DALLAS (Jan. 23, 2019) – Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization, is wrapping up its rebuild operation in Puerto Rico that has been running since February 2018. Working in partnership with Disaster Services Corporation – Society of St. Vincent De Paul (SVdP), Team Rubicon has rebuilt 500 roofs, benefitting more than 1,350 individual family members. And, the organization completely rebuilt three homes in Puerto Rico. Veering from its traditional model of volunteer-led work, Team Rubicon decided to help pump some money back into the local economy by hiring 4 local contractors – helping to create 100 jobs – to complete this rebuild work.
“Hurricane Maria devastated large swaths of Puerto Rico. As our initial response operation came to a close, we saw that there was an overwhelming number of residents without a roof on their home,” said David Burke, Vice President of Programs and Field Operations. “At Team Rubicon, a bias for action is woven into our DNA, we couldn’t standby and do nothing. So, working with local municipalities and St. Vincent de Paul, we stepped into the long-term recovery arena and launched a roof rebuild operation to help more Puerto Ricans stabilize, recover, and begin their return to normalcy.”
Team Rubicon has been helping Puerto Rico respond, recover, and rebuild since Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017. In the immediate aftermath of Maria, Team Rubicon launched a response operation to provide medical services and debris removal – clearing waterways and access points for emergency services and other responding agencies. As this initial operation concluded, Team Rubicon saw that there were still significant unmet needs on-island – namely thousands without sturdy roofs over their heads. So, the organization launched its roof rebuild program in April 2018.
Then in May 2018, Team Rubicon launched an additional recovery operation in the north central municipality of Florida, PR. On this follow-up operation, Team Rubicon volunteers provided debris management, chainsaw operations, house muck-outs, roof tarping, and expedient home repairs to affected residents.
While Team Rubicon is wrapping up its rebuild operation in Puerto Rico, the organization will still have a presence on-island. Currently, there are 163 volunteer members in Puerto Rico and Team Rubicon is continuing to recruit and train additional service-driven people to help build more resilient communities that are prepared to quickly respond to future disasters.
Team Rubicon boasts an 85,000-strong, highly skilled volunteer force that helps communities stabilize and recover after a devastating natural disaster. Since its inception following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Team Rubicon has responded to 310 disasters, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Through a strong communications infrastructure supported by our cutting-edge technological solutions, Team Rubicon volunteers efficiently and effectively respond to natural disasters and help families return to their homes as soon as possible. By giving military veteran volunteers the opportunity to continue their service through disaster response, Team Rubicon provides them an avenue to gain a renewed sense of purpose, community, and identity.