Disasters By the Year

HIGHLIGHTS OF NATIONAL SERVICE  IN DISASTER

Since 2011 CNCS has responded to over 500 state and federally declared disasters. AmeriCorps and Senior Corps have deployed over 13,000 national service members, and engaged more than 1 million volunteers in disaster response.


2018

Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Florence

2017

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

 

2016

East Tennessee Wildfires

140+  AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (A-DRT) members responded to the fires that occurred on November 28 in the Great Smoky Mountains into Sevier County, including Gatlinburg. In the first 24 hours, more than 250 building were damaged or destroyed and about 14,000 residents and tourists were forced to evacuate the area. As of December 6, there have been 14 confirmed deaths and more than 134 people injured. A-DRT members served in partnership with the state and  FEMA Mission assisting in home assessments, mapping, and debris removal.

Hurricane Matthew

568 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members responded to Hurricane Matthew which affected North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. National Service participants assisted with shelter operations, feeding and post storm recovery efforts such as debris removal, volunteer management and disseminating critical  information to homeowners.

Responding programs include: Washington Conservation Corps, FEMA Corps, Red Cross Corps, Charleston Area Senior Citizens (CASC), AmeriCorps National Health Corps, Florida Campus Compact, Literacy AmeriCorps of Palm Beach County, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps Tallahassee.

Louisiana Flood

Multiple communities in Louisiana experienced historic flooding beginning August 11 due to days of unprecedented rain. According to the National Weather service, more than 30 inches of rain fell in southern Louisiana over just a few days. 

Over 1,480 AmeriCorps members responded to an eight-month deployment leading mucking and gutting efforts on homes affected by the floods. Crews assisted more than 2,500 individuals and families in nearly 900 homes. The primary focus for the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams was on providing direct service to individuals and families to accelerate their return home. A-DRT’s  coordinated with over 26 Louisiana VOAD organizations including the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Convoy of Hope, and the Southern Baptist. Mucking and gutting is essential to returning families and individuals back to their homes. When a flooded home has not been cleaned and dried with a few weeks of the event, mold and other hazards could deem the dwelling unsalvageable, contributing to the devastating loss of available, affordable housing in communities most in need.

In addition to mucking and gutting homes, A-DRTs also supported mass care facilities and donation warehouses that serviced an estimated 62,577 people. While working in homes, crews also collected information on unmet needs to assist with long-term recovery efforts and to connect individuals and families with critical resources

West Virginia Flood

296 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps particiapnts responded to the 2016 West Virginia Floods.  On June 23, 2016, multiple communities in West Virginia experienced historic 100 year flooding due to severe storms and rain. According to the National Weather service, as much as 8-10 inches of rain fell in 12 hours, resulting in 23 fatalities and displacing hundreds of people.  Local AmeriCorps programs responded almost immediately with cleanup efforts, donations, and Volunteer Reception Center operations.

In partnership with the State Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, Volunteer West Virginia, the Governor-appointed state service commission, and volunteer agency partners, AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers conducted damage assessments, supported eight Volunteer Reception Centers, removed debris, mucked and gutted more than 60 homes, sorted more than 125 tons of donations, and coordinated more than 1,050 volunteers.


These response operations were supported by AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams (A-DRT's)from AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team, St. Bernard Project, Washington Conservation Corps, Great Appalachian Valley Conservation Corps, and Hoopa Tribal Civilian Community Corps and the National Civilian Community Corps. AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams are CNCS’s elite, specialty-trained crews deployed at the request of local and federal emergency managers.

Response Highlights

  • AmeriCorps VISTA members are assisting in community efforts to recover and rebuild. AmeriCorps VISTA members from the VISTA Collaborative at West Virginia University are partnering with West Virginia VOAD to develop deployment and disaster manuals, a cell phone application to quickly and efficiently register and mobilize volunteers, as well as teaching students and communities how to best respond in a disaster situation. In addition, West Virginia Strong Resilience AmeriCorps VISTA members, overseen by the state service commission, are securing donations, managing volunteers, and developing partnerships with local, state, and national organizations assisting in disasters.
  • Volunteer West Virginia worked with local partners and citizens to coordinate tracking and registration for more than 3,128 unaffiliated volunteers at Volunteer Reception Centers as of 7/25/16. To date, these unaffiliated volunteers served 34,812 hours at a value of more than $791,626.24.
  • West Virginia Public Broadcasting featured the national service response.

