FEMA Corps assigns young people to disaster relief work

Wednesday - 3/14/2012, 9:55am EDT

First there was the Peace Corps, and then AmeriCorps, which brought college graduates into classrooms. Now there is FEMA Corps.

FEMA, part of the Homeland Security Department, is partnering with AmeriCorps to create a new unit to send young adults to disaster response and recovery efforts for 10 months to two years.

"This new partnership will help us respond to disasters in a way that is cost-effective, and that draws on the strengths of our communities and our people," said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano in a statement.

FEMA Corps could inspire young people to consider careers in emergency management, while helping survivors and saving money, according to the FEMA release.

The first members could begin serving in August 2012 and the program would reach full capacity within 18 months. The five-year agreement allowed for 1,600 members a year. FEMA Corps is expected to save about $60 million a year.

The program is open to individuals between age 18 and 24. Click here for more information about FEMA Corps.