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Northwest Iowa Flooding Response

AmeriCorps Mission Assignment Overview

Thank you for interest in joining our AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team under the Volunteer Iowa umbrella. This team will be joining other A-DRTs from across the country. All will be part of an official AmeriCorps Disaster Response Mission Assignment which is currently open until the end of September. 

This response needs many AmeriCorps members and volunteers to make this mission happen. We are asking members to sign up for days using the "Sign Up" button at the top of the page. This will allow us to plan and ensure we have enough food and housing available each week. 

Example Activities: Mucking and gutting, mold remediation, donations management, volunteer management, administrative work and more


Volunteer Reception Center Information:

Members will start out the mornings at the Volunteer Reception Center at the Spencer City Hall. They will receive assignments and volunteer crews from there. 

Example Schedules: The mission assignment operates 9-5pm Monday- Saturday. Weekends are the most important days because community volunteers are available to assist and AmeriCorps members can lead these community volunteers to have a great impact. 

Housing and food: Housing and food will be provided for disaster crews. The facilities will be at Dordt College dorms until mid-August and then will move to a youth camp near Okoboji through September. Food is donated and served communally. When food has not been donated disaster crews are allotted grocery money and will cook and together as a group. 
*Disaster crews are not required to live and eat in the provided facilities but they will not be reimbursed for any outside arrangements. 

  • July 11-July 30: Dordt University, Sioux Center, Iowa - Dorm Suites shared rooms 2 bunkbeds per room, shared kitchen, shared bathroom

  • August 1 - September 29 - Lakeside Labs Cabins, Milford, Iowa - Cabins with bunk beds, Shared kitchen space, 

  • Grocery Budget: $25 per person per day - shop, cook, and eat together. Supervisors use organization cards for purchasing foods. 

Counting Service Hours while on Deployment: 

Disaster is filled with some long days. Hours are counted when member are required to be somewhere and actively engaged. For example, while traveling to disaster deployment, while serving on site, while participating in mandatory meetings and debriefs.

Example Member arrives at daily brief at 9am and serves until 5pm (lunch was group activity). 5-6pm members are go to decontamination zones to shower the clean up gear. 6-7pm members eat and debrief for the day with team and supervisor. Member is then free after 7pm. This means that member would record 9am- 7pm or 10 hours of service for the day. 

Safety while on deployment: 

Safety is the most important part of working on deployment. Members will be provided with proper PPE, rules and expectations, as well as supervisors who are trained in disaster deployment safety rules. Your safety is our first priority. This includes watching taking in factors like heat, weather, personal, and environmental and more. 

Mileage and reimbursement of food while in travel status: 

When members are traveling to and from disaster deployment that expense falls on the members' AmeriCorps program and their individual travel policies. For example, Habitat for Humanity of Iowa members will complete a mileage form to be reimbursed by the Habitat AmeriCorps grant. 

Required Trainings to Deploy


Volunteer Iowa Disaster 101 Training

  • Volunteer Iowa Disaster 101 Training goes over the basics of disaster response and expectations out in the field. 

    • 1 hour summary presentation

    • Full day trainings hosted 2-3 times a year through Volunteer Iowa


Mucking and Gutting Training - Just in Time A-DRT

  1. Muck and Gut Set Up- 13 minutes

  2. Muck and Gut Full Training -60 minutes


Deployment Resources

Who is your contact? 

  • LOGISTICS Katie Sylvis, AmeriCorps Program Director for Habitat for Humanity of Iowa


  • DAY TO DAY SUPERVISION: Les Gunderson, Construction Leader of the AmeriCorps Mobile Response Team

    • / cell phone - 515-505-0210​

    • *Les will be relieved by other construction staff. You will be informed of new supervisors as they swap out

How to sign up for shifts: 

  • All members attending to join the Volunteer Iowa Disaster response team will need to sign up for shifts by clicking the "Sign Up" button at the top of the page. This will allow us to plan accordingly. 

  • Members must sign up for a minimum of 3 days in a row so we can provide housing and food to those members

Optional Trainings for Habitat Members

Habitat International Volunteer Safety

Habitat for Humanity International has a safety training available virtually. Once complete the training will generate a quiz. If you pass the quiz, a certificate will be emailed to the affiliate.  

How to get started: 

Habitat learns - Disaster Response Safety for Habitat Staff and Volunteers

​This interactive training walks volunteers through potentials hazards on disaster sites and how to deal with those safety concerns. 

  • 1-2 hours – self paced

  • 1 interactive webinar


How to get started: 

  • Go 

  • Click on ‘Create Account’

  • Check box ‘I agree and accept to the above Terms and Conditions’

  • Complete the Account Registration steps (you may put your own affiliate or Habitat for Humanity of Iowa)

  • Your account will need to be approved by the affiliate system administrator (send them an email to ensure they approve your registration right away)

  • Once approved, go back to and login

  • At the MyHabitat homepage, click on HabitatLearns

  • Type in the search box "Disaster Response Safety"

  • Feel free to take any of the other classes as well. 

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