Texas Floods

From March 7- June 24, 2016, communities in Texas endured multiple severe storm and flooding events.  The President declared three Major Disaster Declarations within two months for the multiple events (DR-4266 on March 19, DR-4269 on April 25, and DR-4272 on June 11). Across all the declarations, federal aid for Individual Assistance was available for 29 counties, many of them for multiple declarations. For the May flood, four RSVP volunteers serving with Brazos Valley CERT were the first national service volunteers to respond, providing assistance in the days following the flood at a shelter set up for area flood victims.

National service response:

  • 320 national service members responded.
  • 77 AmeriCorps NCCC members deployed on seven assignments and worked with:
  • Deweyville VRC, donations management, and mucking/gutting homes
  • Volunteer Houston to support VRC operations
  • American Red Cross to support damage assessments, bulk distribution, and feeding operations.
  • Southern Baptist Disaster Relief to support mucking/gutting operations.
  • 40 Texas Conservation Corps members deployed to the March and May floods. In March they established and managed multiple VRCs and mucked/gutted homes in all deployments
  • 1 AmeriCorps member with Ready Corps supported the setup of the VRC with Volunteer Houston
  • 2 Volunteer Now Dallas AmeriCorps members supported a virtual call center in partnership with ITDRC and Crisis Clean up
  • 5 RSVP volunteers assisted Adventist Community Services with distribution of donated items in Deweyville.
  • 4 RSVP volunteers served with Brazos Valley CERT and provided assistance in the days following the flood at a shelter set up for area flood victims.
  • 11 RSVP volunteers served with Langetree DUCK Farm and Eco Center and worked together with AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers to visit flood victims and identify needs. 147 persons were identified as needing assistance and are being referred to organizations providing services.
  • 15 RSVP volunteers served with the Homeland Preparedness Project are assisting with various needs by staffing three area shelters for flood victims.
  • 49 AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (A-DRT) members mucked/gutted homes in Brazoria County. Members deployed from: Texas Conservation Corps, Southwest Conservation Corps, and Tribal Civilian Community Corps.
  • 115 FEMA Corps members supported Disaster Survivor Assistance teams, Public Assistance, and Individual Assistance branch.

Spring Southern Flood - Louisiana and Missouri

More than 430 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members responded to the record flooding that occurred in March, 2016. A record flooding event caused by days of heavy rainfall devastated the southern part of the country, specifically eastern Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Thousands of people were evacuated, and major roadways closed.

AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams (A-DRT's), Senior Corps, FEMA Corps and AmeriCorps State programs all contributed to relief efforts throughout the south. Members partnered with non-profits and local voluntary agencies to muck and gut homes, support sheltering and feeding operations, and manage volunteer reception centers.

Flint, Mich. Water Crisis

More than 120 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members have been deployed to or engaged in response operations in Flint. Serving with the United Way of Genesee County, these national service members educate residents on using water filters appropriately, provide information on best practices in healthcare and nutrition related to lead exposure, assist with donations management, and connect residents to wrap-around services.

In January 2016, CNCS announced the deployment of AmeriCorps resources, including AmeriCorps NCCC and AmeriCorps VISTA, to Flint and placed the first boots on the ground by February 1. This deployment included AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams (A-DRT's), CNCS’ elite, specialty-trained crewed deployed at the request of local and federal emergency managers. These teams provide expert manpower for everything from coordinating volunteers to donations management, public information outreach to shelter operations, and needs assessments to case management.

In April of 2016, CNCS announced $1.3 million in investments that will allow additional AmeriCorps members to support state and local efforts addressing the water emergency, blight, and public safety in Flint, Mich.

Missouri Floods

More than 160 AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (A-DRT) members deployed to St. Louis to assist with the massive flooding that occurred in late December 2015. In partnership with the State Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, the Missouri Community Service Commission, and voluntary agency partners, these AmeriCorps members are coordinated the volunteer response efforts and provided direct assistance to homeowners by removing debris and mucking out homes.  A team from local organization AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team had been in the area since December 29 supporting response activities. They were joined by AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams from Washington Conservation Corps, Texas Conservation Corps, Volunteer Iowa,  AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa, and Hoopa Tribal Civilian Community Corps.

A-DRT's operated and managed four volunteer reception centers, led over 600 volunteers, filled over 80,000 sandbags, muckked and gutted over 250 homes, and provided emergency repairs to over 50 homes.

