First GRRT Deployment

The first three months in Costa Rica were not that eventful. I was eagerly awaiting my first GRRT deployment with my team. As mentioned, I had a lot of planned LACRO trips, but those were still off in the distance. One can only do so much tourism while waiting and I was starting to get restless.

But then, just as I was planning a trip to Canada to finalize personal issues in March, 2011…a call. On March 11 at 1446 (JST) a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck just off the Japanese coast. Would this be my first deployment? While I was on stand-by, I flew to Canada to finalize things while waiting my orders.

On March 12 our team was officially stood down for any response. This was before the nuclear plants went down. As this Response was occurring in a World Vision Support Office country, it fell outside of WVI structures (e.g. does not fall into Asia region). Therefore, we needed to work with these realities and probably replace certain ‘usual’ functions e.g. Executive team, RHEAD role.

I was also slotted to go into Nepal the latter part of March for the RDMT, so Canada was a good place to hold up. My flights for Nepal were originally for March 20-April 1, 2011 from Toronto.

Prepositioning

On March 17 I was informed that I needed to fly to Singapore to support the response in Japan remotely. The mission was to get a protocol established to monitor and respond to radiation levels in field areas in Japan.

I arrived in Singapore on March 20 and stayed at the Village Changi Hotel. This hotel was fairly close to the World Vision office in Singapore. My stay in Singapore was not that long, departing on March 23 for Kathmandu, Nepal so that I could work in the RDMT.

Also while in Singapore, I worked on contingency plans, evacuation plans and security risk assessments. Although, my priorities were radiation protocols and weatherman. This is when I first learned that being in the GRRT meant wearing multiple hats.

Next Story – Nepal RDMT

Leave a Reply