AmeriCorps Deployed to Louisiana and Texas in Response to Record Flooding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Mar 22, 2016

More than 250 national service members support recovery efforts in Southern U.S.   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, announced that more than 250 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers, including FEMA Corps, have been deployed to Louisiana and Texas in response to record flooding that swept the areas in early March.

Currently, the AmeriCorps members deployed to this response are completing needs assessments, providing registration assistance, and supporting response logistics. In addition, Senior Corps volunteers have been managing donations and assisting with distribution of items. AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams will arrive this week in Texas and Louisiana to operate Volunteer Reception Centers, muck and gut residents’ homes, and clear flood debris.

AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams are CNCS’ elite, specialty-trained crews deployed at the request of local and federal emergency managers. These teams provide expert manpower for everything from coordinating volunteers to donations management, sandbagging to shelter operations, and debris removal to home repairs.

“Following a disaster, AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers stand ready to help families and communities rebuild,” said Kelly DeGraff, senior advisor for disaster services at CNCS. “Disaster response requires a long-term commitment and we are committed to ensuring residents in areas affected by these devastating floods will receive the vital services and assistance needed in an incredibly difficult time.”

The CNCS Disaster Services Unit is working closely with FEMA, state Emergency Management Agencies, and local officials to identify and coordinate additional resources in Texas, Louisiana, and other high need areas. In addition, the agency is working with Volunteer Louisiana and OneStar Foundation, the governor-appointed state service commissions responsible for implementing national service programs in Louisiana and Texas. 

Following a disaster, national service acts as a force multiplier, providing key resources and significantly expanding the capacity of existing organizations on the ground. More than 40,000 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers served 10 million hours in response to Hurricane Katrina. In the last 10 years, CNCS has invested more than $179 million to tens of thousands of AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers serving across Louisiana.

In the decade since Hurricane Katrina, AmeriCorps teams have provided critical support after countless disasters, including Hurricane Sandy, the 2013 floods in Colorado, tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Moore, Okla., the explosion in West, Texas, and the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill. CNCS has also committed national service resources to support local efforts addressing the water emergency in Flint, Mich.  

Through all its programs and initiatives, CNCS helps communities to prepare for, mitigate, respond, and recover from disasters. AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers can serve in a wide range of high-level roles, including assisting with evacuation and special needs residents, supporting long-term recovery, running volunteer centers and base camps, and leading large groups of volunteers.

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