Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast last week, inflicting record-breaking damage to an area unprepared to deal with the effects of a storm that typically hits farther south or in the gulf. Parts of New York, New Jersey and several other states are in such a state that the clean up and rebuilding process will take months or even years.
Thankfully, first responders from the area and nation-wide are donating their time and effort to help those in need. While you may be aware that organizations like The American Red Cross are making a big difference, you probably didn’t know that the veteran community is an essential part of helping the Northeast get back to normal.
A perfect example of the veteran community helping out is Team Rubicon. The team is a non-government organization made up of military veterans, medical professionals and first responders that deploy to disaster zones here at home and around the globe.
Six days after being called in to help, the group of more than 50 veterans was already busy saving people from flood waters, delivering emergency supplies and attending to the medical needs of evacuees. Since the storm, Team Rubicon has activated the available members of every region to further assist in the clean up process.
Although the destruction is vast, the team is responding by taking on the dirty work to allow even more disaster responders into the most badly damaged areas by clearing roads and neighborhoods. Each smaller job the team tackles is not only important to the affected individuals, but to the overall effort to get the region back to normal.
EMT Ryan Miller wrote about helping a 20-year veteran remove a large tree that had fallen on their home and the impact the project had on the neighborhood.
“One large tree had destroyed elements of three backyard fences and crossed the entire roof of a twenty-year army veteran, with several roof and wall penetrations. We winched off one broken branch to stabilize the tree, then moved to the roof to limb the tree… After removing the tree, we used the donated lumber and Home Depot tarps to cover the holes in the roof. Homeowners were extremely generous, offering bathrooms and coffee and inviting us to the neighborhood barbeque the following day.”
From the national guard being called in almost immediately after the storm to military airplanes carrying utility repair trucks to restore power to the area, the military and veterans have an important part in responding to this disaster and getting the most densely populated part of the country back on it’s feet.
How You Can Help
Donating to Team Rubicon and The American Red Cross is a great way to make sure these organizations have the resources they need to continue to help everyone affected. Additionally, you can help by reporting projects you think Team Rubicon can help with by visiting this link.
For info on finding help after natural disasters, check out: 5 Steps for VA Borrowers After Disaster.
Images courtesy of Team Rubicon