Disaster Response

Disaster Response

Not just rebuilding homes.
Rebuilding hope.

When a disaster strikes, you can help provide much-needed support to a community in the months and years that follow. There are many opportunities for individuals, couples, and groups to serve throughout North America with the RCA’s partner, World Renew Disaster Response Services.

 

 

See the most urgent disaster response needs on the latest World Renew Opportunity Link.

 

Individuals and Couples

Long-Term Reconstruction

Help rebuild homes. Many people have waited months or years to get their disaster-damaged home to a safe, liveable condition once again.

Rapid Response

Join a team to quickly respond when disasters strike by mucking out flooded homes, removing downed trees, and completing minor repairs after a disaster.

Unmet Needs Assessment

Help conduct community-wide surveys to identify disaster-related needs for vulnerable residents who might otherwise fall through the cracks.

Opportunity type:

Individual
Disaster Response

Description:

World Renew DRS volunteers conduct community-wide surveys to identify the disaster-related needs (construction, household, emotional, and financial needs) of vulnerable residents who might otherwise fall through the cracks. This information is provided to the long-term recovery group. Case managers then use the information to ensure that assistance reaches the people who need it most.

Location:

Unmet Needs Assessment
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

Needs assessments can take place across North America and are generally conducted four to nine months after a disaster. They are not scheduled until a long-term recovery group requests the service.

Volunteer roles include:

  • Interviewers: Conduct 45-minute interviews with disaster survivors, either door to door at designated addresses with another volunteer or at a walk-in center.
  • Data entry: Enter the surveys into the database.

Opportunity type:

Individual
Disaster Response

Description:

World Renew Disaster Response Services volunteers muck out flooded homes, remove downed trees, tarp damaged roofs, and do other minor repairs that allows survivors to return to their homes.

Location:

Rapid Response
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

Volunteer opportunities vary based on the needs of a particular community following a disaster. If you have schedule flexibility and would be interested in joining a rapid response team, please contact Volunteer Engagement Program staff and we’ll send you alerts when Rapid Response teams are needed. Training is available for interested volunteers.

Opportunity type:

Individual
Disaster Response

Description:

Southeastern Louisiana was hit hard by flood waters in 2016. In November 2016, RCA partner World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) conducted an unmet needs assessment to ensure that no one affected by the flooding would be forgotten. From January through April of 2018, a long-term reconstruction site will provide volunteer labor to repair damaged homes in the community of Hammond.

Location:

Hammond, Louisiana
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

There are two primary volunteer teams:

  • Construction crew: Work ranges from minor repairs to completely new builds. People with home repair or reconstruction experience and people who are willing to help are needed.
  • Cook crew: A team of three cooks plans and prepares three meals a day for 18 to 25 people from Monday through Friday.

You will work with 18 to 25 other adults from across North America. Each team has an on-site manager who oversees the day-to-day operations of the team and the site, as well as a construction supervisor who manages the work projects. World Renew DRS provides fully equipped tool trailers. Materials are provided by the local partnering recovery group at each location.

Opportunity type:

Individual
Disaster Response

Description:

In early October 2016, Hurricane Matthew devastated many communities in North Carolina. Some areas were still under water two weeks after the hurricane. World Renew Disaster Reponse Services (DRS) volunteers are helping residents of Tarboro, North Carolina, recover. 

Location:

Tarboro, North Carolina
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

You can serve as a member of a reconstruction team to help bring hope to families impacted by this disaster. Team roles include:

  • Construction crew: Work may include minor repairs, complete new builds, all-home repair, and reconstruction work. People with home repair or reconstruction experience and people who can act as helpers are needed.
  • Cook crew: A team of three cooks plans and prepares three meals a day for 18 to 25 people, Monday through Friday. People with experience in preparing meals for groups and people willing to help in the kitchen are needed.

You will work with 18 to 25 other adults from across North America. Each team has an on-site manager who manages the day-to-day operations of the team and the worksite, as well as a construction supervisor who manages the work projects. World Renew DRS provides fully equipped tool trailers. Materials are provided by the local partnering recovery group at each location.

Opportunity type:

Individual
Disaster Response

Description:

In May 2015, Hurricane Patricia hit Rio Grande Valley, Texas, with heavy rainfall and flash flooding, causing household damages and power outages. 

Location:

Rio Grande Valley, Texas
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

World Renew DRS has entered into a long-term partnership with this community, committing to sending consecutive teams of volunteers to provide reconstruction services to homeowners who need help restoring their damaged homes.

