Volunteering or Donating after a Disaster

No one knows when or how the next emergency will occur.  Learn what you can do to prepare yourself and help others after a disaster.  

What You Can Do Today – Before Disaster Strikes

  • Prepare your own family, pets and property for a disaster. For more information on readiness, please visit Ready Wake! 
  • Decide which phase(s) of recovery align best with your resources. 
  • Contact local agencies that provide goods or services to disaster victims and ask how you can help when the time comes. 
  • Register with agencies that provide training for shelter workers or other skills needed during a disaster. 
  • If you already volunteer with a local agency, learn about their plans to assist victims during an emergency. 
  • Develop a system within your own organization to train and mobilize volunteers that will serve in the recovery process. 
  • Get trained.  Several local and statewide organizations provide disaster relief training: 

During an Emergency

  • Unexpected visitors to a disaster site can impede the delivery of critical services like medical care. Stay tuned to media outlets for instructions about where and when volunteer help is needed. 
  • Browse a list of disaster related volunteer opportunities posted on ActivateGood.org
  • Access the Triangle United Way 2-1-1 resource database online or by phone (888-892-1162) for information about 20,000+ resources in our state. 

Immediate Needs (0–14 days out from disaster event)

1 For the privacy and safety of guests, spontaneous or unregistered volunteers are not permitted to work in Wake County emergency shelters. 
2 Lists of critically needed items will become available depending on the type and size of the specific disaster and the affected population. 

Mid-Term Needs (14 days–6 months from disaster event)

  • Donations of furniture and household items 
  • Permanent home repairs by licensed contractors 
  • Licensed psychological and grief counselors 
  • Insurance Claims assistance 
  • Temporary Employment 
  • Childcare 
  • Transportation Assistance 
  • Relocation from shelters to transitional or permanent housing 

Long-Term Needs (6–24 months from disaster event)

  • Permanent employment or retraining 
  • Permanent housing  
  • Emotional/spiritual support 
  • Psychological and grief counseling 
  • Legal Assistance 
  • Re-establishment of business (for those who are self-employed) 
  • Assistance to transition from emergency aid to self-sufficiency 

Contact Us

Denise Kissel, Volunteer and University Relations Coordinator 
Call: 919-212-7083 
Fax: 919-231-5716 
Email: denise.kissel@wake.gov 

Aryn Banks, Seasonal Outreach Projects Coordinator 
Call: 919-231-5549 
Fax: 919-231-5716 
Email: aryn.banks@wake.gov 

Wake County Health & Human Services  
P.O. Box 46833
Raleigh, NC 27620