AmeriCorps Members Deploy to Hawaii for Disaster Response

Jun 16, 2018

Three FEMA Corps teams will work with survivors of the recent volcanic eruption and earthquakes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Three teams of AmeriCorps members have been deployed to Hawaii to join assistance efforts for survivors of the recent Kilauea volcanic eruption and earthquakes in Hilo, Hawaii. The 20 young people, all of whom serve through FEMA Corps, a unit of AmeriCorps NCCC, departed for the island on Saturday from Jackson, Miss.

Immediately upon arrival, the AmeriCorps members will begin work to ensure that Hawaiians receive timely and accurate information about the resources and assistance available to them. By conducting mobile needs-assessments with survivors, the teams will provide on-site registration and referrals to federal and local assistance, or other service providers as needed. Their on-the-ground surveys will deliver a consistent flow of survivor and community information to FEMA to address survivor needs and concerns.

“The people of Puna impacted by the ongoing Kilauea eruption need the collective effort of the community and every resource that the county, state, and federal government can provide. While the sight of Madam Pele at work has captivated the international community, we must focus on the families who have lost everything and are struggling to recover and rebuild,” said Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa. “The 20 AmeriCorps members from FEMA Corps who are deploying in Puna are critical to keeping the flow of information consistent and up to date. They will help with needs assessments and registration to help FEMA focus their efforts. We are grateful for their assistance.”

The 20 young people all serve through FEMA Corps, a unit of AmeriCorps NCCC. They were previously deployed to Puerto Rico to support Hurricane Maria recovery efforts. A unit of AmeriCorps NCCC, FEMA Corps is an innovative partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, to enhance the nation’s disaster response and recovery capacity, while expanding career opportunities for young people. 

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 4,000 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.

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