What is the Cajun Navy, and what makes them so different?

What is the Cajun Navy?

The Cajun Navy is a volunteer emergency response group that was established after Hurricane Katrina. We are primarily focused on search and rescue and provide relief for those in need of food supplies and medical care.

We have organized rescue operations for every major storm and flood since and continue to do so.

What makes us so different from other groups is our focus on providing immediate help to those impacted by natural disasters instead of tracking the impact over time.

We do this by using our Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds to communicate with those stranded, injured, or otherwise in need of help.

Interested in joining the Cajun Navy? Click the link to learn how you can.

History of The Cajun Navy

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it became clear that hurricanes were a grim reality for many Southerners.  Let’s face it, hurricanes and other natural disasters are terrifying realities for so many people living in the South.

For this reason, Louisiana residents banded together to form a group that would help those affected by natural disasters and provides relief as soon as possible.

french quarter in new orleans during hurricane katrina flood

So after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, local men took to boats and began patrolling the waterways of New Orleans to rescue people trapped by rising waters. They called themselves the Cajun Navy.

At first, the Cajun Navy was made up of friends and family members. They had no formal training but simply knew how to get around in boats, knew their way around local waterways, and could navigate debris to help those stranded by flooding.

But soon, it became clear that the group needed more support and structure.

Groups like Cajun Navy 2016 dedicated their time to training and began requiring their volunteers to take NIMS training.

What training do Cajun Navy 2016 members have?

Responding to a disaster requires a lot of coordination, training, and preparedness. To provide relief as quickly as possible, the Cajun Navy 2016 made sure that their volunteers were trained in FEMA’s National Incident Management System.

The training required to be a member of the Cajun Navy 2016 includes:

IS-100.C: Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS 100

The ICS 100, Introduction to the Incident Command System, provides responders with a foundation for higher-level training.

This course describes how history has shaped modern-day incident management systems and principles upon which they are based and provides relief as quickly as possible and organizational structure in an effortless way so that even those without any experience will be able to understand it all after just one lecture!

IS-200.C: Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response

The IS-200 course is a requirement for those working in emergency management. FEMA developed this training to help individuals and responders who want to work in emergency management get a foundation of the skills they need.

This training teaches responders how to establish an incident command system during emergencies as well as offer guidance on handling various incidents that may arise at their location; it also contains valuable information about what steps need to be taken before deploying into dangerous environments like hurricanes, fires, etc.

IS-700.B: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System

The IS-700.B is a certification required by the Department of Homeland Security for those who want to work as emergency managers and responders.  It’s also a requirement before attending the more advanced courses that focus on higher-level NIMS training.

This training teaches future responders about their roles and responsibilities in regards to the NIMS and how to recognize potential threats around them and what should be done if a disaster strikes.

IS-800.C: National Response Framework, an Introduction

The IS-800 course introduces participants to the concepts and principles of a National Response Framework. 

This training teaches responders about the National Response Framework, actions that support a national response, individual roles, how to integrate communication into response operations, and many more.

Notable Achievements and Responses

Because of our efforts in past disasters, the Cajun Navy 2016 gained a great deal of recognition.

In March 2019, Cajun Navy 2016 was recognized by President Donald Trump during a ceremony honoring the World Series Champion Houston Astros.

john and laurie bridgers of cajun navy 2016 with president trump

He called this volunteer organization, “incredible,” and named 6 of the organization’s volunteers “Heroes of the Game.”

The Cajun Navy 2016 has been a part of much greater relief efforts, such as Hurricane Harvey.  There, we helped save over 3,000 people from flooding and quickly became a crucial part of those struggling in their homes.

Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Laura 

These two storms made sure that everyone knew who the Cajun Navy 2016 was.

Because of our trained volunteers helping with rescue efforts, donated supplies bought from those who care about their mission, and support from others who have been positively impacted by the Cajun Navy 2016’s actions, we have continued to help many across the country.

Louisiana Flood of 2016

The Great Flood of 2016 hit Cajun Navy 2016 in our own backyard.

It is estimated that this flood damaged over 40,000 houses. 

Cajun Navy 2016 was one of the first volunteer organizations on the scene following these floods, offering free rescue services to those who needed it most.

Gary Sinise Foundation Donation

In early 2021, in an effort to help first responders better prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, the Gary Sinise Foundation has invested in ten Cajun Navy 2016 volunteers who are attending a swift water rescue awareness course hosted by Gulf State Dive and Rescue.

Community Involvement

The Cajun Navy 2016 is very active in our communities, working hard to ensure everyone is safe.

louisiana christmas ladder

We believe that people make communities what they are, and the Cajun Navy 2016 wants to ensure our community is always safe.

This volunteer relief effort takes both time and money to maintain; this means that donations play a big part in helping them do their job promptly.

Cajun Navy 2016 also provides Holiday meals, toys, medical supplies, and more. 

Whether it’s life-saving rescues or just a friendly smile, the Cajun Navy 2016 is always there to lend a hand.

What Can You Do To Help?

There are several ways you can help support this critical mission.

Volunteer: Volunteering your time and efforts is a great way to help those who need it most.

Share: If you believe in what the Cajun Navy 2016 is doing, share our story on Social Media.

Donate: Every dollar helps this volunteer relief effort do more good for those who need it most.

You can make a donation by clicking on the image below:

As you can see, the Cajun Navy 2016 works tirelessly to provide relief to those in need.  You don’t have to live in Louisiana or the surrounding area to help out this volunteer organization; you just have to take a few minutes of your time and be kind to others!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who started the Cajun Navy?

No one person can take claim for starting the Cajun Navy.   It’s a movement, not a person.

When did the Cajun Navy start?

The Cajun Navy started in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was founded by a group of volunteers and sportsmen who wanted to help out their fellow neighbors during times of crisis.

Is Cajun Navy 2016 legit?

Absolutely!  You can view our profile on Charity Navigator to learn more about our organization.

What is the original Cajun Navy?

Many organizations popped up bearing the Cajun Navy name, and there is no “official” one. Still, as we noted earlier,  Cajun Navy 2016 is the most notable and recognized by both the White House and the Discovery Channel (who did a series on us).

Can I join the Cajun Navy?

You don’t have to be Cajun to join the Cajun Navy.   Anyone who has a good heart and wants to help during times of crisis can join by filling out an application on our website.

How do I get help from Cajun Navy?

The Cajun Navy provides emergency assistance in the event of a natural disaster. The Cajun Navy’s primary goal is to provide emergency relief and supplies for victims of natural disasters. 

We’re currently developing an application for this, but if you need urgent assistance, you can call 833.225.8616

Does Cajun Navy 2016 have an online store?

Yes!  You can shop our merchandise by visiting our shop.

Help Support the Cajun Navy

Donate to the Cajun Navy to help us provide life-saving efforts to victims natural disasters.

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