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Rocky Mountain Youth Corps’ AmeriCorps Members Mobilized to Provide Aid During Fall 2012 Hurricanes

The 2012 hurricanes have challenged both Louisiana and the Eastern seaboard with devastating water damage, loss of vital services such as electricity, and displacement of thousands of families and individuals. As an AmeriCorps program, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps has responded with crews serving in the wake of both Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Sandy. Rocky Mountain Youth Corps is an AmeriCorps grant recipient, part of the National Service movement administered by the New Mexico Commission for Community Volunteerism and funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Under an agreement with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), carefully selected AmeriCorps programs can support disaster response teams with FEMA.

Fully trained and ready, this is the second FEMA deployment of Rocky Mountain Youth Corps in the past three months. In August and September 2012, RMYC was deployed to the New Orleans area to assist in shelter operations associated with Hurricane Isaac. While on assignment in La Place, Louisiana, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps worked to develop a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) in partnership with AmeriCorps St. Louis, FEMA and the St John Parish government. This center is a small part of developing the long term recovery plans for the St. John Parish. RMYC helped to mobilize the volunteers who could be responsive to the needs of hurricane victims, while understanding the communities’ needs and governmental system requirements.

In November, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps responded to Hurricane Sandy by sending a team of seven AmeriCorps Members to New York City to provide disaster relief assistance. RMYC Corpsmembers are staffing emergency shelters throughout Brooklyn. The shelters are accommodating general population and special needs evacuees from Hurricane Sandy and the Nor’easter Storm.

Carl Colonius, RMYC’s Executive Director, said he’s very proud of the Corps’ capacity to respond.

“We signed an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) earlier this year, and have prepared our crews for the opportunity to serve other communities. Our local partners, like the Carson National Forest, were very flexible in allowing us to postpone wildfire prevention projects and send our crews out east. This work is such a great chance for local crews to make a difference in another part of the country.”

The crew’s deployment is scheduled to last a minimum of 30 days. Many thanks to these members for their dedication to national service!