Utah Conservation Corps Responds to Louisiana Hurricanes

The Utah Conservation Corps (UCC) at Utah State University is responding to Hurricanes Laura and Delta that have impacted the Lake Charles area of Louisiana over the past two months. The Disaster Services Unit of AmeriCorps has requested that the UCC deploy from October 27 through December 7. The UCC is sending three staff members that all have previous disaster response experience along with five AmeriCorps members to assist in the response.

“It is amazing opportunity to have the backing of Utah State University to do this project” said Individual Placement and Disaster Response Coordinator Amber O’Quinn. “We’re fortunate to be able to serve survivors and learn from this experience.”

UCC staff spent a considerable amount of time before this deployment coordinating with the Disaster Services Unit of AmeriCorps and Utah State University administration to develop a comprehensive safety plan for staff and AmeriCorps members with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This team will be part of an effort that includes staff and AmeriCorps members from the Louisiana Conservation Corps, National Civilian Community Corps, Montana Conservation Corps, and Washington Conservation Corps to complete needed mucking and gutting, tarping and debris removal projects. As a member of the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team, UCC is expertly trained to provide support for shelter operations, call centers, volunteer and donation management, muck and gut operations, blue-roof tarping and debris cleanup, among other services. Over the past four years the UCC has responded to disasters in Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

UCC also is currently recruiting AmeriCorps members to serve later this fall if this project is extended. More information about disaster response AmeriCorps positions can be found at https://ucc.usu.edu/positions.

The UCC, based out of USU’s Center for Community Engagement, was formed in 2001 with a mission to develop the conservation leaders of tomorrow. Since 2001, more than 2,000 UCC AmeriCorps members have served over 1.5 million hours creating or maintaining 3,867 miles of trail and 486 miles of fence, restoring 51,968 acres of public land and reaching 430,921 students with environmental education.

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