BEAUMONT, Texas — As Tropical Storm Barry makes its way to Louisiana, the Cajun Navy South Texas is preparing to follow it. Todd Breland started the south Texas chapter three years ago. They're classified as an "unincorporated not for profit association with the state of Texas, that aids with disaster relief."
The group of about 100 has 30 members committed and ready to help with high water rescues, if needed.
"There are lives at risk, there are families who are having a really bad day, and if I can help provide some relief and take people to higher ground, then we've done our part and I sleep well," Breland said.
The group is made up of business men, journalists, veterans, educators, and everything in between. They typically offer relief in Texas, but Breland grew up in Lousiana, and with family still in the area, Tropical Storm Barry is personal to him.
"We are just a group of civilian volunteers, who are available to help local authorities, whether it be in Texas, anywhere in Texas, and this storm, Barry, hit home because I am from that area," Breland said.
Breland said he's completed about 100 hours of training, both online and in the field. The Cajun Navy helps with high water rescues, dispatch, transport, delivering supplies to victims, and rebuilding. They also help rescue pets.One of their most important jobs, according to Breland, controlling chaos. For now, all the group can do is wait for the call to action.
"Chaos can be added to an already chaotic situation if renegades are trying to help, but doing more harm than good."
Breland said if they're needed, local authorities will give them a call. They bring volunteers and boats to the hardest hit areas.
If you'd like to help their efforts, Breland asks first for prayers and good thoughts. They're also looking for volunteers, avid boaters who are physically capable of transporting people to higher ground.
The Cajun Navy South Texas does not accept monetary donations. However, they do take relief supplies. They can be sent to Cajun Navy South Texas, Attention: Driveline owner Trevor Huston. The address is 143 US-83, Alamo, TX. 78516.
Supplies can also be dropped off at Gator Country.
"If we are able and capable to bring people to safety, we're going to do that until our last breath."