Washington, DC – As communities across Vermont continue to recover and rebuild from the catastrophic flooding caused byHurricane Irene, a team of 10 AmeriCorps NCCC members has chosen to extend their term of service and deploy to Windsor County, Vt. to assist with the disaster relief and flood recovery efforts.
To date, 40 AmeriCorps NCCC members have served more than 6,290 hours in Vermont responding to Hurricane Irene, service valued at more than $134,000 according to Independent Sector's estimate of the value of volunteer time.
Under the Serve America Act, AmeriCorps NCCC members are now permitted to extend their term of service by 90 days to aid in disaster relief efforts. These 10 NCCC members, based out of Perry Point, Md., are exercising this option to assist the more than 6,800 individuals that have registered with FEMA for disaster relief in Vermont in the wake of Hurricane Irene.
“The commitment of these members is extraordinary,” said Kelly L. DeGraff, Director of Disaster Services with the Corporation for National and Community Service. “When disaster strikes, communities can count on us to provide much-needed support over the short and long-term.”
The AmeriCorps NCCC team will be assessing the damage on affected homes, mucking and gutting damaged homes, remediating mold, and removing debris through the middle of December.
Hurricane Irene caused widespread damage across the Eastern Seaboard, considered one of the top ten most destructive and deadly hurricanes to hit the United States since 1980. The storm killed at least 27 people along its path from the Caribbean to the Eastern Coast. More than 5.8 million customers lost electricity, thousands of flights were cancelled, flooding washed out roads and destroyed homes, and evacuation orders were issued for hundreds of thousands.
“These AmeriCorps NCCC members work incredibly hard to provide critical assistance,” said Kate Raftery, Director of AmeriCorps NCCC. “Their continued commitment is appreciated by communities and families still working towards recovery.”
AmeriCorps NCCC's contributions are part of a larger national service response to Hurricane Irene in Vermont. AmeriCorps VISTA members have worked with FEMA, SerVermont, and state emergency officials to provide support in multiple ways, including staffing the Emergency Operations Center, collecting and coordinating donations, supporting the 2-1-1 call center, managing volunteers through the statewide VOAD, and supporting long-term recovery efforts.
CNCS, a federal agency, provides support, expertise, and trained and dedicated volunteers to help communities to prepare for, mitigate, respond, and recover from natural and man-made disasters. From forest fires and floods, to hurricanes and tornadoes, to terror attacks and oil spills, participants in CNCS programs have provided critical support to millions of Americans affected by disasters since 1994.
Reflecting the agency's growing expertise and commitment in disaster services, CNCS has made disaster services a priority in the agency's 2011-2015 strategic plan. For more information on national service disaster response, visit our Disaster Services webpage.