You can serve as a member of a reconstruction team to help bring hope to families impacted by this disaster. Team roles include:

  • Construction crew: Work ranges from minor repairs to complete new builds. Those with home repair or reconstruction experience and those who are willing to help are needed.
  • Cook crew: A team of three cooks plans and prepares three meals a day for 18 to 25 people from Monday through Friday.

You will work with 18 to 25 other adults from across North America. Each team has an on-site manager who oversees the day-to-day operations of the team and the site, as well as a construction supervisor who manages the work projects. World Renew DRS provides fully equipped tool trailers. Materials are provided by the local partnering recovery group at each location.

Groups and Families

Assemble a group to help repair or build homes. Opportunities are available for groups of all ages from churches, families, schools, and businesses:

Opportunity type:

Group
Student
Disaster Response

Description:

In September 2015, the “Valley Fire” damaged homes across 76,000 acres of land throughout Lake County, California. It was one of the worst fires in state history, and assistance is still needed to help communities recover.

Location:

Lake County, California
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

Most projects are new home construction from foundation to finish. There will be a variety of work available at each site. A local construction coordinator will assign work projects that are appropriate to the size and skill level of your group.

Opportunity type:

Group
Student
Disaster Response

Description:

Work with the forestry service to help restore the area in and around Yosemite National Park that was damaged by wildfire in September 2013. Although it’s not rebuilding homes for families, the damage from the wildfires does affect the livelihood of many families dependent on the recreation industry.

Location:

Yosemite National Park, California
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

The work is just outside the west entrance to Yosemite National Park, along Hwy. 120. Work includes:

• Restoration of trails
• Fence reconstruction
• Installation of tree nursery
• Invasive weed removal before they have a chance to take over the burn areas.
• Preparation of family camp for summer
• Starting in late 2016, they will also be doing a lot of native tree planting.
A local coordinator will assign work projects that are appropriate to the size and skill level of your group.

Opportunity type:

Group
Student
Disaster Response

Description:

In September 2017, Hurricane Irma devastated many areas of the state of Florida. Volunteer groups of all skill levels are needed to help with the recovery.

Location:

Multiple counties, Florida
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

Volunteers are needed to help with home repairs and cleaning. Work may include mucking out and gutting homes, installing sheetrock, painting, replacing flooring and trim, repairing roofs, and fixing electrical or plumbing systems. A local construction coordinator will assign projects that are appropriate to the size and skill level of your group.

 

Opportunity type:

Group
Student
Disaster Response

Description:

In August 2016, massive flooding damaged 90 percent of the homes in Denham Springs, Louisiana. Hundreds of families are in need of assistance with home repairs. 

Location:

Denham Springs, Louisiana
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

Volunteer groups are needed to assist with general reconstruction, removal and replacement of sheetrock, insulation, trim installment, roofing, siding, electrical work, plumbing, and flooring. A local construction coordinator will assign work projects appropriate to the size and skill level of your group.

Opportunity type:

Group
Student
Disaster Response

Description:

Metro Detroit is still on the mend from historic flooding that ravaged the city in the summer of 2014. Then-president Barack Obama declared it a major disaster for Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties. That declaration helped to bring in assistance, but there is still a lot of long-term recovery work to be done.

Location:

Greater Detroit Area, Michigan
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

Most of the work needed is reconstruction: insulation, drywall, flooring, trim, and painting. World Renew DRS is partnering with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and other organizations that have a steady presence in the community. There is a local construction coordinator who will assign work projects that are appropriate to the size and skill level of the volunteer group.

Opportunity type:

Group
Student
Disaster Response

Description:

Historic rainfalls, flooding, and wintry mixes created dangerous weather conditions across the state of Missouri from December 2015 through January 2016. The Department of Transportation reported 351 flood-related road closures and more than 70 water rescues. 

Location:

Springfield, Missouri
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

Volunteers are needed to help repair homes from flood and water damage by sheetrocking, flooring, trimming, painting, and the like. A local construction coordinator will assign work projects that are appropriate to the size and skill level of your group.

Opportunity type:

Group
Disaster Response

Description:

Severe storms and flooding caused damage to many homes in and around St. Louis in December 2015 and January 2016. World Renew Disaster Response Services is helping these communities recover.

Location:

St. Louis, Missouri
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

Work projects may include water-damage repairs, sheetrock, flooring, trim, or painting. A local construction coordinator will assign projects that are appropriate to the size and skill level of your group.

