Disaster Services

As stated in the North Carolina Emergency Operations Plan, The Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (VolunteerNC) is the lead organization supporting the NC Emergency Management (NCEM) with donations and volunteer management activities during activation, including donated goods and cash. Our disaster programs operate in three of the four phases of the disaster cycle. 

Preparedness activities are performed throughout the year. In this role we support with the recruitment and training of Community Emergency Response (CERT) groups and we attend yearly hurricane preparedness expos across our state, as well as we host disaster preparedness trainings. 
During the Response Phase, our office follows the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) activation, as we are part of the State Emergency Respond Team. In this phase our role is to 

  • Manage unaffiliated volunteers, unsolicited donations, and undesignated monetary donations. 
  •  Appoint the State Donations Management Coordinator
  •  Develop the public messaging for donations and volunteer needs
  • Activate the NC disaster relief fund 
  • Help manage the platform used for donations and volunteer management, NeedsList. 
  • Support with the management of the scheduler polls to help coordinate volunteer shifts for state shelters

Once the response phase is over, we immediately transition to support in the recovery phase. The activities we perform in this phase include,

  • Ensure all donations are distributed among recovery organizations supporting the impacted communities.
  • Assist with NeedsList registration, training, and troubleshooting issues.   
  • Remain cognizant of the disaster the community needs to support in addressing these needs

Who are our partners?

We understand we cannot accomplish our mission alone. For this reason, we partner with nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and governmental and private entities. We work closely with the North Carolina Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and its members.

NeedsList is a resource-matching platform that allows relief organizations to post relevant needs and offers. The platform can automatically match resources and needs, allowing immediate coordination for the exchange of the goods and services. The NeedsList platform is the product of a collaboration between the North Carolina Organizations Active in Disaster (NCVOAD) and VolunteerNC, funded by the Duke Energy Foundation.

More Resources

Urgent Volunteer Opportunities

Tab/Accordion Items

Food Banks

Seven regional Food Banks provide food to pantries all over the state. With the onset of the pandemic, the need for food for the hungry is greater than ever - 1 in 5 adults, 1 in 4 children are food insecure. Join us in Feeding the Carolinas! 

Prepare, Pack & Deliver Food

County Organization
Anson County Anson Crisis Ministry
Chatham County Chatham Outreach Alliance (CORA)
Craven County RCS New Bern
Durham County Feeding Durham Together
Edgecombe County  
Forsyth County Forsyth HandsOn
Guilford County The Volunteer Center
Jones County The Filling Station
Mecklenburg County

Loaves and Fishes

Learning Health Centers

Bags of Hope Lake Norman

Nash County  Touch of the Father's Love
Orange County Various Food Packing and Delivery Opportunities
Rowan County Jeannie's Kitchen - Prepare & Serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Please contact Cheryl Linder, Kitchen Manager 704-637-6838, ext. 108, if you can help.
Wake County

Wake County Food Security and Access Volunteer Form

PAVE deliver backpack buddies

Senior food and medicine delivery

Urban Ministry packing food (13 yo with adult)

Yancey County Feed a Child Yancey


Meals on Wheels

County More Information
Chatham County  Meals on Wheels
Cherokee County Deliver meals in Andrews. The route takes about an hour to complete.  Contact 828-837-2467 with questions. 
Cumberland County  Meals on Wheels & other services
Currituck County Helping Hands delivering meals
Durham County Meals on Wheels
Edgecombe/ Nash County Meals on Wheels
Lee County  Meals on Wheels
Northampton County  Home Delivered Meals
Orange County  Meals on Wheels
Polk County Meals on Wheels immediate need
Richmond County Meals on Wheels 5-7 volunteers needed
Rockingham County Meals on Wheels
Rowan County Meals on Wheels
Stanly County Contact DSS to volunteer
Stokes County Immediate need in Walnut Cove and Danbury
Transylvania County Contact Pam McCall  828-862-4466 or 828-553-7469
Tyrrell County Meals on Wheels
Union County Meals on Wheels
Wake County  Meals on Wheels - urgently needed
Washington County Meals on Wheels
Wayne County Meals on Wheels
Wilson County Meals on Wheels
Yancey County contact Teresa or Jackie at 828-682-6011

NC Education Corps - mentors and tutors apply now

Moore County Literacy Council -Volunteer at outdoor reading stations. Email Heather heather@mcliteracy.org for more information.

