The White House has announced a new partnership between the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that will establish a FEMA-devoted unit of 1,600 service corps members within the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corp (NCCC) solely devoted to disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
The FEMA Corps members, who will serve for a 10-month term with an option to extend for a second year, will be solely focused on providing support in areas ranging from working directly with disaster survivors to supporting disaster recovery centers to sharing valuable disaster preparedness and mitigation information with the public.
The first members will begin serving in August 2012 and the program will reach full capacity within 18 months, according to FEMA.
At an event inaugurating the program Tuesday at FEMA headquarters in Washington, DC, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the new program would “help communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters by supporting disaster recovery centers, assisting in logistics, community relations and outreach, and performing other critical functions.”
“We know from experience that quick deployment of trained personnel is critical during a crisis,” Napolitano said. “The FEMA Corps will provide a pool of trained personnel, and it will also pay long-term dividends by adding depth to our reserves — individuals trained in every aspect of disaster response who augment our full-time FEMA staff.”
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