In 2012 the Corporation for National Community Service partnered with FEMA to create FEMA Corps: a 10 month, team-based AmeriCorps program in which men and women ages 18-24 help with disaster services.
In the wake of Super-storm Sandy all 42 FEMA Corps teams were assigned tasks in New York and New Jersey. The Corps Members approached these assignments with the “FEMA Flexible” mindset and the AmeriCorps’ attitude to “Get Things Done”. While working at a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Atlantic City, New Jersey, team Spruce 6 instructed survivors about how to register for assistance and lent their phones to the survivors who had no other means of contacting FEMA.
As the DRC filled with families it became loud and chaotic making it difficult for survivors to concentrate on registering while still tending to their children. While half of the team continued monitoring the registrations, the remaining members took initiative and created activities to keep the children engaged. Their resourceful efforts helped the children pass the time, and allowed their occupied parents to focus on registration.
This is just one example of FEMA Corps efforts in response to Sandy. To learn more about FEMA Corps go to www.americorps.gov/for_individuals/choose/americorpsnccc_femacorps.asp