When a major storm devastated Houston, Texas, the veteran-run emergency response team, Team Rubicon, deployed to provide immediate relief.
The April 17 storm led to severe flooding and impacted thousands of residents. As of late April, first responders performed more than 1,200 flood rescues, according to CNN.
The team’s effort, called “Operation Moonshot,” is made up of 50 active-duty service members and veterans who have logged 1,272 relief hours across Houston so far.
“I actually went down there at the beginning,” Army veteran and team member Cristina Cline told Task & Purpose. “The first day, we drove all over Houston looking through the neighborhoods that were the worst hit.”
She, along with the other members of Team Rubicon, spent time going door to door talking to homeowners and assessing damage.
After the initial phase, the team then began helping the community rebuild. The residents are resilient, taking the process in stride, Cline said.
“A lot of areas are starting to come on the up,” Cline added. “But [the residents] are all really overwhelmed and tired. Most of their homes got flooded, and they were still feeling very overwhelmed and very emotional.”
Veterans like Cline say that many of the people they help are surprised that veterans, who they feel have given so much, are still willing to sacrifice their time to serve the community.
“It’s kind of ridiculous to us because if we felt like we had given enough, we wouldn’t be here doing what we’re doing,” she added.
Still, they are happy to have Team Rubicon on their side. The organization, which was founded in 2010 following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, provides disaster relief to areas affected by natural disasters, both domestic and international.
“There’s always somebody that needs help,” Cline said. “People are appreciative of help any way they can get it.”
While some parts of Houston are well on their way to recovery, others face more flooding as Cypress Creek, in the northwest region of Houston, continues to rise.
In order to provide continued relief, Team Rubicon plans to stay in Houston until mid-May.
Footage courtesy of Team Rubicon