Current Disaster Deployments

san juan, Puerto Rico

Second Years Brenna Thompson (ERT 23 and VISTA 24) and Brittany Feathers (ERT 23 and 24) pose with a Voluntary Organization Active in Diaster (VOAD) partner in the mountains of Puerto Rico. 

On November 27, 2017, 3 Emergency Response Team members, Sam Owens, David Pierson, and Wren Wells, departed for San Juan, Puerto Rico to assist the community in recovery operations after Hurricane Maria. The team was joined on December 1, 2017 by 3 more Emergency Response Team members, Matt Farrington, Leela Hospach, and Nick Maya. The team of 6 joined recovery efforts on Saturday, December 2, by assisting AmeriCorps NCCC, FEMA Corps, and other local volunteer organizations in hosting a volunteer event at the Cataño Mass Care Warehouse.  A group of 36 volunteers from the area of Mar Azul joined members to serve over 200 hours re-packaging boxes of food to be distributed to remote and isolated areas of Puerto Rico. The teams had a lot of fun serving alongside local volunteers and even enjoyed a pizza lunch together at the warehouse. By the end of their service day, the teams packaged a total of 2,835 boxes of food onto 63 full pallets to be redistributed to the people of Puerto Rico.

As of mid-January 2018, the first wave of ERT members began transitioning home after almost 2 months of dedicated service. The new team includes VISTA and Second Year Brenna Thompson, as well as first years Erica Peterson, Kimberly Higgins, Brigid Mulroe, Colin Wilson, and Jimmy Tyler. The team is settling into their new positions and doing a great job across the island. 

As of  February 20th, 2018, the third wave of ERT members left for Puerto Rico. Team Leader Brittany Feathers arrived early to ease the transition. A week later, Wyatt Berrier, Sarah Prill, Heather McSherry, Eli Schmit, and Frankie DiVito flew to San Juan to relieve the 2nd wave members. We wish them luck as they settle into their new roles!

Year 24 member, Heather McSherry, supporting FEMA operations in the Joint Field Office in Orlando, Florida, 2017

Year 24 member, Heather McSherry, supporting FEMA operations in the Joint Field Office in Orlando, Florida, 2017

Year 24 member, Sarah Prill, assists alongside other AmeriCorps members in bucking hazard trees in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Florida, 2017

Year 24 member, Sarah Prill, assists alongside other AmeriCorps members in bucking hazard trees in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Florida, 2017

Orlando, Florida

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On November 13, 2017, 4 first year Emergency Team Members Rebecca Cicoria (Team Leader), Dave Cook, Heather McSherry, and Sarah Prill, deployed to Orlando, Florida to directly support FEMA operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The team has been assisting Voluntary Agency Liaisons (VALs) with volunteer and donation management including updating homeowner information, tracking unmet needs of survivors, building capacity for the Florida Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, and creating the framework for a rapid repair initiative. Team members have also been assisting other AmeriCorps members out in the field with hazard tree removal. The team transitioned out on December 11, 2017 with 4 more Emergency Response Team Members Fellow Brittany Merriman, and first years Megan Paynton, Cailynn Ponciroli, and Stephen Strack. This team continued to serve in Orlando, Florida to continue the initiatives that the first team set in place. 

On January 8th, 2018, A new team was sent to Orlando to transition out the previous team. Lead by Second Year Team Leader Abigail Hurd, first years Andy Clubb, Jane Kersch, and Alex Humphrey arrived safely and ready to serve. Like the previous teams, this round of ERT members will continue to focus on assisting FEMA operations, building capacity for local Long Term Recovery Organizations, and assisting AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams in coordination of field work. Wish them luck!

On February 20th, 2018, Kim Shonborn, Matthew Norman, Jason O'Malley, and Team Leader Loni Jean Rodrigo left St. Louis and started their 2-day drive to Orlando, Florida. They will relieve the previous team after a week-long transition period. We're excited for them to get their first taste of disaster with the Emergency Response Team, and we know they'll make us all proud!


Malden, Missouri

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On Saturday, February 24th, an EF2 Tornado struck the small town of Malden, Missouri. Over 70 homes were affected in a town of roughly 4,000 people. Out of the 70 homes, around 30 were deemed by the City of Malden as "Condemned" and unlivable. 

On February 27th, Julian Schriedel (VISTA) and Kelley Hower (Staff) drove 3 hours from St. Louis to Malden to assist with the  Volunteer Reception Center and other tasks. On February 28th they were joined by Fellows Brittany Merriman and William Cretinon. Deciding they needed additional support, the team asked the newly returning Florida deployment (on their drive home from Orlando) to stop by before heading to St. Louis. Andrew Clubb (First Year ERT) decided to stay with the team in Malden to lend a hand.

The team ran Homeowner Intake at the area Multi Agency Resource Center - a "one stop shop" for survivors of the disaster; assisted local volunteers with donations management; and provided support to the forming Long Term Recovery group and City recovery efforts. The ERT members pulled out of Malden on March 3rd. 

To donate directly to the City of Malden's Disaster Relief Efforts please visit their website, every little bit will help this community recovery!