AmeriCorps members deployed to Florida and Hawaii to help residents recover from national disasters

AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, is providing direct relief to communities impacted by natural disasters. Recently Florida and Hawaii were struck by disasters that impacted thousands of people and devastated families and communities. Working in partnership with local governments and response crews, AmeriCorps deployed more than 100 members and staff to provide support to those impacted by these disasters. 

Hurricane Idalia made landfall on Wednesday, Aug. 30, in Florida as a category three hurricane. With maximum winds of 125 mph, Idalia was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Florida’s Big Bend region in more than 125 years. On Thursday, Aug. 31, President Biden declared a Federal Disaster Declaration for Florida. AmeriCorps deployed more than 60 members and staff to assist with tree removal, temporary roof repair, debris removal, mold suppression and muck and gut services.

On Tuesday, Aug. 8, a series of wildfires broke out in Hawaii, predominantly on the island of Maui. The wind-driven fires prompted evacuations, caused widespread damage and killed at least 115 people in the town of Lahaina, making this the deadliest wildfire in modern US history. On Thursday, Aug. 10, President Biden issued a federal major disaster declaration. Since Thursday, Aug. 17, AmeriCorps has deployed 40 members and staff. 

“When disaster strikes, AmeriCorps responds. Recently, Hawaii and Florida have been struck with devastating disasters and AmeriCorps quickly deployed members and staff to assist in the long road to recovery,” said Michael D. Smith, CEO, AmeriCorps. “We remain dedicated to providing support and relief to communities with the most need, and right now those impacted by Hurricane Idalia and the Hawaii wildfires have an immense need. We are on the ground, doing everything we can to support these communities and will be there for as long as we’re needed."

In Honolulu, Hawaii, AmeriCorps disaster response teams are supporting the Maui Relief Storage Facility with sorting, packing and re-palletizing of donated goods that will be delivered to facilities in Maui. They are also registering and preparing volunteers on-site. The Maui team is supporting the Safeway Distribution Site in Kahului, Hawaii, by distributing donated supplies to survivors and restocking/prepping the facility. 

Additionally, AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps members in Hawaii are collecting data and preparing reports to strengthen response efforts for the weeks, months and years ahead.