"We are extremely thankful that all 84 volunteers serving in Thailand have been contacted and verified as safe. We had an additional 15 volunteers that were traveling through Thailand during the holiday season from their countries of assignment, and all of them are also confirmed safe," said Director Vasquez in a press release.
"At Peace Corps' headquarters and around the world, we mourn the loss of life and devastation resulting from the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. We will continue our mission of serving the people of Thailand and Eastern Asia through this difficult time," said Director Vasquez.
Currently, the Peace Corps is assessing the longer term needs in Thailand as a result of this disaster. The agency is developing plans to deploy a number of Crisis Corps volunteers to help the citizens of Thailand in longer term reconstruction projects focused on assisting the hardest hit families, youth, schools and communities.
The Crisis Corps has responded to over 300 natural disasters since its inception in 1996. Crisis Corps volunteers are former Peace Corps volunteers who have completed at least one year of service. Crisis Corps volunteers work on short term projects, usually three to six month assignments, utilizing the skills they learned as Peace Corps volunteers and in post service careers.
Peace Corps staff in Washington remains in constant communication with staff at the post and is coordinating closely with the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok to monitor the situation.
If families have questions or concerns, they may contact the Peace Corps' Office of Special Services at 1-800-424-8580, extension 1470, or after hours at 202-638-2574. The Office of Special Services maintains a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week duty system and may also be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.