Our heart almost went out to all the first responders who deployed themselves to help out in the aftermath of the Moore, Okla., tornado two weeks ago. Then we were appropriately reminded by a Fire Chief post that self-deployment can cause problems that disaster managers don’t need.
The right skills can come at the wrong time, in conflict with a plan that already exists, or that is still being shaped up. Self-deployed responders need quarters, food and direction that may already be in short supply. Sympathetic instincts curbed at a time of someone else’s crisis – until it’s known what their needs really are and how they’ll manage outside assistance – are the best kind.