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AmeriCorps Activates Nearly 500 Members for Hurricane Florence Response

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Sep 14, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Hurricane Florence makes landfall, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps and leads the nation’s volunteer efforts, has activated nearly 500 members of the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (A-DRT), including FEMA Corps for immediate response. These teams have been pre-staged and put on standby for rapid deployment.

“As part of the federal family, we are committed to helping communities impacted by Hurricane Florence respond, recover, and rebuild,” said Barbara Stewart, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps. “We have pre-positioned hundreds of our AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams to be able to respond as soon as it is safe to do. While the urge to help can be great, please remember not to self-deploy or send unsolicited donations. Right now, it’s critical that residents listen to their local leaders to stay safe and let first responders do their job.”

AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams are expertly trained crews that can provide support for shelter operations, call centers, volunteer and donation management, muck and gut operations, blue-roof tarping, and debris cleanup, among other services. This response also includes 260 AmeriCorps members of FEMA Corps, the majority of whom have been pre-staged at the agency’s Mississippi campus. FEMA Corps is an innovative partnership to enhance the nation’s disaster response and recovery capacity, while expanding career opportunities for young people.

Working closely with FEMA, CNCS is coordinating with its state partners, the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, the United Way Association of South Carolina, and the Office of Volunteerism and Community Service in the Virginia Department of Social Service, the Governor-appointed state service commissions responsible for implementing national service programs in each state.

Following a disaster, national service acts as a force multiplier, providing key resources and significantly expanding the capacity of existing organizations on the ground. In the last year, CNCS has deployed more than 5,000 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members to areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. 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.

CNCS urges those wanting to get involved to wait for volunteer opportunities following the disaster. Those interested should consider cash donations to a recognized disaster relief organization. For more information and to follow national service disaster service developments, visit NationalService.gov/Florence.

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