Officials have announced the creation of FEMA Corps, which sets the foundation for a new generation of emergency managers and leverages a newly-created unit of 1,600 service corps members from AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps who are solely devoted to FEMA disaster response and recovery.
The full-time residential service program is for individuals ages 18-24, and members will serve a one-year term including a minimum of 1,700 hours, providing support working directly with disaster survivors. The first members will begin serving in this August and the program will reach its full capacity within 18 months.
The program will enhance the federal government’s disaster capabilities, increase the reliability and diversity of the disaster workforce, promote an ethos of service, and expand education and economic opportunity for young people.
Cecilia Muñoz (pictured above), Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, announced the move on Wednesday, saying:
“[FEMA Corps], helps communities recover, it trains young people, helps them pay for college, and it doesn’t cost taxpayers an additional dime. Whether you’re a young person looking for work, a member of the community that’s been hit by a flood or a tornado or just a citizen who wants your tax dollars to be spent as wisely as possible, this is a program you can be proud of. This is really government at its best.”
Secretary Napolitano added:
“First and most important, it will 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.