Rockton (WREX) — It's been more than a week since the Chemtool Fire erupted. On Tuesday, volunteers and members of agencies like IEMA took to the streets of Rockton and South Beloit to take stock of any damage neighbors in the one-mile radius endured.
A big part of this effort is Team Rubicon. It's a veteran led non-profit organization.
"We have a scripted set of questions IEMA has provided," says Team Rubicon Incident Commander Jodi Moyer. "We typically take the skill set of not only veterans but first responders and civilians and meld those skill sets together to provide some unique things a community may need after a disaster."
Teams worked to conduct damage assessments. A spokesperson for IEMA tells 13 News this documentation helps with reimbursements for any type of uninsured loss and future insurance claims. Information IEMA says will be used for federal disaster funding applications. The organization encourages residents to take pictures and document any type of property damage they sustained.
Members of Team Rubicon aren't just from the Stateline area. Volunteers poured in from across the Midwest.
"We also have people who've come from Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas City, Missouri," says Moyer. "We have Ohio and Indiana people as well."
Moyer says the Veteran and first responder background of many of Team Rubicon's volunteers is what fuels them to show up to disasters like this.
"We enjoy going out and serving a community in a time of need. We enjoy helping this community get back on it's feet. And it's refreshing for our workers to see hope returning to residents and to help them get back to their normal."
Moyer says teams worked to get an initial sweep of the one mile radius today. However, any homes where residents were not home would be documented for workers to follow up with tomorrow. If you would like to ensure your home is evaluated, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You're asked to put “Damage” in the subject line and include your name, phone number, and address of your home or business.
Local agencies involved include Laborer’s Disaster Response Teams, Team Rubicon, Christopher Burke Engineering, and multiple local personnel from Rockton, Rockford, and other communities. Local damage assessment teams will be joined by IEMA and supported by MABAS.