Virtual volunteer for Chapel Hill Carrboro Schools. 

Volunteer for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. 

Volunteer for Orange County Schools. 

Heart Math Tutoring is recruiting tutors to work one-on-one with students on their foundational math skills and confidence. Both in-person and virtual tutoring available.

Shelter and Reception Centers

Hurricane Shelters will need reception centers and shelter workers in greater numbers. Sign up to receive online training information.

To hear about pressing volunteer opportunities, sign up above.

Recovery Is Ongoing

Hurricane and Flood recovery is ongoing and VOAD organizations need volunteers from all backgrounds and levels of experience. Sign up directly with the organizations.

Get Trained Before the Next Disaster


Depending upon the disaster and individual abilities, volunteers could be preventing further damage to homes, running a volunteer center, supporting mass care, managing crisis calls etc. All willing residents, especially veterans and AmeriCorps alums, are encouraged to register and get trained before a natural disaster strikes. Register for updates about future trainings using this form.

Background checks may be required prior to deployment as required by the ReserveCorps partnering organizations.


The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area, and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization the professional responders can rely on during disaster situations. CERT volunteers can also help with non-emergency projects that help make their communities safer and more resilient. CERT programs welcome individuals of all abilities. CERT Training takes a total of approximately 20-30 hours.

For more information, and to see a complete list of current CERT programs in NC, please visit: ReadyNC.org.

Attorney & Paralegal Training

Watch the recorded continuing legal education presentations at the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center’s Disaster Legal Services Bootcamp for attorneys and paralegals wanting to help following a natural disaster.

Remote Volunteer Opportunities

Location Opportunity
Statewide Attorney volunteers needed with Legal Aid of North Carolina

Write notes of encouragement to participants of substance abuse programs; letters can be sent via email or mailed to:

Healing Transitions
Attention: Staff Support
1251 Goode St.
Raleigh, NC 27603

Statewide Healthcare navigator for insurance help

MasksNOW - needs donations of quilting cotton and t-shirt fabric to make mask kits for sewists, as well as other volunteer needs.

Various Locations

Sew face masks for various organizations:

Chatham County

Chatham opportunities from anywhere


Share Charlotte opportunities from anywhere

Forsyth County Hands On Northwest covid opportunities

Online tutoring

Guilford County Wellness check calls to older adults in Guilford County
Haywood, Jackson counties Wellness check calls in Haywood and Jackson counties; call 828-356-2833
Hickory Write cards to nursing homes
Wake County Kindness calls to seniors in Wake County

NC Disaster Relief Fund 

The Office of the Governor recognizes the desire of many individuals, groups, corporations, and philanthropic organizations to help others whose lives have been affected by a disaster. Many nonprofit voluntary organizations active in disaster response and recovery efforts encourage individuals to make financial donations to be used to help meet the needs of survivors, rather than donating products that may – or may not – be needed. Financial donations can be used to support specific needs and help communities recover more quickly by supporting the local economy.

For this reason, the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund (NCDRF) was established in 1999 to help raised funding to support communities affected by a disaster. The initial purpose of the NCDRF was to ensure survivors received help with immediate needs that were not covered by FEMA or other state, federal or nonprofit programs. Through an established process, NCDRF awards grant funding to member organizations of NC Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NCVOAD) who are engaged in long-term recovery efforts. The United Way of North Carolina serves as a fiscal agent and is responsible for the administration and distribution of the funds. 
What sets this relief fund apart from many others is that no administrative fees or overhead costs are charged to NCDRF, so 100% of each donation is distributed to meet the needs of survivors.

The NCDRF is activated only after a significant weather event, including hurricanes, tornadoes, excessive rain resulting in mudslides, forest fires, or any other natural disaster that occurs within or affects the state. When the need to activate the NCDR arrives, information about how to donate will be posted on this page and other state agencies websites.