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Prichard mayor thanks veteran volunteers for helping city recover from Sally

Team Rubicon is a group of veteran volunteers that focus on serving vulnerable and at-risk populations affected by disasters.

Prichard Mayor Jimmy Gardner on Wednesday released a statement thanking veterans for their service in honor of Veterans Day and thanking Team Rubicon for helping residents of the city recover from Hurricane Sally.

Gardner said in a statement that he and the city of Prichard “thank all veterans that have served and continue to serve our country. It is the selfless sacrifices of these veterans that allows for our communities to live freely and maintain hope for better a tomorrow after every storm.”

In the spirit of Veterans Day appreciation, Gardner also welcomed Team Rubicon to the city of Prichard to assist veterans and all residents with clean up after Hurricane Sally.

Team Rubicon is a global network of skilled veterans and first responders with a passion to provide humanitarian aid to communities that are struggling to recover from disasters.

“It is a great day both to honor our Veterans and to celebrate them and the heroic work that they continue to do long after retirement,” Gardner said. “The City of Prichard is pleased to have Team Rubicon in our community alongside our own Public Works Department to help remove problematic trees and related debris that impedes access or is a safety concern for residents across the city. We celebrate Team Rubicon’s heart for serving our community.”

Team Rubicon will focus primarily on tree damage mitigation and removal for citizens of Prichard for the next two and a half weeks. These services will end on Nov. 30. Residents in need of assistance should call Team Rubicon at 310-981-8887 before Nov. 30 to schedule an assessment appointment for their needs.

Team Rubicon estimates the value of their volunteer labor since 2013 is $34.8 million.

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“While the initial damage and trauma of natural disasters will impact any population regardless of socio-economic factors, the financial burden of recovery and rebuilding has dramatic and long-lasting repercussions on many rural and urban populations lacking proper insurance and public and private resources,” Team Rubicon explained in their mission statement. “All Team Rubicon services are provided free of charge. In 2016, 62 percent of all homes Team Rubicon serviced did not have home insurance. An American Progress report noted that the most extreme weather events typically harmed counties with household incomes below the U.S. median annual income of $51,941. Wildfires, tornadoes, and severe thunderstorms devastated areas with households that earned on average three percent less than the U.S. median income. It is easy to imagine the positive, long-term impact Team Rubicon’s free assistance provided to these families.”

Team Rubicon is an international non-profit disaster response organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams, free of charge, to communities affected by disasters. Team Rubicon currently maintains a roster of 130,000-plus volunteers able to deploy throughout the United States and the world.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Prichard (in 2018 dollars) is $26,291. The per capita income is just $14,856 and 35.2 percent live below the poverty line. Hurricane Sally came ashore near Gulf Shores on Sept. 15 as a category two hurricane severely impacting Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia Counties.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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