WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is deploying AmeriCorps members to help communities in Great Plains and Midwest states recover and rebuild after this week’s devastating tornadoes. As of this afternoon, nearly 50 AmeriCorps members will put boots on the ground on Tuesday, May 21, and even more remain on standby, ready to deploy.
AmeriCorps St. Louis deployed nine AmeriCorps members in the early hours of Tuesday morning to support the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management and the American Red Cross. A veteran of many disasters, AmeriCorps St. Louis was the lead volunteer organization following the May 22, 2011 Joplin, Missouri, tornado.
In addition, 40 AmeriCorps members serving in FEMA Corps are deploying to the region to work alongside FEMA staff. A partnership between CNCS and FEMA, FEMA Corps is a new division of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) that utilizes members in disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and communities affected by the tornado in Moore,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “We are indebted to individuals at every level of government, in nonprofit and faith-based organizations, and in the private sector whose work is helping save lives, provide shelter, and rebuild communities. Our work is just beginning as first responders and other emergency personnel manage life-saving and rescue efforts. Before the recovery is complete, we expect hundreds of national service members from AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs to help families and local and state officials rebuild these communities.”
CNCS is coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, the American Red Cross, and state and local authorities. In addition, the agency is working with its state field offices and service commissions within states affected by the recent severe storms to deploy additional AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers.
CNCS continues to work closely with other regions that have recently experienced tornadoes and severe storms and national service resources remain on standby for affected areas in Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
For more updates about CNCS's actions related to Moore, Oklahoma and other Midwest storms, please visit www.nationalservice.gov/central-us-tornadoes. The agency is also communicating about deployments and volunteer opportunities via Twitter at @ServeDotGov (#disasterserve).