RMYC of Taos sends crew to help in disaster recovery

Submitted report
Posted 2/6/19

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps has been deployed by FEMA to serve in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, flooding in Louisiana in the fall of 2016, and Hurricane Harvey in the fall of 2017.

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RMYC of Taos sends crew to help in disaster recovery

Posted

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps is New Mexico's largest AmeriCorps program, working with 200 youth per year, ages 17-25 years old. Among other projects, RMYC deployed corps members from Taos to help communities in Florida recover from catastrophic flooding caused by recent Hurricane Michael.

In partnership with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), the Corporation for National and Community Service activated AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams (A-DRT's) across the country to help with recovery projects in the wake of the recent string of tropical storms.

After receiving Incident Command System training to learn emergency management and communication protocols, RMYC crew members will be sent on a 42-day deployment to impacted areas. While on disaster relief, RMYC AmeriCorps members work in several capacities, including coordinating logistics at A-DRT field offices, staffing volunteer reception centers, canvassing neighborhoods to assess disaster damage, removing debris to provide access to homes and mucking and gutting flood-damaged homes.

This will not be the first time AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams have been called to serve other communities after a natural disaster. Rocky Mountain Youth Corps has been deployed by FEMA to serve in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, flooding in Louisiana in the fall of 2016, and Hurricane Harvey in the fall of 2017.

When Rocky Mountain Youth Corps crews are not stepping up to respond to natural disasters they are making a difference year-round in their local New Mexico communities. RMYC is a youth development organization that uses environmental restoration projects on federal, state and tribal lands as a strategy to connect young adults to increased economic and academic opportunities, while fostering environmental stewardship.

Through an outdoor, hands-on, teamwork model, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps provides leadership development and professional job training for youth seeking conservation employment opportunities. AmeriCorps crews complete various community improvement projects such as trail construction and maintenance, habitat/watershed restoration, erosion control, invasive species management, historic preservation, and chainsaw and forest thinning work. Crew members are enrolled in full-time paid service opportunities while earning additional scholarship money through an AmeriCorps Segal Education Award.

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps was founded in Taos in 1995 by a small group of motivated parents and community members who recognized the unique cultural and economic challenges in New Mexico. In 2015, RMYC expanded to serve Middle Río Grande communities with a second office in the South Valley of Albuquerque.

We are proud to be based out of the first urban wildlife refuge in the Southwest, Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. RMYC enrolls youth, ages 17-25, every spring, summer and fall in conservation projects involving both day work crews and overnight backcountry camping crews.

To get involved and for more information about the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, please visit our website at youthcorps.org or email Nathan Coney at coney@youthcorps.org.

- Report submitted by Rocky Mountain Youth Corps

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