Missouri Community Service Commission:
Following the winter flooding of 2015-2016 and the subsequent Federal Disaster declaration (DR 4250) the Missouri Community Service Commission (MCSC) along with the representatives of Missouri Department of Economic Development, SEMA and FEMA initiated a review process of Missouri’s response and recovery to that disaster. Executive Director of MCSC Don Stamper was designated as State Disaster Recovery Coordinator to help lead the review and planning process.

As a part of the review, it was recommended that the State establish a team to work on a “disaster resilience and recovery framework” as a step toward organizing the recovery efforts in a manner similar to the organizational standards found in the response stage of any disaster. As a state which experiences a large number of disasters, the planning efforts of the emergency response agencies, highway patrol, emergency medical technicians, and volunteer organizations COADS/VOADS have resulted in a streamlined, task driven, systematic and organized approach to saving lives, providing shelter and food, and stabilizing the health and safety of Missouri’s citizens.

 

2015

Saipan-Typhoon Soudelor

45 AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (A-DRT) members deployed in response to Typhoon Soudelor.  Between August 1-4, 2015, Typhoon Soudelor, ripped through the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) causing widespread destruction on the island of Saipan. Damage was extensive including significant damage to public infrastructure; much of the island was without power, water, or sewage for weeks. FEMA declared it a major disaster declaration on August 6, providing Individual and Public Assistance.  On September 2, AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (A-DRT) members were the first national service members on the ground to provide immediate support.

Highlights

A-DRT's led over 430 volunteers in conducting damage assessments, assisting homeowners and sorting donations. A-DRT's also delivered 37 disaster preparation trainings throughout the island.

AmeriCorps member with the CNMI Public School System provided important support both before and during the A-DRT deployment. They served 977 hours in disaster response:

  • Prepared and served 18,272 meals
  • Registered 148 volunteers
  • Received, sorted, and distributed large quantities of donated food, clothing, and kits.
  • Assisted an estimated 400 people

South Carolina Flood

428 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps responded to the flood recovery efforts in South Carolina.  The weekend of October 3, 2015, heavy rain caused catastrophic flooding across South Carolina. Areas near the capital of Columbia experienced 1-in-1000 year event levels of rain.  National Service members provided immediate support for vulnerable populations by increasing the capacity of local nonprofits, managed a new work order system, conducted damage assessments, mucked and gutted homes, meal distribution, donations management and many other critical services.

  • A-DRT members helped design and implement Fast Track Repairs, a new initiative focused on getting targeted populations (below the poverty line, special needs, requested voluntary agency assistance) the emergency home repairs needed in order to begin recovery.
  • Mucked/gutted 73 homes
  • Coordinated over 165 volunteers
  • Assisted over 3,000 people
  • Collected and distributed over 9 tons of donations
  • Conducted over 1,060 needs and damage assessments
  • Entered 750 homeowners into the Fast Track Repairs Database
  • Recovery Highlights and Plans

Within weeks of the floods, AmeriCorps program SBP began deploying members to serve the residential rebuilding needs of residents in Lexington and Richland Counties.

As of March 2016, SBP:

  • Completed construction on six (6) flood-damaged properties, returning these families to safe, secure housing
  • Completed demo and mold remediation on seven (7) properties
  • Five (5) rehabilitation projects under construction
  • 53 clients on SBP’s waitlist who still need rebuilding services.
  • Engaged 540 volunteers in rebuilding efforts
  • 650 volunteers registered for the coming months
  • Local partners have provided the relationship building, funding and on the ground support to enhance and scale SBP's efforts: United Way of the Midlands, Michael J Mungo Foundation, Home Works of America, Building Industry Association of Central South Carolina, Presbyterian Disaster Relief, World Renew, OneSC Flood Recovery Fund (via Central Carolina Community Foundation), Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, UPS, and Rotary Club of District 7770
  • SBP is In the process of becoming a permanent placement site for AmeriCorps members to continue to meet the long term rebuilding needs in the community.

Kentucky Flood

35 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers responded to the flooding in Kentucky.  Between July 11-20, 2015 communities throughout Kentucky and West Virginia endured severe storms that resulted in flash flooding and significant damages. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and four are confirmed dead in Johnson County. Many of the homes have been completely washed away leaving the families homeless.  National Service members conducted damage assessments, mucked/gutted homes, and assisted with clearing creeks of flood debris. Senior Corps volunteers played a key role in organizing donation drives with local faith-based and community groups to benefit individuals in neighboring counties of Carter and Rowan counties.

