April '18

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100 • RV PRO • April 2018 rv-pro.com B U S I N E S S W hen natural disaster strikes, RV Disaster Corps volunteers ride to the rescue – literally. The Waco, Texas-based nonprofit group vets, organizes and deploys RVer volunteers, who deploy to areas in the United States impacted by nat- ural disaster to assist with multi-agency recovery efforts. Launched in September 2016, RVDC seeks out RV owners aged 55 and older. Most of the nonprofit group's recruits are retired or semi-re- tired, so they have the availability to travel and serve for extended periods, according to RVDC Volunteer Coor- dinator Jamie Allnutt. Allnutt likens RVers to turtles who have their houses with them, and there- fore don't impact the scarce housing resources often seen in places hit by natural disasters. "What I'm finding is that these Baby Boomers are eager to contribute. They've had a profession, or two or three, and have skills and knowledge," she says. "They're adventurous and taking the opportunity to do this." Answering the Call The talents of RVDC volunteer were put to the test in late 2017 in the after- math of Hurricane Harvey. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in August 2017 on the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane. With wind gusts of 130 mph, it dumped more than 60 inches of rain, making it the first major hurricane to make landfall since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. It caused some $198 billion in damages to parts of Texas and Louisiana. The relatively new RV Disaster Corps mobilizes RVer volunteers to aid communities impacted by natural disasters. By Tamarind Phinisee RV Disaster Corps staffers (back row left to right) Robert Sanchez, Hannah Flowers and Christina Oldfield, along with volunteers Janie and Ralph Bowler, are pictured with RVDC Program Director Susan Copeland (front row, left) and Volunteer Coordinator Jamie Allnutt at the offices of the RV Disaster Corps, located onsite at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas. RVDC launched in September 2016 with the goal of mobilizing RVer volunteers to assist in local communities impacted by natural disasters. RVDC PHOTOS BY ROD AYDELOTTE; VOLUNTEER PHOTOS COURTESY OF RVDC VOLUNTEERS RVDC to the Rescue!

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