From the CAP archives:
Aerial reconnaissance and photography of disaster areas is one of the high tech services CAP provides to the nation.
In 1993 CAP covered the Missouri floods, in 2001, Civil Air Patrol documented the devastation following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2002, CAP provided aerial security over the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tested the abilities of numerous agencies. CAP pilots flew over 670 missions in support of the relief efforts. CAP ground team members spent countless hours locating ELTs on boats and going door-to-door searching for stranded citizens.
The California Wildfires in 2007 brought CAP members out again as they searched for stranded residents, staffed command centers, and provided aerial documentation of the aftermath. In 2010, CAP responded to the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster along the Gulf Coast and in 2012 responded to Hurricane Sandy which devastated the Northeast; many members responding were also severely affected by the storm, but continued to serve their neighbors.
Every year, CAP performs approximately 95% of inland aerial search and rescue missions as directed by the USAF. Searching for missing airplanes and lost hikers, CAP saves roughly 100 lives every year. Three of the most covered searches in the last decade profiled CAP’s capability to conduct searches over an extensive area while coordinating with multiple other agencies.
In 1999, CAP assisted with the search for John F. Kennedy Jr.’s airplane, which crashed at sea off the Massachusetts coast. In February 2003, the nation watched while CAP, the USAF, and several other agencies searched for wreckage from the space shuttle Columbia. The disappearance of famous aviation pioneer and millionaire Steve Fossett in September 2007 led to the largest search in CAP history involving several CAP wings and lasting nearly a month.