Incredible mission: Answering FEMA call for volunteers


Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of commentaries about assisting the Federal Emergency Management Agency in its disaster recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

FORT POLK, La. — As the plane landed in San Juan, Puerto Rico, just a month after Hurricane Maria made landfall there, a flight attendant made an emotional announcement. She informed the passengers that a contingent of volunteers was aboard to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency with recovery efforts on the island, and asked for a round of applause. Her voice cracked as she said, “Thank you for coming to help our people.”

I was one of those volunteers, and that thank you was one of many bestowed upon me during my six-week deployment as a member of the FEMA Surge Capacity Force, or SCF.


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