Hurricane Sandy Digest 12/11/12: Habitat Units Bringing Tools, Assistance

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Disaster Response and Recovery
By: 
Greg Tucker

The Hurricane Sandy recovery continues with more than 1,660 national service participants deployed in response to the storm and 715 currently serving on the ground and working with the storm's victims. At this time 407 members of FEMA Corps, an AmeriCorps NCCC unit, have deployed or are being re-routed to New York and New Jersey to support FEMA Emergency Response operations in those areas.

Habitat for Humanity, a Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) disaster response partner, will soon begin engaging local volunteers through mobile response units deployed to neighborhoods in affected areas of New York and New Jersey.

AmeriCorps members from the Washington Conservation Corps, AmeriCorps St. Louis, and Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa remove flooring from a home damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Union Beach, NJ. (Corporation for National and Community Service photo.)

The units will be equipped with tools and equipment for recovery work, and will provide technical expertise and skilled volunteers to assist with repair and reconstruction. Habitat AmeriCorps crew leaders will help lead those volunteers in the initial clean out and assessment of the identified neighborhoods.

Here are some of the latest stories from the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort:

Clean Ocean Action's First Region-Wide Hurricane Relief Day of Action
Atlantic Highlands Herald (New Jersey), December 10, 2012
“Cattus Island County Park in Toms River has been closed indefinitely, but will now have a chance to reopen ahead of time because of the big push from volunteers through Waves of Action,” stated Joanna Marino, AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador and Cattus Island County Park Project Leader.

Sandy Donations Lagging Far Behind Smaller Storms
The NonProfit Times, December 10, 2012
Sandy was the first time all the teams of FEMA Corps, created earlier this year, have been deployed. “The FEMA Corps teams are unique in the type of work they do, a new element for disaster response,” said CNCS Acting Press Secretary Samantha Jo Warfield. FEMA Corps members go door-to-door in affected areas to help connect citizens to aid resources available. “They give us another tool to respond to disaster,” said Warfield. All 42 teams have been deployed to affected areas. Warfield said she expects another large deployment of AmeriCorps members in the new year.

Soldiering On
Union City Reporter (New Jersey), December 9, 2012
After a public plea to City Council on Wednesday, Mayor Dawn Zimmer said Thursday that AmeriCorps will be going in and beginning to tear down the walls. “I am quite confident that other organizations will want to help them as well,” said Zimmer.

Blue-Collar Beach Town in Fight for its Survival
Courier Post Online (New Jersey), December 9, 2012
The cramped Borough Hall is a head-spinning bazaar of beneficence. Fresh-faced volunteers from AmeriCorps man an intake table in the foyer. Representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency have set up shop in the council chambers. Burlew, the construction official, spends much of his 12-hour workdays in the hallways leading impromptu seminars on the rebuilding process for anxious homeowners. Hot meals are served every day.

To find out how you can contribute to the relief and recovery effort, visit the Hurricane Sandy Response portal on Serve.gov.

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