The Cajun Navy was a citizen-led, crowd sourced relief effort enabled by mobile and internet technology. And because of that it is not bound by geographic constraints. It can be repeated anywhere you have a need that must be met.

While original Cajun Navy groups consisted of Louisiana citizens that formed in response to 2016’s Louisiana flooding, the Cajun Relief Foundation proved the model could be duplicated by successfully creating the Texas Navy in response to Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and the FT, (Florida Team), during Hurricane Irma.

The key to the success of a crowd based rescue system consists of two different groups. One group requires tech savvy citizens who use social media to accept internet based help requests. And it requires another group who are on the scene and willing to be physically dispatched to meet the need. So while the world only really knows about the rescuers on the ground they don’t know there is a group of tech savvy citizens dispatching them. And the truth is you really can’t have one without the other.

We are the founders of the Cajun Relief Foundation and we were the team that co-engineered the first Cajun Navy from behind the scenes. In the first days of our involvement with the Cajun Navy it became clear to us that this new model was a form of organic rescue where some concerned citizens would gather online and some of them with rescue equipment on the ground, To carry this idea beyond the Cajun Navy the team at the Cajun Relief Foundation created CrowdRelief located at CrowdRelief.net. The platform is designed to enable the social media techies and the rescuers to work together. They collaborate using CrowdRelief to provide rescue and long term relief not only during but also in the aftermath of a disaster. And it can work anywhere citizens want to gather to help their own community.

In the early days of the Cajun Navy we realized all of this was a form of a crowd working together to bring relief. So we created a concept based on it called, well, CrowdRelief.

We envision CrowdRelief as a web and mobile platform for non-profits and citizens to collaborate on urgent rescue and long term recovery.

CrowdRelief technology allows anyone to play a role in a disaster or just help their neighbor from anywhere in the country and even in other countries. If you are in the geographic area of a disaster you can participate in the direct rescues. If you are not in the immediate area you can still participate through the internet and mobile technologies by gathering information and coordinating the rescuers. After the rescues are done, various features for citizens to work together to bring long term relief are being developed into the CrowdRelief platform.

We proved with the Cajun Navy that positioning technology for engaging local citizens during a disaster is faster, more effective and costs much less than waiting for relief from an outside organization. CrowdRelief also carries that same knowledge over to long-term recovery efforts. CrowdRelief efficiently leverages local compassion. This makes it a highly efficient platform for any community or non-profit to use every day and of course, for those affected by disasters.

Basically CrowdRelief engages communities and empowers local residents to invest time and money in their own neighborhoods.