The AmeriCorps NCCC-FEMA Corps Hickory 3 team has been living the “Oklahoma Strong” life. The team spent October and November working with FEMA’s National Disaster Recovery Support group in support of the State of Oklahoma.
Under the guidance of their Team Leader, Donald Hawkins II, the team has made a lasting impact at the Oklahoma City Joint Field Office. One project the team worked on has already gained attention from residents. Team members went door-to-door in El Reno to conduct the “City of El Reno Business Surveys.” The survey was created to ensure all businesses with unmet needs can be contacted by organizations assisting in the recovery process. The team spent three days canvassing, ensuring that all businesses were appropriately represented in the survey findings.
The Hickory 3 team also had a helping hand in strengthening the connection between FEMA and Tribal Nations in Oklahoma. Tribal Briefs compiled by Hickory 3 members were used to prepare JFO staff members for a meeting with members of the state’s Inter-Tribal Emergency Management Coalition on October 23 and 24, 2013. The one-pagers provided a snapshot on the tribe’s history, its emergency management capacity and a history of previous disasters.
“FEMA Corps Hickory 3 Team has truly been an asset to the long-term recovery operations currently taking place in Oklahoma,” said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator Wayne Rickard. “Through a number of interactive, informative and engaging assignments, they have helped introduce disaster-impacted communities to the fundamentals of resiliency, community planning and capacity building.”
The Hickory 3 team members also had the opportunity to learn during a tour of the nation’s premiere weather forecasting facility. On November 7, 2013, team members visited the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla. The center issues national severe weather warnings and watches.
Members were introduced to technology that is providing a blueprint for resiliency, community planning and capacity building to Oklahoma communities and the entire nation. The RaXPol – a rapid-scan, high-resolution, truck-mounted Doppler radar – is one of the tools meteorologists use to analyze and track severe weather. In less than 30 seconds, the radar is able to capture a fully polarimetric image of an entire severe storm.