IEEE-USA Celebrates Fifth Anniversary of MOVE Disaster Relief and Outreach Program

In March, IEEE-USA celebrated five years of the MOVE emergency relief and community outreach program. Since March 2016, MOVE (an IEEE-USA initiative) volunteers have deployed 20 times on disaster relief missions, and have helped more than a quarter million people. “I’m so proud of what this program has accomplished so far,” said Mary Ellen Randall, MOVE Program Director and 2021 IEEE Treasurer. “There is nothing more rewarding than helping people in their time of need. From Texas to Florida to New York, our volunteers have been there to offer support, and we aim to do even more in the future.”

MOVE’s trained volunteers and flagship Mobile Outreach VEhicle have served in nine states across the southern and eastern United States, logging nearly 18,000 volunteer hours supporting disaster relief efforts. Depending on needs, MOVE provides communications support, electrical power and technical assistance in partnership with the American Red Cross.

“In the last five years, the IEEE-USA MOVE Community Outreach Initiative has made a significant impact as a community partner, working alongside the American Red Cross,” said Barry Porter, Regional CEO, American Red Cross Eastern North Carolina. “They have helped the Red Cross carry out our mission to relieve human suffering in the face of emergencies. We are truly grateful for those who had the vision to create, fund and put into operations this wonderful asset that makes a difference in communities impacted by large-scale disasters.”

In 2016, MOVE’s inaugural year, volunteers and the truck were deployed for a total of eight weeks, aiding in five disaster situations including Hurricane Hermine in North Carolina, Hurricane Matthew in Florida and North Carolina, floods in Louisiana and West Virginia, and wildfires in Tennessee.

But that’s not all. MOVE also conducts community outreach and facilitates teaching opportunities for students and the public to learn about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). These outreach deployments have included the Atlanta Science Festival, National Scout Jamboree, and an American Red Cross community smoke alarm installation program.

Even more is on the horizon. MOVE is discussing an expansion with international partners to set up teams in several countries around the world. To that end, volunteers are also developing a new modular equipment system to fit each team’s unique scale and situational needs.

“Our volunteers are always ready to go,” said David Iams, IEEE-USA Staff Coordinator for MOVE. “Whether it’s to provide relief after a tornado or hurricane, or to help teach and inspire the next generation of engineers, they always answer the call.”

As a fitting Volunteer Week activity, please join volunteers from the IEEE-USA MOVE emergency relief and community outreach program for a tour of the truck and a virtual roundtable discussion of all the ways donors have helped them reach their goals! Register here to join us 22 April 2020 at 1 PM EDT.

If you’d like to learn more about the MOVE program, become a volunteer, or donate to support MOVE’s emergency relief and outreach efforts, please visit

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