When Hurricane Katrina wiped out entire communities in one quick sweep, we were all shocked by the devastation. We were shocked perhaps even more though, when we realized people sat hungry, thirsty, exhausted, injured, suffering and even dying for days without help.
Katrina brought two difficult realities to light:
Those Both natural and human-inflicted disasters can still, even today, strike faster and stronger than we could ever imagine or prepare for.
That our government and relief organizations are not always equipped to move quickly and efficiently, leaving a large gap in disaster assistance that cannot be ignored.
How the operation developed:
Upon sight of the enormous devastation, and the subsequent delay in getting any relief to the victims via news sources, Lance recognized the need at hand and made the decision to move into action. He quickly began tapping local businesses and friends for supplies. A truck and trailer were soon loaded down with water, blankets, MREs (military meals), and other supplies deemed most immediately needed.
In the meantime, Lance had recruited the help of two others, his friend, a police officer and former Marine, and his father, a retired military officer and current RN. The plan was to enter and assist, without becoming part of the problem. The group had to decide which communities were hardest hit and still without help. They had to plan enough food and water to sustain themselves. Once onsite, they had to map out cleared routes for delivery. Limited fuel supply in the area meant that they had to plan for enough fuel to return once supplies were delivered.
The trip to Pass Christian was a successful effort. Half the supplies were dropped at the local fire station, one of the few buildings left undamaged and serving as central headquarters. The group hand-delivered the other half. They gathered information along the way about the location of elderly, handicapped or children who may not be able to find assistance. Perhaps it was a small effort — only a few people and one truck, after all — but it was a tremendous effort for those who were still days away from any kind of assistance from large relief organizations. It was a small injection of life blood (Impact Assistance) to hold them over until major long-term relief arrived.
On the way back, tired and dirty but extremely rewarded by the experience, the discussion invariably fell to the challenges of our modern disaster relief capabilities. As Lance discussed his desire to help more in the future, the Sheep Dog concept began to take shape. Now Sheep Dog IA has come to fruition. It is an organization forming around the skill sets of military, law enforcement, fire, EMS and other emergency personnel. These are people with the desire to help their community…and the training to do so efficiently.
Our Three-Part Mission:
1) Assisting Sheepdogs in Need
Sometimes society’s helpers need help themselves. An injury sustained in the line of duty, a family hardship, an unexpected financial crisis, needs due to deployments, whatever the unique case may be… the Assisting Sheep Dog’s in Need mission is to help the “sheep dogs” of our communities when they need it most.
2) Disaster Relief
As became evident during September 11th, 2001, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, our federal & local governments and relief organizations are not always equipped or prepared for such unexpected and widespread devastation. SDIA’s aim is to bypass the slow-moving bureaucracy and red tape of larger organizations. Instead, its strength lies in small, localized, independent chapters made up of those already trained and ready to help: your community’s current and former military, emergency and law enforcement personnel.
3) Survival Tips & Disaster Preparedness Information
To help educate our communities about the men and women who serve and protect us on a daily basis, and share information about disaster preparedness so families can be better prepared. Too many people lack a basic understanding of how to survive in a disaster situation. Our website was created to provide information on Sheep Dog and how people can support us, but just as important is the need to share and provide basic and detailed information on Survival and Disaster Preparedness.
Sheep Dog Impact Assistance Founder:
SgtMaj Lance Nutt was sworn into the Marine Corps by his father, a retired Marine Corps Naval Aviator, in 1988. Early in his career and As a young Marine, Lance deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield/Storm. After Desert Storm, Lance attended the Univ. of Arkansas at Monticello for four years where he pursued a dual major in business management and communication. He returned to the Corps in 1995, serving as a Marine Recruiter until 2000.
Lance was recruited out of the Marine Corps in 2000 to manage corporate sales for major retail marketing companies in northwest Arkansas. In 2002, and with the War on Terror in full swing, Lance found himself longing to serve again. He joined 3rd Battalion, 24th Marines in 2003 and immediately found himself gearing up for a combat tour in Iraq. Lance served in Iraq with 3/24 in 2004, 2009 & 2010. He is currently serving as the Sergeant Major of 4th Force Reconnaissance Company, headquartered in Alameda, CA.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Lance felt compelled to use his military training and experience to help others in need. Along with the support of friends and family, he led an independent relief effort straight into the heart of the Katrina aftermath. The experience of helping others during Hurricane Katrina eventually led Lance to found Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA). Inspired by a desire to continue serving his country beyond the Corps, and knowing that others like him, fellow “Sheep Dogs”, needed an outlet for continued service, Lance built the foundation for SDIA.