Team Rubicon will be coordinating volunteer efforts starting at 8 a.m. Saturday.
What volunteers can expect, Team Rubicon public liaison officer Wes Craiglow said at a press conference today, is to be registered as a volunteer, assigned to a team, and dispatched to their team’s worksite.
People who want to ask for help from Team Rubicon or have questions about joining a team can call the team’s Home Depot command center at 469 301-1865. Other command centers will be set up at Beryl Baptist Church in Vilonia (where volunteers have been checking in all week) and at Mayflower Outdoors at 57 Interstate Drive.
For volunteers who, for whatever reason, don’t need to be lifting and carrying debris there are lower-impact jobs to be done. But generally, volunteers need to be prepared for what Craiglow described as “vigorous physical activity.”
This means pants and boots. Anyone who “shows up with shorts and flip-flops” won’t be given access to damage areas. It is expected that people will want to bring chainsaws or other power tools. It will be up to Team Rubicon whether they will be allowed to use them for the obvious safety concerns. There will also be tools and equipment on hand donated by Home Depot and other organizations.
Volunteers who need or want a ride to the damage areas can be bussed from these command centers.
There will also be gloves and ear and eye protection available for people who can’t bring their own. Minors will be permitted on a work order only if accompanied by their parent, who will be asked to sign a waiver.
Also to keep in mind is that it’s supposed to be 90 degrees Saturday, Craiglow said.
On Saturday, volunteers numbering in the thousands are expected. They will be coming from across the state and surrounding states, Craiglow said. He asked for patience with vehicle and foot traffic, and added that the cleanup and recovery effort will last for weeks. If anyone wants to avoid the expected lines and crowds of this weekend’s massive volunteer effort, they’ll be appreciated and needed next week and in the weeks after.