Washington D.C. – As Hurricane Irene causes flooding, damage and mass evacuations on its run up the Eastern seaboard, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members are responding in multiple states, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announced today.
Working in close coordination with FEMA, the American Red Cross, and state and local authorities, CNCS has coordinated the deployment of national service participants in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, with additional deployments expected in the coming days.
Agency officials joined FEMA in encouraging all those living in Irene's path to finalize preparations for severe weather, monitor news and weather reports, and closely follow the instructions of state and local officials.
"Hurricane Irene is a dangerous storm, and anyone living in its path has to take precautions now,” said Kelly DeGraff, Director of Disaster Services for CNCS. “If you aren't sure what to do, visit Ready.gov or Listo.gov for steps you can take to better protect yourself and your family.”
Most of the initial Hurricane Irene deployments have been through AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), a residential, team-based program that engages 18-24 year-olds in 10 months of full-time, intensive national service. Since 2000, NCCC members from across the country have served more than 4.5 million hours on over 1,600 disaster service projects.
- Delaware: 32 AmeriCorps NCCC members are supporting the American Red Cross Delmarva Chapter in the operation of seven shelters throughout Delaware.
- Maryland: Six AmeriCorps NCCC members partnered with the American Red Cross to open a shelter in Talbot County.
- New Jersey: 33 AmeriCorps NCCC members are supporting shelter operations throughout New Jersey.
- Rhode Island: A team of RSVP volunteers are operating or supporting sheltering operations in Narragansett; Pawtucket and Central Falls, and RSVP volunteers and Foster Grandparents are supporting sheltering operations in Bristol & East Providence.
- New Hampshire: On Monday, 24 AmeriCorps NCCC members will deploy to New Hampshire. Their initial tasks are to support FEMA in logistics, outreach, and damage assessments.
Agency officials are closely coordinating with FEMA and other agencies to monitor the storm and determine the most appropriate deployments for national service participants. The agency has contacted other AmeriCorps grantee programs with expertise in disaster response and placed them on standby for potential deployment.
CNCS, a federal agency, provides strong 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.