By Faye Stone
North Carolina counts on national service members in times of need
Unfortunately, like so many other states, North Carolina has its fair share of disasters. When we need help, we know we can reach out to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and AmeriCorps! We know we can always count on national service in our time of need.
AmeriCorps members have mucked-out flooded homes after hurricanes and tropical depressions in eastern North Carolina many times. In our state, these AmeriCorps members have a great reputation and people love for them to help in their community because they truly get things done!
In our state, these AmeriCorps members have a great reputation and people love for them to help in their community because they truly get things done!
Several years ago, an AmeriCorps team deployed to our state to work on a service project for the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. In the middle of their deployment, a wildfire started in one of the state parks in western North Carolina. CNCS seamlessly changed the team’s deployment location from one area in our state to the disaster area and members immediately began assisting local firefighters in their effort to contain the fire.
Pretty remarkable, don’t you think?
Each of our AmeriCorps State programs is required to provide basic disaster preparedness and response training to all members. Each program also has a disaster-trained, member-driven Disaster Response Team so they can be deployed in-state to help in response efforts. Team members receive shelter management, damage assessment and/or Community Emergency Response Team training. Thanks to a partnership with American Red Cross, members have helped manage and staff shelters several times – mainly after winter ice storms in western North Carolina.
Our in-state AmeriCorps members love disaster preparedness and response training! They love it so much that all members in one program ventured out in a snowstorm this past winter to receive CERT training. Even though the photo below looks like they might have been engaged in volleyball rather than training, members were actually learning the proper way to use a fire extinguisher.
Through the years and various disasters, AmeriCorps members have played an invaluable role in response and recovery efforts in our state. They have worked alongside community-based and faith-based organizations, as well as state and local government.
We are so proud and thankful for the relationship we have with CNCS and its Disaster Services Unit. It is reassuring to know that national service assistance is only a phone call away when North Carolina needs help!
Faye Stone is the Deputy Executive Director/Emergency Management Director for the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.