Opportunity type:

Group
Student
Disaster Response

Description:

Several hundred homes in the Hattiesburg area were damaged in a March 2016 flood. Just as the area began to recover, a tornado hit in January 2017. There are more than 1,500 homes in need of repair.

Location:

Hattiesburg, Mississippi
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

Work could include drywall, painting, roofing, flooring, framing, etc. There may still be a need for demolition, mucking out, general water damage repair, siding repair, sheetrock finish work, painting, and replacing flooring/trim. The local construction coordinator will assign work projects that are appropriate to the size and skill level of your group.

Opportunity type:

Group
Student
Disaster Response

Description:

In October 2016, North Carolina suffered major flooding from Hurricane Matthew, an event that is now being referred to as “North Carolina’s Katrina.” Volunteers are needed to help with clean-up in partnership with World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS). 

Location:

North Carolina (various locations)
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

Hurricane Matthew devastated several areas in the state, including Fayetteville, Lumberton, and Tarboro. The exact location for your service will depend on several factors, including what projects are ready at the time of your trip, the size of your group, and the skill levels you have with construction projects. (Thank you for your understanding and flexibility with this.) Work could include insulation, sheetrock, drywall, painting, hanging doors, installing cabinets, trim work, installing flooring, gutting out homes, or demolition. A local construction coordinator will assign work projects that are appropriate to the size and skill level of your group.

Opportunity type:

Group
Student
Disaster Response

Description:

Severe storms and flooding in October 2015 led to more than 11 dam breaks, 175 water rescues, and more than 800 people living in temporary housing shelters in South Carolina. More than 80,000 South Carolina households have requested assistance with recovery from our mission partner World Renew Disaster Response Services.

Location:

Charleston, South Carolina
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

Work could include mucking out homes, mold treatment, construction, carpentry, roofing, electrical work, plumbing, drywall installation and finishing, flooring installation, and painting. A local construction coordinator will assign work projects based on the size and skill level of the volunteer group. The projects will be organized in partnership with South Carolina organizations that coordinate across the state.

Volunteer groups could work in any of the following counties: Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, West Columbia, and Williamsburg.

Opportunity type:

Group
Student
Disaster Response

Description:

In August 2017 Hurricane Harvey tore through east Texas, damaging more than 320,000 homes in the greater Houston area. The RCA is partnering with World Renew Disaster Response Services in the long-term recovery efforts throughout the 39 counties affected by this massive storm. 

Location:

Houston, Texas
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

Volunteers are needed to help with home repairs and cleaning. Work may include mucking out and gutting homes, installing sheetrock, painting, replacing flooring and trim, repairing roofs, and fixing electrical or plumbing systems. A local construction coordinator will assign projects that are appropriate to the size and skill level of your group.

 

Opportunity type:

Group
Student
Disaster Response

Description:

In September 2017, major hurricanes Irma and Maria barreled through the Caribbean, both making landfall in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Location:

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

Volunteers are needed to help with cleanup and construction, including removal of debris, cleaning, putting up tarps, and organizing and distributing supplies. The community would also welcome musicians, teachers, and anyone with a heart for kids to help provide positive programming for neighborhood children. Volunteers to help prepare and serve food would be appreciated as well. 

Opportunity type:

Group
Student
Disaster Response

Description:

After flooding across West Virginia in June 2016, more than 8,000 homeowners indicated the need for assistance. Many of their homes had major damage or were completely destroyed. World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) is partnering with a state agency to identify the most vulnerable homeowners and the counties with the greatest need for volunteer assistance.

Location:

West Virginia
USA

Volunteer opportunities:

Twelve counties need help repairing homes. Work may include roof and ceiling repair, drywall installation and finishing, flooring installation, and painting. No experience is necessary to participate in this work. The local World Renew coordinator will provide guidance on work projects and match the skills of your group with appropriate work. Supplies, tools, and materials are provided. Volunteers may bring their own work gloves.

Contact Us

If you would like to learn more about the RCA's volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups, please get in touch with us.

The best way to reach our team is to email volunteer@rca.org or call (616) 698-7071. One of the members of our team will be able to connect with you right away.

Stephanie Soderstrom

Coordinator for Volunteer Engagement

Molly Towne

Volunteer Placement Specialist

Erika Spykman

Administrative Assistant


Cultivate is a program for 18- to 25-year-olds to partner with RCA missionaries for a summer or a full year and see how God is at work in another part of the globe.