On Friday March 2nd, five of SLA’s Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC) members had the opportunity to travel to the New Hampshire Fire Academy in Concord to participate in an AmeriCorps training program known as Ready Corps. This program works to create disaster resilient communities by increasing local preparedness through volunteer engagement and partnership networks. Led by Volunteer New Hampshire and Red Cross, the LRCC team met many members from several different AmeriCorps programs within the state, including Granite State Education Corps, VISTA, and a very large group from Student Conservation Association (SCA).
“Ready Corps is a great way for LRCC members to interact with other AmeriCorps members throughout the region and swap stories and experiences,” said LRCC AmeriCorps member, Meghan Christie.
Two Red Cross employees, Kristen and Linda, led most of the training throughout the day. First, participants learned about the disaster services cycle, and then about shelter fundamentals. The training was augmented by many incredible firsthand accounts from large scale natural disasters within recent years, and several fellow AmeriCorps members who had previously volunteered during natural disasters were able to share their experiences.
This training came at a particularly relevant time, as a strong Nor’easter brought heavy rain, very high winds, and serious flooding to the northeastern seacoast. Throughout the day, Linda and Kristen were alternating between presenting and training, and making phone calls to mobilize volunteers and resources to help in Massachusetts. The LRCC team has yet to be called upon to help with clean up from the recent storm, but are well equipped with the appropriate training and skills to make a difference when the call comes.
The Squam Lakes Association would like to thank Volunteer New Hampshire, Red Cross, and all of those who made this day a great success. The Ready Corps training adds valuable and tangible skills to the AmeriCorps experience, and gives LRCC members a chance to connect with other volunteer leaders throughout the region that work hard every day to make a difference in the community.