Clint L. Sanchez is the founder of BlakSheep Creative, a digital marketing and web development agency in Denham Springs. In the aftermath of the August 2016 flood, he partnered with Pinnacle Search and Rescue, also known as the Cajun Navy 2016, to develop a website and social media strategy for the organization.
In this interview, Sanchez discusses the role of technology in search and rescue efforts and how the Cajun Navy 2016 used it to their advantage.
How did you first get involved with Pinnacle Search and Rescue?
I got involved with Pinnacle Search and Rescue after the August 2016 flood. My house here in Denham Springs took on 18 inches of water. Fortunately, we made it out on our own, but Pinnacle Search and Rescue was instrumental in helping many of our neighbors who were not as fortunate.
After the flood, I reached out to Pinnacle Search and Rescue to see how I could help. They didn’t have a website or any real social media presence, so I offered to help.
What role do you think technology played in search and rescue efforts?
Technology was essential in their search and rescue efforts. The Cajun Navy 2016 used social media to coordinate their efforts and let people know where they were needed. They also used technology to map out areas that had been flooded and identify potential hazards.
Do you think the Cajun Navy 2016 would have been as effective without technology?
I don’t think the Cajun Navy 2016 would have been nearly as effective without technology. Technology played a vital role in coordinating their efforts and getting the word out about where they were needed. It also helped them to stay safe by identifying potential hazards.
Don’t get me wrong, their volunteers are amazing, and they would have helped as many people as possible without technology. Still, I think technology played a significant role in their success.
What advice would you give to other organizations using technology in search and rescue efforts?
My advice would be to make sure you have a good plan in place before you start using technology. It’s also essential to have someone familiar with the technology who can troubleshoot if something goes wrong.
What are some examples of technology that you think are essential for search and rescue efforts?
Some examples of technology for search and rescue efforts are social media, mapping tools, and GPS. Social media can coordinate efforts and get the word out about where help is needed. Mapping tools can identify flooded areas and hazards. GPS can track the location of volunteers and make sure they stay safe.
What about drones?
While BlakSheep Creative didn’t utilize drones in our work with Pinnacle Search and Rescue, I think they could be a valuable tool in search and rescue efforts.
Drones can quickly survey an area and identify potential hazards or areas that need to be searched.
What’s one of the most memorable moments from working with Pinnacle Search and Rescue?
One of the most memorable moments for me was seeing the Cajun Navy 2016 in action. They are an amazing group of people who are willing to drop everything and help those in need. It was really inspirational to see them in action, and I’m honored to have been able to work with them.
Tell us one thing people might not know about Pinnacle Search and Rescue.
One thing that most people may not realize is that they are the original Cajun Navy. There are dozens of other groups that use the name, some plagued by bad PR and scandals, but Pinnacle Search and Rescue is the original Cajun Navy. They are a group of trained, experienced, and dedicated individuals who are ready to help at a moment’s notice.
They were actually invited to the White House by President Trump (love him or hate him). The Houston Astros also invited them to show appreciation for their efforts during the Hurricane Harvey disaster and recovery.
What’s your proudest technological achievement that you’ve been a part of with PSAR?
My proudest technological achievement is a custom integration we did with their website and Slack. When people in distress would complete, we created a form that would use Zapier to send a message to a Slack channel.
This helped the incident commanders prioritize who needed help and where they were. We were able to get it done in a day, and it was a massive help to them.
Clint L. Sanchez is the founder and CEO of BlakSheep Creative, a digital marketing and web development agency in Denham Springs. He has over 20 years of experience in the industry.
If you’re looking for a partner for your next digital marketing or web development project, reach out to BlakSheep Creative. Visit their website at https://blaksheepcreative.com or call them at (225) 505-3834.
Pinnacle Search and Rescue, also known as the Cajun Navy 2016, is a 100% volunteer-based organization dedicated to helping those in need. They are the original Cajun Navy and were founded in 2016 in response to the August 2016 flood.
If you would like to get involved or support Pinnacle Search and Rescue, you can find them at https://pinnaclesar.org/ or 833.225.8616. You can also follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cajunnavy2016.org and https://www.facebook.com/pinnaclesearchandrescue.