Team Rubicon Volunteer

I recently joined this organization that specializes in Disaster Relief work. Team Rubicon provides free assistance with disaster cleanup work. They do not rebuild anything but help people get their home ready for rebuilding.

22-23 June 2019 I traveled to Portersville, PA to take Sawyer 1 (chainsaw) training.

In order to be on a Team Rubicon chainsaw crew you must take their training. Mission accomplished. I drove out from NH and on the way spent two nights in Gettysburg and saw the museum and battlefields. I also say Eisenhower’s Farm and the Spangler Farm which was a field hospital that treated around 1,900 soldiers during and after the battle of Gettysburg. If you haven’t gone, it is pretty interesting. Lastly, on the way home I stopped and saw Niagara Falls for an afternoon. Again, pretty amazing. If you get a chance, see the “Cave of Winds”. Awesome.

Pictures of Niagara Falls

Gettysburg, PA

4-11 May 2019 I traveled to Omaha, Nebraska in support of Operation Heartlander.

In March 2019, a “bomb cyclone” hit much of the middle of the country and delivered heavy rains, wind and snow from Texas to Minnesota. Combined with existing snow on the ground and frozen earth, the water had nowhere to go. Consequently, water lifted ice sheets which clogged the rivers and overflowed levees. The Missouri River, Platte River, Mississippi and a host of smaller rivers and streams all had major and historic flooding.
The picture shown is from Pacific Junction, Iowa. Team Rubicon has been in the area working this town and some other locations since the flooding started. Our team spent the whole week in this town helping the residents recover. The water had receded from the town by the time we were there, but the surrounding farmland was mostly under water still.

Pacific Junction has a population of around 500 people.
This was a home we worked on for a few days. Another team cleaned out the house of all the furniture, appliances, etc. Our team went in and took up all the flooring and nails. In the end, the houses are down to clean studs and flooring and reading for rebuilding.
This is another home we worked on for a couple days. The first day we took out all the furniture, clothing, boxes, appliances, some of the carpeting and personal items. Even though the flooding occurred weeks ago, everything was completely soaked with water and mud. The second day we started removing the sheetrock and insulation. Since it was our last day, we left the rest for another team to finish.

The town of Pacific Junction, IA is just one of many towns in the area to be devastated by this flooding.
First picture is the house we worked on with the owner at the far left. From left, TR members are myself, Connor, Joe, Amy and Steve. Next two pictures are us getting ready to work another house and then a shot after. You can’t really appreciate how dirty we were.
On Friday night we were invited by the Omaha Storm Chasers who are the local AAA baseball team for Kansas City. It was a great night and around the 3rd inning Team Rubicon was given a check for $50,000 by Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and the Major League Players Association.

In December 2108 and February 2019, I traveled to Panama City, FL to help clean up after a hurricane.

My first major operation was cleaning up homes in Panama City, Fl and Mexico Beach, FL and the surrounding areas for a week. Most days I mucked out homes by removing sheet rock and insulation with black mold, tore down ceilings, removed appliances and flooring as needed, and cleaned up a lot of debris from the outside. Hard work and very sad for the locals who live there as it will take a long time to get back to normal.
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