St. Paul, Minn. – On Saturday, November 3, 39 staff and corps members from Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa deployed to New York City to assist with disaster relief efforts after Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the east coast. Corps members have been assigned to operate five emergency shelters located in Queens and Brooklyn. They join over 800 AmeriCorps volunteers from programs around the country who have convened on the east coast to assist with disaster response.
In general, the teams are essentially running the full daily operations of the shelters. This includes managing volunteers, monitoring residents, assisting residents with questions and needs, receiving and distributing donated goods and monitoring facilities to ensure the security of residents. Many of the shelters are housing special needs residents ranging from the disabled, to the mentally ill to the elderly. Members are working 12-hour overnight shifts and are expected to remain for at least 30 days. Their assignments will likely change over time.
Deployment is made possible through collaboration between the Conservation Corps, the Corporation for National and Community Service Disaster Services Unit, FEMA and the State of New York. Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa is among eight corps throughout the country that specializes and trains members in disaster response. The Corps has a collaborative agreement with the Disaster Services Unit, allowing for the assignment of AmeriCorps members to disaster response.