CNCS awarded a $155,000 grant to Morehead University RSVP Senior Program to support long-term disaster recovery in Eastern County in response to the floods. The grant will support two volunteer case management positions to aid in the on-going needs of flood affected residents. They are expecting to engage more than 400 community-based volunteers and at least 50 RSVP volunteers.

Texas Flood

329 national service members responded to Texas in the aftermath of severe flooding. In May and June of 2015 Texas experienced strong tornadoes and endured severe continuous storms. The combination of these multiple events led to severe, widespread damage across the state.  Just a day after the flooding began, AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams (A-DRT) members were on the ground establishing Volunteer Reception Centers in San Marcos and Wimberley.

  • 10,458 volunteers leveraged
  • Over 67,505 volunteer hours leveraged
  • 160 homes mucked/gutted

A-DRTs supported Bastrop, a community that has been repeatedly hit with wildfires and floods. They were one of the few outside organizations providing response support. They mucked and gutted 13 homes and did additional wellness outreach to homeowners when more severe weather came through the community.

Within weeks of the flooding, St Bernard Project (SBP) deployed members to serve the residential rebuilding needs of those in the Blanco River Region (Hays, Caldwell, Guadalupe, and Blanco Counties). 34 members from across SBP’s national network of affiliates mobilized to serve the community. In addition, the Blanco River Region was added to SBP’s National AmeriCorps Program as an operating site at the beginning of 2016; allowing SBP to transition from deployment operations to long term operations that will exist until the rebuilding need in the community has been met. Through this amendment, SBP was able to place 12 full-time members in the Blanco River community in 2016 to scale operations and return more citizens to safe, sanitary and secure homes. Local partners like United Way of Hays County, Southside Community Center, Blanco River Regional Recovery Team, UPS, and Christian Aid Ministries provided key support in relationship building, outreach and collaboration so that the community’s needs can be met as efficiently as possible.

 

2014

Detroit Flood

162 AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams (A-DRT's) from  AmeriCorps St. Louis, SBP, Conservation Corps of MN & IA, Hoopa TCCC, California Conservation Corps, Texas Conservation Corps, Arizona Conservation Corps, Washington Conservation Corps, Montana Conservation Corps, and NCCC responded to record breaking flooding that occurred throughout greater Detroit in August 2014.

A-DRT's mucked and gutted over 400 homes and completed over 500 damage assessments.

Oso, Wash. Mudslide

More than 80 AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team members from Washington Conservation Corps deployed to assist in the aftermath of the mudslides in Orso, Washington. The March 2014 landslide engulfed more than 50 homes and caused 43 fatalities.  Washington Conservation Corps assisted in a variety of tasks including logostical support, mapping, base camp operations and feeding units.

 

2013

Alaska Yukon River Flood

67 AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (A-DRT) members and Disaster Cadre staff deployed in response to the Yukon River Flooding in Alaska. For several days between May 17 – June 11, 2013, communities along the Yukon River were affected by severe ice jam flooding. The event was federally declared on June 25 (FEMA Disaster 4122DR-AK) and supported the recovery of multiple Alaskan bush communities; Galena is the largest of the villages and one of the most affected communities.

AmeriCorps members supported early recovery efforts for vulnerable populations in remote villages by establishing and managing a Volunteer Reception Center, mucking/gutting homes, clearing debris, and conducting minor repairs of flood-damaged homes. Teams also supported Mass Care with sheltering operations. Members deployed from the following AmeriCorps programs: Washington Conservation Corps, the Iowa Commission for Volunteer Service, Conservation Corps of Minnesota & Iowa, Hoopa TCCC, and Texas Conservation Corps.

  • In coordination with FEMA, the State, and disaster response nonprofit and faith based groups, small strike teams travelled to the smaller, more remote villages to muck/gut homes as well as perform minor home repairs. Strike teams completed work in Alakanuk, Emmonak, Circle, Hughes, and Fort Yukon. Without these strike teams, these remote communities may not have received any flood response assistance.
  • In Fairbanks, an A-DRTs played an integral role in the establishment of the donations warehouse. They received donations, set up and organized the warehouse, and coordinated transportation logistics.

