National Service and Hurricane Sandy: Six Months Later
Six months ago, Hurricane Sandy struck communities all along the East Coast.
In the aftermath of this devastating super storm, AmeriCorps and national service members trained in disaster response are proving to be a valuable and cost-efficient resource for America as they help victims and survivors begin to rebuild their lives.
As the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, we are coordinating the long-term recovery with the Federal Management Agency (FEMA), National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, the American Red Cross, Points of Light, and state and local authorities.
We also serve on the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Task Force, chaired by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan.
By forming these relationships, AmeriCorps and national service are able to expand the capacity of emergency and community programs that make a difference when disasters happen.
Under the leadership of our Disaster Services Unit, more than 3,600 AmeriCorps members from programs across the nation participated in the federal response in six states affected by Hurricane Sandy, including the first class of AmeriCorps NCCC members serving with FEMA Corps.
The impact of our work is clear:
AmeriCorps members have mucked and gutted more than 3,700 homes, including 1,443 in New Jersey and 1,958 in New York.
National service members also have leveraged the help of 30,000 volunteers, collaborated with the American Red Cross in operating 45 shelters, and coordinated with more than 200 nonprofits and community-based organizations.
In New York alone, they mobilized 16,000 volunteers in New York for 128,000 hours of service, valued at $2.68 million.
Although the work is far from done, we put together a select list of videos and photos that tell the story of the national service community's response to Hurricane Sandy.
The Service News Digest is a regular feature on the Serve.gov blog. In this series, we showcase articles that feature national service and Corporation for National and Community Service programs. Take a look at some of the great stories that had people talking recently.
Whenever and wherever disasters strike, destruction and confusion trail in their wake. AmeriCorps and national service members trained in disaster response are proving to be a valuable and cost-efficient resource for America as they help victims and survivors begin to rebuild their lives.
The Corporation for National and Community Service wrapped up AmeriCorps Week with a day of service in Rockaway, NY. This event honored the effort of relief workers so far, and highlighted the work that still needs to be done.
Each generation of Americans embraces the belief that no problem is too big for a determined group of people to conquer. This challenge is central to national service, which gives thousands of Americans a chance to unite with like-minded people and work toward improving the lives of our most-vulnerable citizens.
The Service News Digest is a regular feature on the Serve.gov blog. In this series, we showcase articles that feature national service and Corporation for National and Community Service programs. Take a look at some of the great stories that had people talking recently, including a new initiative to place AmeriCorps members in underperforming schools across the nation.
Disasters like Hurricane Sandy not only cause physical damage, but they can leave confusion and anger in their wake for weeks and months. So it must have surprised FEMA Corps Team Leader Cassie Murray to be declared “an angel” only a few hours after she was angrily confronted by one of the storm’s survivors.
The cliché is that opposites attract, but we’ve learned that some members of our national service family found enough in common to build relationships that led all the way to the altar. These are their stories.
The chance to get in on the ground floor and build something new attracted recent college grad Ben Barron to the FEMA Corps AmeriCorps NCCC unit. Last fall his class went to work with the Hurricane Sandy relief and recovery effort in New York, where he learned a lot about himself and the strength of the human spirit.
We continue to track news coverage of the role national service participants have played in the Hurricane Sandy relief and recovery effort for the last few months. This week, our collection of stories includes one about two AmeriCorps members who spent their holiday away from home, helping people in New York and New Jersey recover from the storm.
This week, nearly 100 AmeriCorps members boarded planes from Sacramento, CA, to New Jersey and New York where they will help residents affected by Hurricane Sandy rebuild homes, remove debris, and manage volunteers. Southwest Airlines’ decision to donate travel to these young leaders made this deployment possible.
Last month, Corporation for National and Community Service staff visited several sites in New York and New Jersey where national service members were helping with the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort. Today, we'd like to share two of the videos from that trip.
We’ve been tracking news coverage of the role our national service participants have played in the Hurricane Sandy relief and recovery effort for the last few months. Here are some of the latest stories, including two personal reflections by AmeriCorps members.
