Local resident answers call to service in FEMA Corps

Apr 10, 2014

Frederica Blissett, of Edmonds, recently began a 10-month term of national service in FEMA Corps, an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) program.

FEMA Corps provides a boost to the nation’s ability to assist disaster survivors while expanding career opportunities for young people ages 18 to 24.

Blissett, based out of the campus in Sacramento, Calif., began her first project in late March.

During her service, Blissett, 22, will work with a team to assist citizens and communities that have been impacted by disasters, as well as provide administrative and logistical support to the nation’s emergency management system.

Since the program launched in Fall 2012, FEMA Corps has responded to last fall’s historic flooding in Colorado, Hurricane Sandy, the tornado in Moore, Okla., and the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, among other disasters.

Serving on teams of 10 to 12 people, FEMA Corps members both travel to disaster-affected communities and support longer-term recovery operations across the country.

Projects range from helping disaster survivors apply for FEMA assistance to mapping of disaster-stricken areas to sharing disaster preparedness and mitigation information with the public.

Blissett arrived at the AmeriCorps NCCC regional campus in Sacramento in February and completed six weeks of specialized training in teamwork, leadership development, communication, and service learning.

She will serve on several projects in various locations throughout the United States depending on where a disaster strikes.

Blissett graduated from Edmonds-Woodway High School in 2009.

“I chose a term of national service because it seemed like a good opportunity,” Blissett said. She is the child of Hamere Demessie.

After completing 1,700 hours of service, FEMA Corps members will receive a $5,645 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for tuition or student loans.

Applications will be accepted through Oct. 1, 2014, for those who would like to serve in FEMA Corps beginning next winter.

For more information, or to apply online, visit www.nationalservice.gov.

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