WCC Disaster Response

WCC responds to disasters in Washington and beyond, assisting communities after fires, floods, hurricanes, tornados, oil spills and more. Four WCC crews are designated disaster response crews, though any crew has the potential to deploy.

During disaster response (national or local), members may be required to stay away from home for up to 30 days at a time. Accommodations may consist of campsites, community center basements, or other makeshift locations while serving on a disaster response. These are rigorous assignments so please be sure you are up to the challenge before applying to one of the disaster response crews. WCC member participation in response efforts is voluntary.

Recent disaster response efforts include:

Louisiana Flooding

Louisiana flood response

In WCC’s largest out-of-state deployment since 2012, 72 WCC staff and AmeriCorps members traveled to Baton Rouge, La., in August 2016 to assist communities after record flooding. WCC supervisor Ernie Farmer lead the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (ADRT) response as Incident Commander. Supervisor Rob Crawford served as Operations Chief, Phill VanKessel as Logistics Chief and other WCC supervisors helped lead over 400 responding AmeriCorps members total. In November, 24 additional WCC staff and AmeriCorps members arrived in Louisiana for another 30-day deployment to support ADRT’s final month of response efforts. Read member-written blog posts from this deployment. Photo by FEMA/J.T. Blatty.

Florida Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew response

In mid-October 2016, 24 WCC AmeriCorps members and staff departed for Florida to assist communities affected by Hurricane Matthew. During the 30-day deployment, primary tasks included debris removal, hazard tree removal, roof tarping and more. For member-written blog posts from this deployment, visit our Facebook page.

West Virginia Flooding

West Virginia flood response

12 WCC staff and AmeriCorps members deployed to Charleston, W. Va., in early July 2016 for a 30-day disaster response deployment. Members assisted communities after devastating flooding hit in late June. Tasks included volunteer reception center coordination, mucking and gutting homes and more. For member-written blog posts from this deployment, visit our Facebook page.

Missouri Flooding

Missouri flood response

37 WCC AmeriCorps members and staff drove to Missouri in early January 2016 to assist with flood response efforts. Twenty-four additional WCC AmeriCorps members and staff arrived in February to take over operations for another month. In addition to debris removal and "muck and gut" structure operations, WCC AmeriCorps members and staff held key leadership roles within the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams onsite. For member-written blog posts from this deployment, visit our Facebook page.

Saipan Typhoon

Saipan Typhoon

In early October 2015, WCC sent a team of eight WCC AmeriCorps members and two supervisors to Saipan to assist the community after Typhoon Soudelor hit in August. Saipan is part of the Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the United States. In a more unique disaster response assignment, WCC AmeriCorps members and staff lead capacity building efforts on the island. Collaborating with local representatives, they helped create a support system so that relief can continue on the island long term. Read a member's reflection.


Grays Harbor Flooding

Grays Harbor Flooding

Our AmeriCorps members and staff deployed to Grays Harbor County for initial flood response efforts in January 2015. In February-March 2015, our crews returned to assist with mold remediation. Read a member's reflection.



Detroit Flooding

Detroit Flooding

A 6-person crew deployed to Detroit, Michigan to respond to flooding in December 2014. In total, the crew completed 57 "muck and gut" structure operations, conducted 18 damage assessments, and cleared over 1,000 cubic yards of debris over the course of one month. Read a member's reflection.



Wildfire Response

Fire Photo

The WCC deploys members and crew supervisors to assist with wildfire response throughout Washington annually. Below are a few highlights from recent years:

  • In summer 2016, WCC members and staff responded to 6 Washington wildfires. WCC also provided logistical support for the Eastern and Western Washington Fire Training Academies. In total, 55 members and staff provided a total of 5,617 hours for wildfire response services.
  • In summer, 2015, 150 WCC members and staff responded to 26 wildfires throughout Washington for a total of 26,064 hours. Read a nationally published member-written blog post from the 2015 fire season.
  • In summer 2014, 172 members and supervisors responded to 11 wildfires. 68 WCC members and supervisors responded to the Carlton Complex wildfire. WCC logged over 38,000 hours assisting wildfire response efforts in total.
  • Beginning September 2014, the WCC has provided nearly 6,000 hours of service to Carlton Complex recovery efforts. To date, the WCC has removed over 10 miles of fire-damaged fencing through our partnership with WA Department of Fish and Wildlife

Oso Landslide

Oso Landslide The SR530 landslide struck near Oso, WA on Saturday, March 22, 2014. The WCC rallied to support the response efforts in Arlington, Oso, and Darrington — growing from one six-person AmeriCorps crew deployed on March 26th to nine crews (54 AmeriCorps members and staff) on scene at the peak of the search and rescue operations. In total, 83 AmeriCorps Members and 25 staff provided assistance over the course of one month. Each crew deployed for fourteen 16-hour days for a combined total of over 18,500 hours served.

In addition, WCC has responded to Yukon Flooding in 2013, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Tornado in Joplin in 2011 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Questions or comments about WCC's disaster response program? Contact Project Coordinator Roland McGill.

Want to learn more about WCC member positions? Check out our FAQ page.