AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Responds to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

Sep 21, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service, has deployed more than 1,800 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members to areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. This includes Americans serving with FEMA Corps and AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams (A-DRTs), CNCS’s elite, specialty-trained disaster response crews.

In Texas, more than 800 AmeriCorps members from Conservation Corps Minnesota Iowa, Montana Conservation Corps, Southwest Conservation Corps, Texas Conservation Corps, Washington Conservation Corps, and AmeriCorps NCCC -- along with FEMA Corps and SBP, both AmeriCorps programs -- are supporting recovery activities in Corpus Christi, Austin, Beaumont, Houston, Brazoria County, and regions of Coastal Bend Texas.

This service includes volunteer and donations management, disaster survivor assistance, operations and logistics, damage assessments, and muck and gut operations, working alongside response organizations including All Hands Volunteers, Volunteer Houston, and NECHAMA. Nearly 200 additional locally serving Senior Corps and AmeriCorps programs, including City Year San Antonio, are assisting with donations and volunteer management.

In response to Hurricane Irma, CNCS has made available more than 800 Senior Corps and AmeriCorps members to support operations in Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico. The AmeriCorps members are providing disaster survivor assistance, support for logistics, and are working with Save the Children to implement child-friendly spaces in shelter environments. In addition, Volunteer Florida’s AmeriCorps teams have provided disaster response to more than 8,600 residents, and locally-serving Senior Corps programs have been involved in emergency food, shelter, and volunteer operations.

Later this week, AmeriCorps members will arrive in Florida from the Conservation Corps Minnesota Iowa, Washington Conservation Corps, AmeriCorps NCCC, and local A-DRT, Florida Conservation Corps. These disaster response experts will lead volunteers in debris removal, blue-roof tarping, and mucking and gutting homes.

Following a disaster, national service acts as a force multiplier, providing key resources and significantly expanding the capacity of existing organizations on the ground. Through all its programs and initiatives, CNCS helps communities to prepare for, mitigate, respond to, and recover from disasters.

In the years following Hurricane Katrina, CNCS sent more than 40,000 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members to the Gulf Coast region who managed the bulk of the 1 million volunteers who arrived to help rebuild. Since then, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps teams have provided critical support after countless disasters, including Hurricane Sandy; last year’s Louisiana flooding; tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Moore, Okla.; the explosion in West, Texas; and the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill.

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