Growing up, I was fortunate enough to live a different experience than most. My parents were treasure hunters and I spent a majority of my childhood on their boat traveling in the Bahamas. Looking back, I almost feel as if I took those years a bit for granted; I never would have thought that the very boat I grew up on would be lifted and dropped in someone else’s yard. But when Hurricane George came through in 1998, that’s what happened. Little did I know, 14 years later, I would be on the other side of disaster recovery.
Millions of Americans will be making the journey to their respective hometowns this weekend to celebrate the holidays with friends and family. Today and tomorrow, a 26-member AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) team will leave Denver, CO, for the East Coast to spend their holidays helping families recover from Hurricane Sandy.
When AmeriCorps NCCC member Melissa Ettman was assigned to lead a Sacramento, CA-based team to help with the Hurricane Sandy cleanup in New York and New Jersey, she was familiar with many of the areas affected by the storm. In fact, her 87-year-old grandmother on Long Island was affected by the hurricane and had to live without electricity for a week.
Civic leaders, community groups, and elected officials joined the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) today for a dedication of the new AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) Atlantic Region Campus in the former Sacred Heart of Mary School of Baltimore, MD.
The Hurricane Sandy recovery continues with more than 1,660 national service participants deployed in response to the storm and 715 currently serving on the ground and working with the storm’s victims. At this time 407 members of FEMA Corps, an AmeriCorps NCCC unit, have deployed or are being re-routed to New York and New Jersey to support FEMA Emergency Response operations in those areas.
Did you know that some of the programs under the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) banner have been in existence for nearly 50 years? We’ve created a new national service timeline to show how we got to where we are today.
As the Hurricane Sandy recovery continues, the Serve.gov blog will highlight some of the best stories from the field. Today we have a personal reflection from AmeriCorps NCCC member Nicole Wojcik, who is serving with team Delta 10 and staffing a donation hotline in New Jersey.
The transient nature of military life can make life difficult for students in military families, and many are stationed at Fort Leonard Wood for less than two years or experience parental deployment. They often have challenges with making new friends, fitting into social groups, and connecting with the community.
President Obama visited with members of FEMA Corps, a unit of AmeriCorps NCCC, during his November 15 trip to survey the Hurricane Sandy damage in Staten Island, NY. A small contingent of the 428 FEMA Corps members currently serving in New York and New Jersey met the President at a Staten Island Disaster Recovery Center as the scene was broadcast across the nation.
The work continues on the Hurricane Sandy recovery front in New York, New Jersey, and across the Northeast as approximately 1,200 national service members have been deployed in response to the storm. Read on to see some of the stories about service and volunteerism in the superstorm’s wake.
My name is Rebecca Lange and I am a proud alumna of the second class of AmeriCorps NCCC. I served at the Central Region campus in Denver, CO, from 1995-1996, a wide-eyed high school graduate looking for an adventure, a unique way to serve, and beyond excited to begin what I hoped to be an awesome life.
Last Friday, I had the opportunity to meet the second group of the inaugural class of FEMA Corps during their induction ceremony in Vinton, Iowa. Soon, this group will join their fellow FEMA Corps inductees in regional offices and joint field offices around the country. Similar to the induction ceremony in Vicksburg, I couldn’t help but come away from this ceremony energized, knowing this group of young people is sharply focused on making a difference in their world – particularly in the lives of disaster survivors.
When I served on Disaster Response assignment with AmeriCorps NCCC in 1998, I had no idea that I was starting on the Emergency Management career path. That one month on assignment in the San Francisco area was an amazing experience. Helping with their flood response in the area of logistics taught me about all of the coordination that is needed in a disaster response.
On May 22, 2011, an EF-5 tornado struck my hometown of Joplin, Missouri. Nearly every resident was affected. The tornado destroyed approximately 18,000 vehicles, 7,000 homes, 5,000 businesses, and took the lives of 162 people, including two of my high school classmates.