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Professional first responders train constantly.
To be ready to do something under duress, practice is the key.
But how do volunteers “train” for community resilience? That is the question we sought to answer after the 2018 Debris Flow in Montecito.  Through our work, we discovered that community-building projects, conducted during non-emergency situations, were the perfect way to train volunteers – and especially volunteer leaders – for crisis deployment.

“How do you train someone to herd cats?”
– Not with a book.

Leading volunteers is a lot like herding cats:
Volunteers don’t have to do what you say, they can leave at any time and they are usually completely untrained in the task at-hand.

On the other hand, when motivated and organized, volunteers can perform incredible feats of community heroism in all types of environments – as was definitively demonstrated in 2018.

So how do we train volunteers and volunteer leaders at the Bucket Brigade? “Community Uplift Projects” or “CUP’s.”

CUP’s provide the Bucket Brigade  with opportunities to engage in real, physical projects using all of the deployment skills and techniques needed in a crisis-deployment; from planning and logistics, fundraising and deployment to heavy equipment operation and providing meals for volunteers — all of the key components are there to provide a safe, but effective, training opportunities.

The best part?
This training regimen results in real, visible community improvements.
We train in habitat restoration by restoring habitats.
We train in neighborhood restoration by restoring parts of neighborhoods.
Our approach is win-win,  zero waste and it keeps our staff and volunteer leaders sharp and ready for action in times of crisis.

This page is dedicated to the different community projects we have created to help build community in Santa Barbara County and to train volunteers and volunteer leaders .

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