Moore, Okla. Tornado

Nearly 250 Senior Corps and AmeriCorps members provided vital support to survivors within hours after a devastating tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma in May 2013. AmeriCorps teams, including from AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (A-DRT) members, conducted damage assessments, managed volunteers and donations, and provided legal assistance and client casework.  Senior Corps RSVP volunteers answered disaster hotlines, served food at shelters, and assisted survivors.   .  In the first two months, they collected and distributed 265 tons of donations, conducted 651 damage assessments, and mobilized nearly 3,000 volunteers.  Today, an AmeriCorps NCCC team is in Moore serving with Oklahoma United Methodist Church Disaster Response, mucking and gutting homes affected by Memorial Day flooding.

West, Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion

  • 86 national service Members deployed to West, Texas
  • 66 Senior Corps members deployed to assist with donations management 20 Texas Conservation Corps also deployed to set up a volunteer reception center
  • Event occurred in May 2013

 

2012

Hurricane Sandy

More than 3,800 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps participants served in six states during  Hurricane Sandy. Our members worked with national and local relief agencies to leverage the services of more than 30,000 volunteers who contributed millions of dollars in assistance. Hurricane Sandy left a trail of destruction in its wake across six states, doing the most damage in heavily populated areas of New Jersey and New York. The recovery that followed – and even continues to this day -- required a massive response and thousands of national service members joined their fellow Americans to answer the call for help.

Sandy led to 160 deaths, making it the deadliest hurricane to hit the United States since Katrina in 2005. Beyond those gruesome numbers were the $65 billion in property damage, not to mention the emotional toll the storm took on the survivors left to pick up the pieces of their destroyed homes, scattered memories, and shattered lives.

National service members, affiliates, and volunteers joined others from around the nation to help residents throughout the recovery process. When cleanup efforts were allowed to begin, crews from across the country came to the east coast and helped residents muck and gut more than 3,700 homes damaged by the storm’s wind and flood waters.

 

2011

Joplin, Mo. Tornado

Hours after the nation's deadliest tornado, in nearly 60 years, ripped through Joplin, Missouri, killing 161 people and destroying some 7,000 homes and businesses, the first team of AmeriCorps members arrived on the scene.

In the days and months that followed the May 22, 2011, tornado, more than 350 AmeriCorps members from seven states came to Joplin, provided vital services, and coordinated more than 75,000 volunteers who were essential to the city’s recovery.

AmeriCorps members supported missing person inquiries, removed tons of debris, provided homeowner assistance and casework, operated donation and distribution warehouses, and managed a large-scale volunteer operation amounting to 500,000 hours of disaster assistance to more than 2,200 Joplin households.

Joplin city officials reported that the city received donated resources and volunteer hours totaling $17.7 million, the largest amount in Missouri’s history and the largest amount ever recorded in FEMA’s region VII. AmeriCorps members were instrumental to coordinating this influx of volunteers and donations, which efficiently aided their recovery and saved the city more than $17.7 million in disaster costs.

  • 359 AmeriCorps members who served in Joplin
  • 76,879 hours served by AmeriCorps members
  • 75,786 volunteers coordinated through AmeriCorps Recovery Center
  • 520,102 colunteer hours teported by AmeriCorps Recovery Center
  • 2,222 volunteer groups registered
  • 2,226 completed homeowner requests
  • 6,053 damage or needs assessments completed
  • 20,000 meals served in disaster areas
  • 732 homes mucked and/or gutted
  • 129,479 total volunteers (Includes volunteers serving through other groups)
  • 798,623 total volunteer Hours (Includes volunteers serving through other groups)

Joplin: Five Years Later

Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tornado

More than 520 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members deployed to Alabama in response to the April 27, 2011 tornado super-outbreak. On April 27, 2011, the Southeast was in the midst of a historic severe weather outbreak that spanned eight states over three days. Meteorologists referred to the event as a “super outbreak” — terminology reserved for the deadliest and most destructive tornado outbreaks on record. Three-hundred twenty-four people died in tornadoes during the outbreak, 238 of which were in Alabama alone. April 27 ended as the deadliest tornado day on record in 86 years, since the tri-state tornado outbreak of 1925, when more than 700 people were killed.

  • More than 350 tornadoes were confirmed in the 2011 super outbreak, one of which was a deadly EF-4 that devastated parts of Tuscaloosa, Ala., on April 27.
  • 520 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members supported debris removal, managed volunteer recetion centers and 211 call centers, managed donations and led volunteers.
  • National Service leveraged more than 5,200 volunteers that contributed over 42,000 hours of service , valued at $903,064.41

 

2005

 

 

Back to Top