Disaster Preparedness & Response
Habitat for Humanity of Iowa's Mobile Response Team (MRT) was created in 2018 with funding support from the Corporation of National and Community Service, Volunteer Iowa, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa Finance Authority, and other key partners.
This team was created to respond to disasters across the state of Iowa and supports housing builds in communities in need of assistance. The MRT consists of a full-time Construction Manager, full-time Outreach Coordinator, and up to 10 AmeriCorps members, though any Habitat AmeriCorps has the potential to deploy.
The team is trained in disaster construction techniques, volunteer engagement, and is ready to respond to disasters anywhere in Iowa. While providing mobile response services, members will be away from home for up to 30 days at a time. Housing accommodations may consist of a campsite, community center basement, or other makeshift location.
Since its creation in 2018, the team has provided direct support to Marshalltown (July 2018 tornado), Southwest Iowa (spring-summer 2019 flooding), and Des Moines and Northeast Iowa (Spring 2020 COVID-19 food insecurity). The team has experience in mucking and gutting, tarping roofs, debris removal, and other critical repairs. In addition, the MRT has worked alongside long term recovery committees, performing home assessments and safety checks. Habitat has assisted 352 disaster affected households across Iowa. Habitat was able to do this by mobilizing 1,180 volunteers to assist in this work over the past two years.