AmeriCorps Deploys Disaster Response Teams to Hurricane Michael Response Efforts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Oct 19, 2018

More than 500 members have responded to Hurricanes Florence, Michael

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps and leads the nation’s volunteer efforts, has deployed members of the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team and FEMA Corps, to Hurricane Michael impacted communities in Florida and Georgia.

More than 175 AmeriCorps members from California, Colorado, Florida, Texas, and Washington crews will arrive in Florida in the coming days. Experienced in disaster response, they’ll immediately begin work, conducting damage assessments, making temporary roof repairs, removing debris and hazardous trees, leading muck-and-gut operations, coordinating volunteers. AmeriCorps members serving with FEMA Corps are supporting the agency directly with operations and survivor assistance registration.

These AmeriCorps members join the hundreds who have deployed in response to Hurricane Florence. In the coming week, new AmeriCorps members from crews representing Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington will arrive, putting nearly 200 active boots on the ground.

“America is at its best when we can come together to tackle the obstacles that lie ahead of us,” said Barbara Stewart, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “This is never more true than in the days, weeks, and months following a disaster. While the need is great and the urge to help can be strong, please remember not to self-deploy or send unsolicited donations. As those impacted begin the recovery process, we’re committed to standing with these communities over the long haul, because in times of disaster, you can count on us.”

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 AmeriCorps members of FEMA Corps, 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, Volunteer Florida, the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, and the United Way Association of South Carolina, 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/Disaster.

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