Our Tuthill employees share their experience deploying with Team Rubicon in March after a tornado impacted Ottawa and Naplate, Illinois.
We walked from door to door in Ottawa hanging flyers and telling folks about how they could get help if they needed it. We did assessments so that the TR leadership could determine how to best help these folks. In several instances we helped folks pull branches off their houses and clean up the debris left from the tornadoes.
Since the operation had just spun up we were asked to hang flyers and talk to all of the local business owners about what we're there for. Many remembered TR helping with the flood in Marseilles, IL in 2013. After that we worked the Multi Agency Resource Center (MARC) for Ottawa citizens to become familiar with services available to them. We wrapped up the day assessing a couple of homes that were damaged.
We spent the entire day "swamping" for the sawyers as we cleared nearly 10,000 cu. ft. of wood from a homeowner's lot. Swamping is basically spotting for the guys with the chainsaws and clearing the lighter brush so they can cut the big logs. My back is still sore from that day.
You'll see in the pics some of the fun shenanigans themed around St. Patrick's day at the morning kick-off as well as a shot of the house we assessed Tuesday and cleared Wednesday. I also have included a few shots from the MARC.
Overall, the experience was very fulfilling, and exhausting. I got to see what the non-labor intensive side of service looked like on day one, and then got to haul lumber like an ox on day two. The homeowners were very grateful for our efforts, I got to work alongside some great vets, and I got to introduce a friend from my baseball team to TR Nation.
I was thrilled that when I shared I was deploying on Facebook, one of the dads from my son's baseball team asked if he could come help too. I reached out to TR and asked if he could come. They said yes, as a spontaneous volunteer. Long and short of it is that there was no volunteer resource center spun up yet so he got to hang with us for two days.