No one knows when or how the next emergency will occur.  Fires, floods and tornadoes can strike anywhere at any time.

What we do know is that Wake County residents will reach out to help our affected neighbors in their time of greatest need.

When a disaster is great enough to activate the Wake County Emergency Operations Center and open shelter facilities, efficiency is critical to success.

Knowing in advance how you can help streamlines the emergency response and ensures that help is available to victims during all phases of recovery.


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
  • 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)

Highlighted links below will connect you with agencies who are equipped to handle these types of donations and volunteers.

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

  • 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


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.