The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) unveiled an innovative new volunteer program on June 17, 2015 that will enhance disaster response and recovery efforts nationwide. The new program, Tech Corps, is a nationwide network of skilled, trained technology volunteers who can address critical technology gaps during and immediately following a disaster. FEMA has also signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Cisco Systems, Google, Humanity Road, Information Technology Disaster Resource Center, Intel, Joint Communications Task Force, and Microsoft in order to form the program.
“When disaster strikes, we all have a role to play in helping survivors recover, and that includes the private sector. Tech Corps volunteers will bring a vital skill set to our emergency management team to help the survivors we serve recovery more quickly after disasters.” – Craig Fugate, FEMA Administrator
Tech Corps will utilize volunteers with extensive technology-driven backgrounds to provide on-site and remote support to impacted jurisdictions and response teams as well as state and federal teams. Tech Corps partners have been active on their own during national and global technology disaster response efforts. The efforts include providing support during Hurricane Sandy and the earthquakes in Nepal and Haiti. To learn more about FEMA’s Tech Corps, visit http://www.fema.gov/tech-corps.
The introduction of Tech Corps, as well as the previous establishment of FEMA Corps, does not directly impact the Citizen Corps programs in place throughout the nation. There remains a constant focus on utilizing a whole-community approach to support neighbors helping neighbors. The introduction of these programs does, however, provide a unique level of support to Citizen Corps programs actively supporting an impacted population through the provision of additional tools and resources.
The original press release from FEMA can be found at http://www.fema.gov/news-release/2015/06/17/fema-launches-innovative-national-volunteer-program-enhance-disaster.