In the month since Hurricane Sandy hit New York City we've had volunteers work on many different projects. Over the past couple of weeks, one of the emerging needs has been for "muck-out" work. Mucking-out involves going into storm-damaged houses and clearing out anything that sustained water damage, such as carpets, drywall, insulation, and furniture. In some places, water levels reached 15 feet high, so there's a lot of work to be done.
We've been fortunate to work with Team Rubicon and AmeriCorps on muck-out projects. Team Rubicon has performed muck-out projects in many post-disaster locations. They're a group of military veterans who deploy emergency response teams around the world when a crisis strikes. Many of our staff and Team Leaders have been working closely with the group to learn their system, and to make sure muck-out projects run safely.
Most of the muck-out projects so far have been focused in the Rockaways, and we've had volunteers help from all over the country. Once a home has been cleared out, the owner can get it assessed by the city's Rapid Repair program. Team Rubicon will soon be leaving their base in the Rockaways, but we'll be continuing muck-out work in the coming months.
When you get to the base, you'll be given all the necessary supplies, such as a face mask to block mold particles, a Tyvek suit to keep you (fairly) clean, gloves, a hardhat, and of course, some Cares Wear. Trust us, you'll look great. We'll also provide any tools you may need for your assignment.
If you live in the Rockaways and need your house cleaned out, call our hotline to fill out a work order. The number is: 347.306.9160.
You can help Rockaways residents now by signing up to muck-out. Roll up your sleeves and help us rebuild.
By Susan Torres