the road. I had the chance to meet a lot of great people, some of which who had school buses, Wranglers with pop tops Land Rovers and much more. Some people look at Overland Expo as a place to get depressed because of their inability to build their vehicles out in the same manner as they see others, but I see it as a great place to get ideas for the DIY’er and to have genuine conversation with genuine people.

  • The “Overlanders” kitchen wouldn’t be complete without a slide out cook partner and Engel Fridge, and we can’t forget a cold beer to make the camp stories even more elaborate.

Over the months, we’ll be offering training that focuses on vehicle recovery, wilderness first aid, and HAM radio, and we look forward to hearing your feedback on the training. Additionally, being a volunteer based organization, we rely on the feedback from you all to improve and facilitate training you feel is prudent to not only overlanders but the disaster aid community. Please let us know what role you’d like to see OERNET play in your area. For those in the Carolinas and Southeast, be sure to check out our upcoming event in Marion, NC on November 10th-12th https://www.oernet.org/event/professional-development-workshop/ which also happens to coincide with the Gambler 500 in Portland in which OERNet is the official recovery provider – https://www.oernet.org/event/gambler-500-winter-wonderland-recovery-teams/ .

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