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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Office of the COO

   

COO Message on Hurricane Katrina Response Efforts

 

Dear Colleagues,

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, national service programs are joining with local, state, and national relief and recovery efforts to provide assistance to those in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the surrounding region whose lives were upended by the storm. Currently, we are working on several fronts to ensure that our resources are put to best use. I am attaching an update from our Emergency Management Coordinator, Cee Cee Molineaux, to apprise you of the latest developments. We will continue to provide updates on a regular basis. I also want to let you know that while our employees in the affected states are physically OK, many may be facing loss and hardship, and we expect the same is the case with our hundreds of grantees in the affected states and we hope for the best.

In response to many requests from many of you in the field, I wish to provide the following guidance. As FEMA has instructed, it is critically important that volunteers do not show up in the affected areas on their own, as they can put themselves in harm’s way and possibly hamper rescue efforts. At this time, in fact, the most valuable way for you and your organization to help is to send cash to voluntary organizations involved in the relief and recovery effort. A FEMA announcement including website links to many of the organizations assisting in the recovery and response efforts is available at http://www.fema.gov/press/2005/resources_katrina.shtm. Please note that one of the organizations accepting online donations is our own Disaster Relief Fund at http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/donations/index.asp.

In the days and weeks ahead, the Corporation will be working through proper channels to find ways that our programs can be of assistance. This tragedy reminds us that we all have roles to play in helping our fellow citizens recover and rebuild their lives. If you are a grantee or sponsor of any one of the Corporation’s programs and you have the interest, background, and capacity to respond to this disaster or others in the future, please consider applying for our Disaster Response Cooperative Agreement, which was made available earlier this summer. Please click here for more information.

Approval of this agreement will allow you to be assigned to specific disaster response activities and to be reimbursed by the Corporation through FEMA for the cost of your response.

Last year’s experience with the hurricanes in Florida provided us with a framework to build on, and we urge you to be patient as we determine the most effective ways to deploy our resources and personnel. Frequent updates will be available on our website, and we encourage any grantee involved in Katrina response efforts to send a concise email about your activities to Hank Oltman at [email protected].

Sincerely,

Liz Seale
Chief Operating Officer

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HURRICANE KATRINA UPDATE

August 31, 2005

Following is an update about our involvement in the response to Hurricane Katrina.

At the moment, the response is very much focused on search and rescue and life-saving efforts, including further evacuations in New Orleans. Relief agencies are facing extreme difficulties in getting supplies into the affected areas; however, all are activating and moving supplies to staging areas as close as they can get. There is also an issue with housing capacity for evacuees, which will also impact the availability of accommodations for responders.

We are beginning negotiations for Mission Assignments from FEMA today. Our first objective will be to send AmeriCorps teams to the Emergency Operations Centers of the impacted states (LA, MS, and AL) to assist with donations and volunteer management efforts. Our plan is to deploy corps members from the St. Louis Safety Corps,with experience indonations and volunteer management capacity building,along with NCCC corps members in order to train them in this activity. We’re also hoping to involve any available local national service participants in this effort, so that this will be a mentoring opportunity for both national and local resources.

In addition, AmeriCorps*NCCC Northeast Region campus has deployed 73 corps members with the American Red Cross (ARC)to assist in mass care efforts in the impacted states. The American Red Cross has requested an additional 24 corps members for another deployment. In addition, the Central Region campus currently has 22 corps members assisting ARC at their call centers.

I have been receiving calls from programs offering to help, and the message to them is the same: It will still be some time before we will be deploying teams to assist in further FEMA response efforts because of severe safety and logistical issues. However, we will be assisting in the efforts as the issues can be resolved. This is going to be a very long-term response, and we will not sendinresources until we know that they will be safe, secure, well-provided for, and of the highest degree of usefulness to the operation.

Programs should be reminded that they must have applied for a Disaster Response Cooperative Agreement before they can be considered for FEMA response. Programs interested in deploying with the American Red Cross should contact their local Red Cross chapters to explore those opportunities.

Cee Cee Molineaux
Emergency Management Coordinator
Corporation for National and Community Service

 

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