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Volunteers Fill Unmet Needs

Release date: 
June 8, 2011
Release Number: 


RALEIGH, N.C. – When disaster strikes, volunteers are among the first to help and the last to leave.

Now, even as North Carolinians are working with insurance, disaster grants and loans to rebuild their homes, offices, stores, churches and other facilities, many community agencies and volunteer organizations are turning their attention to long-term recovery needs. 

“We know there are some survivors who need more assistance than state and federal programs are authorized to provide,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Bolch. “Local long-term recovery committees help with unmet needs.”

A dozen long-term recovery committees and groups, some existing and others newly formed, are now actively developing programs to help survivors of the April 16 storms and tornadoes.

North Carolina Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency voluntary agency liaisons are working in partnership with North Carolina Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and NC Interfaith Disaster Response.

“Volunteers who respond quickly and continue to help others are the unsung heroes of a disaster,” said NC Emergency Management Director Doug Hoell. “We couldn’t do it without them.”

County emergency managers have information to help individuals contact long-term recovery committees.

Long-term recovery groups and committees help survivors navigate the various stages of recovery services available. These committees do case work, volunteer recruitment; catalog, store and disperse donated items; arrange rebuilding and repairs; provide spiritual and emotional support, and manage financial grants and donations.

Some long-term recovery groups and activities:

· Wake Interfaith Disaster Team (WIDT) in Raleigh is a large and diverse eight-year-old group that meets weekly and is currently engaged in needs assessment, establishing case management for those in need and organizing resources for delivery. Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, which has extensive experience in long-term recovery, is conducting door-to-door canvassing of needs in damaged areas of Raleigh from June 7-18.  More information is on the WIDT website at

· The San Lee Interagency Disaster Recovery (SLIDR) committee in Sanford, Lee County, is moving ahead with needs assessment and building case management and aid delivery capabilities.

· North Carolina Baptist Men have been repairing storm-damaged homes and are now coordinating the “adoption” of up to 400 families, matching them with local churches for case management and care.

· Catholic Charities of Raleigh is providing office locations for survivors to sign up for recovery help and also phone numbers: 919-861-7440 (English) and 919-861-7441 (Spanish).

· Centro Internacional de Raleigh is serving Spanish-speaking survivors of the April tornadoes. For information see the CIR websites at  and

Groups can use CAN, the American Red Cross Coordinated Assistance Network, to cross-reference cases and resources.

For more information about this disaster, go to and click on the red “April Tornadoes” tab. More information is also available at

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
July 8, 2017 - 10:40
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