In June 2015, more than 40 Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network (IPWMAN) member municipalities helped clean up after an EF3 tornado hit a small town about an hour outside Chicago. “Communities that have received aid are often the first ones to respond,” says IPWMAN Immediate Past President Don Wenzel. “They know what we can do and how important it is to help a neighbor.”
Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network (IPWMAN) volunteers had new power lines up less than a week after the tornado hit. The large number of volunteers allowed Coal City to begin functioning again within five days. “The costs to join are minimal; it’s such a cheap insurance policy that I can’t see why a community wouldn’t join,” Wenzel says.
Volunteer crews help clean up after a storm in Cook County. More than 250 municipalities now belong to the network, which has experienced tremendous membership growth since launching in 2009.
Crews worked quickly to restore power after a tornado hit Ottawa, Illinois, in February 2017. Cold temperatures forced residents to seek shelter until power was restored.