WCC Emergency Response
Washington Conservation Corps has proven to be a vital
resource for emergency response in Washington State and beyond.
WCC crewmembers have responded to various disasters, including
fires, floods, hurricanes, tornados and oil spills.
2011 WCC Emergency Relief and Related Articles
January 17, 2011: Floods in Ellensburg
The WCC sent 16 people to respond to floods in and around
Ellensburg. Thank you to Ernie Farmer, Mike Stowell, and Luke
Wigle for their efforts coordinating this response. Thank you to
the WCC Members for being available at a moment's notice to help
a community in need.
2010 WCC Emergency Relief and Related Articles
December 12, 2010: Stanwood Flood Response
The WCC sent 8 WCC Members and Supervisors to flood response
in Stanwood, Washington. Thank you to Meghan Kermott and Vic
Bryant for their efforts coordinating this response. Thank you
to the WCC Members for spending a Sunday filling and placing
May 2010: Yazoo City, Mississippi tornado response
Our WCC responders returned early June from Emergency
Response in Yazoo City, Mississippi where hundreds of homes were
destroyed when a tornado struck on April 24th, 2010. Assistance
from the WCC was requested on Monday, May 10th and the WCC
recruited any and all available Corps Members for this effort.
The WCC deployed 30 WCC members and staff on Wednesday, May 12th
to assist in cleanup efforts, shelter operations, volunteer
coordination and recovery.
2009 WCC Emergency Relief and Related Articles
January 5, 2009 - Outside the snow is falling and Spokane
is calling... The over-abundance of snow is pushing the
weight limits of the structures in Eastern Washington. Two
school districts, Riverside High School and Medical Lake's
high school and middle school, called the WCC for help. There
are currently 40 Corpsmembers (8 crews) all over the rooftops of
buildings in Spokane. Some of the crews were sent over to the
Department of Ecology's Eastern Region office where people were
sent home due to safety concerns.
10 other Corpsmembers (2 crews) armed with
warm clothes and snow shovels in Packwood.
2008 WCC Emergency Relief and Related Articles
September 25, 2008 - The Washington Conservation Corps
crewmembers and supervisors have returned home safely. The
crews have completed a very successful 25 day deployment working
in shelters, assessing damage, tarping roofs, delivering
supplies, debris removal and mucking out houses. WCC is not
sending crews in October because the new AmeriCorps year is
starting and Supervisors have to hire new members while the
current crews term comes to an end. There is potential for more
WCC assistance in November if needed.
September 17, 2008 - All 50 WCC members are headed to
Chauvin, Louisiana, about 1 1/2 hours south of Baton Rouge to
continue their clean-up efforts. They will be staying at
the City Recreation center in Montegut, La. Most of their
work will consist of blue tarping and gutting homes of water
logged, moldy furniture, sheetrock, paneling, and flooring.
Most of the houses they will be working on are on stilts, which
has saved a number of homes from being completely submerged.
The crews are planned to arrive back at SeaTac Airport on
September 25th. They will likely bring with them a lack of
sleep, heavy hearts and memories from the devastation of
Hurricane Gustav and Ike.
September 13, 2008 - Hurricane Ike crashes into the
Texas coast taking with it precious lives and memories. No
WCC members were physically hurt, but all were affected by the
devastation that they were sent to live, breathe, and then help
September 2, 2008 - Hurricane Gustav may not have been
Katrina, but that does not mean there isn't plenty of work to be
done before families can return to their homes or even their
neighborhoods. With the
Corporation of National and Community Service (CNCS) and FEMA,
the WCC has sent over 50 people (about 1/3 of the Corpsmembers
and crew supervisors) down to assist in the clean up efforts in
Louisiana. Many of them have only just returned from Iowa
and did not hesitate to jump back into their big blue trucks and
head south to help those in need.
They have been sent on a 30-deployment that starts in
Shreveport, Louisiana. As the damages are assessed in the
area, crews will likely be sent to where the help is needed.
August 15, 2008 - Corpsmember Perry Onorio reflects
back on his experience in Iowa.
in Little Oakville, Iowa (Perry Onorio, August 2008)
July 30, 2008 - The crews are back, safe and sound,
but not without the memories of the devastation in Iowa (the
crews will share some of their stories soon). Perry
Onorio, one of the crew members that traveled down to Iowa to
provide relief, has decided to stay back to help.
In it for the Long Haul (Muscatine Journal, 7/9/08)
Volunteers Advance on Iowa's Muck (Des Moines Register,
July 3, 2008 - While we sit back and enjoy the festivities of Independence
Day, two WCC crews will be driving across the county to assist a
small community in Iowa heavily impacted by severe flooding.
Oakville, Iowa is a small town in Southeastern Iowa right on the
Illinois border completely submerged by the rising waters.
Most of the houses were flooded right up to the roof tops.
The WCC crews will do everything from organizing volunteer
groups, setting up warehouses, distributing goods, debris
removal, and just about anything else that needs to be done.
July 8, 2008 - The two crews arrived in Oakville on
Sunday afternoon and were immediately put to work helping to
organize the response. Much of the town was still inundated
with water from the breached dike and flood warnings were still
in effect. By this morning over 200 volunteers comprised of
residents, church groups, neighboring aid personnel and a
Minnesota Conservation Corps Crew were on the scene.
Milner, our lead supervisor on the ground and a veteran of many
missions to assist communities struck by natural disasters
stated that "there is a lot of work to be done and we are
relishing the challenges." The challenges include the daily
thunderstorms, the stifling humidity and the dreaded mosquitoes.
Some members are assisting in a variety of logistical work while
others have started clearing damaged items from houses while
waiting for the flood waters to recede from much of the town.
Previous response efforts:
SW Washington Flood Response (2007)
Missouri Ice Storms (2007)
Washington state floods (2006)
Oregon and California wildfires (2006)
Hurricane Response (2004)
View Pictures and stories from
Hurricane Katrina Response Efforts (2005/2006)
Every WCC Crewmember, trained in disaster response, must be
available for dispatch to any natural or man-made disaster. With
possible Red Cross training and Wilderness Advanced First Aid
(with the potential upgrade to Wilderness First Responder), WCC
members will be invaluable resources to their communities.
The WCC offers a 40 hour wildland firefighter certification
through our participating sponsors such as the
Service, National Parks and
Washington State Department of
Corpsmembers who have obtained Red Card Certification may
fight fire in any part of the country. Red Card and other
certifications offered within the WCC prove valuable to
Corpsmembers interested in working with Federal and State
Natural Resource agencies.
Additionally, members receive training in some of the following courses:
- Wilderness Advance First Aid
- Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) and
Advanced First Aid
- Red Cross Disaster Relief Training
- Wildland Firefighter Certification
- Spill Response
- Search and Rescue
- Hazardous Materials Training
Questions or comments about Emergency Response?
Contact Roland McGill
- (360) 407-6077