A natural disaster can strike our planet at any moment. From earthquakes to tsunamis to hurricanes, when a natural disaster hits, the results are all too often devastating. And, unfortunately, aid isn’t always readily available. That’s what Team Rubicon, a veteran-run disaster relief nonprofit based in Los Angles, hopes to change.
Team Rubicon works to deploy emergency response teams, specifically tapping into the disaster relief skills and experience of military veterans. According to the Team Rubicon website, the organization’s primary mission is providing disaster relief to those affected by natural disasters, be they domestic or international. By pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, medical professionals, and technology solutions, Team Rubicon aims to provide the greatest service and impact possible.
Team Rubicon got its start after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. In just a matter of minutes, a 7.8 magnitude temblor brought the country to its knees. Hundreds of thousands were killed or injured, entire infrastructure systems were crippled, and countless citizens were left without food, water or shelter.
Traditional aid organizations were slow to mobilize due to the geographic location and dangerous working conditions. Troubled by this lack of response to the Port-au-Prince tragedy, two Marines, Jake Wood and William McNulty, knew they needed to help.
The duo gathered a group of veterans and as many supplies as they could and were in Haiti within days, a week before the Red Cross arrived. Since then, Team Rubicon has organized relief efforts for more than 38 natural disasters, including:
- Hurricane Harvey (2017)
- Hurricane Maria (2017)
- Flint Michigan Water Purification (2016)
- Oklahoma Tornado (2016)
- Hurricane Joaquin (2015)
- California Wildfires (2017, 2018)
Team Rubicon disrupting the disaster relief and humanitarian aid space, prioritizing its aid over the large bureaucracies that slow down organizations, such as the Red Cross.
Team Rubicon’s mission, like most relief organizations, is to help people in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters. But Wood and McNulty have a secondary goal that has empowered Team Rubicon to strike fundraising gold: addressing the mental-health crisis afflicting veterans in the wake the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Outside Magazine.
For more information on Team Rubicon, visit www.teamrubicon.com.