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March 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM EDT
An Innovative Partnership to Strengthen Disaster Response
On a daily basis, the employees of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) look into the eyes of disaster survivors and convey a calm strength and compassion to assist them on the road to recovery from disasters. Similarly conveying strength and resolve to make our nation stronger are the thousands of Americans who are part of AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). As a way to capitalize on the strength and compassion, on March 13, the Obama Administration opened a new chapter in the history of national service with the launch of FEMA Corps: AmeriCorps in Action, an innovative cost-saving partnership to strengthen our nation’s disaster response capabilities, while also expanding career opportunities for young people. This partnership between FEMA and CNCS goes to the heart of the mission for both of these agencies. Through dedicated community service, young Americans will help communities respond to and recover from disasters by assisting survivors, setting up shelters, assessing damage, coordinating volunteers, and many other activities. These efforts have a huge impact on the lives of families and entire communities trying to recover from the tragedy of a natural disaster. Ten years ago, after losing friends in the 9/11 attacks, Tracey Connelly joined AmeriCorps as a way give back to her community. After two years of service she found her calling in emergency management. Today she works for the city of Seattle, helping underserved communities prepare for natural disasters. read more
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