WILLISTON, Vt. – A team of young Americans who have volunteered to serve their country during disasters is in Vermont learning more about the science of disaster response and recovery from observing Vermont’s recovery from flooding earlier this year as well as Tropical Storm Irene.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency welcomed a team of FEMA Corps members to the Joint Field Office in Williston for a two-week stint of education, which will be highlighted by actual site visits, as part of their nine-month assignment to FEMA’s Region I office in Boston.
“These young people embody the true spirit of FEMA,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Mark Landry, the head of FEMA’s operations in Vermont. “They have volunteered to help their country, and through their service our nation will be better prepared for disasters in the future.”
The seven FEMA Corps members – who range in age from 18 to 24 and hail from seven different states – have met with and gained valuable insights from state and local officials as well as veteran FEMA personnel.
FEMA and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCC) launched FEMA Corps in 2012 to strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from disasters while expanding career opportunities for young people.
FEMA Corps is a new unit of AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) whose members will be devoted solely to FEMA disaster response and recovery efforts. The five-year agreement provides for a full service corps of 1,600 members annually who will be an additional workforce in support of FEMA’s current disaster reservist workforce.
Once trained by FEMA and CNCS, members will provide support in areas ranging from working directly with disaster survivors to supporting disaster recovering centers to sharing valuable disaster preparedness and mitigation information with the public.
FEMA Corps members will serve for a 10 month term with an option to extend for a second year. The program will prepare thousands of young people for careers in emergency management and related fields. During their service, they will gain significant training and experience in disaster services and will provide important support to disaster survivors.