Guide to Disaster Relief & Preparedness Agencies


Adventist Community Services (ACS) receives, processes, and distributes clothing, bedding, and food products. in major disasters, the agency brings in mobile distribution units filled with bedding and packaged clothing that is pre-sorted according to size, age, and gender. ACS also provides emergency food and counseling and participates in the cooperative disaster child care program.

American Radio Relay League, Inc. (ARRL) is a national volunteer organization of licensed radio amateurs in the United States. ARRL-sponsored Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) provide volunteer radio communications services to Federal, State, county, and local governments, as well as to voluntary agencies. Members volunteer not only their services but also their privately owned radio communications equipment.

American Red Cross is required by Congressional charter to undertake disaster relief activities to ease the suffering caused by a disaster. Emergency assistance includes fixed/mobile feeding stations, shelter, cleaning supplies, comfort kits, first aid, blood and blood products, food, clothing, emergency transportation, rent, home repairs, household items, and medical supplies. 
Additional assistance for long-term recovery may be provided when other relief assistance and/or personal resources are not adequate to meet disaster-caused needs. The American Red Cross provides referrals to the government and other agencies providing disaster assistance.

Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT) renders immediate medical care, food and clothing distribution, stress management, and community and social services. AMURT also provides long-term development assistance and sustainable economic programs to help disaster-affected people.  AMURT depends primarily on full- and part-time volunteer help and has a large volunteer base to draw on worldwide. AMURT provides and encourages disaster services training in conjunction with other relief agencies like the American Red Cross.

Brethren Disaster Ministries provides volunteers to clean up debris and to repair or rebuild homes for disaster survivors who lack sufficient resources to hire a contractor or other paid labor. Working with long-term recovery committees, the volunteers stay until the work is done.  The presence of these volunteer work teams helps to ease the trauma that is felt in the aftermath of a disaster.  Brethren Disaster Ministries.

Church of the Brethern

Catholic Charities USA Disaster Response is the organization that unites the social services agencies operated by most of the 175 Catholic dioceses in the United States. The Disaster Response section of Catholic Charities USA provides assistance to communities in addressing the crisis and recovery needs of local families. Catholic Charities agencies emphasize ongoing and long-term recovery services for individuals and families, including temporary housing assistance for low-income families, counseling programs for children and the elderly, and special counseling for disaster relief workers.

Catholic Community Services

Children's Disaster Services (CDS) provides childcare in shelters and disaster assistance centers by training and certifying volunteers to respond  to traumatized children with a calm, safe and reassuring presence.  CDS provides respite for caregivers as well as individualized consultation and education about their child's unique needs after a disaster.  CDS creates a more favorable work environment for the staff and volunteer of their partner agencies.  Through consultation or workshops specifically tailored to each situation, CDS works with parents, community agencies, schools or others to help them understand and meet the special needs of children during or after a disaster.

Christian Disaster Response (CDR) worked in cooperation with the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Church World Service Disaster Response, and NOVAD to enable local church members to become effective volunteers for assignment on national disasters. CDR provides disaster assessments, fixed/mobile feeding facilities, and in-kind disaster relief supplies. 
CDR also coordinates and stockpiles the collection of donated goods through their regional centers throughout the U.S.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Church of Scientology Disaster Response

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) has the overall aim of assisting churches in the disaster-affected community to respond to the needs of persons within that community. CRWRC provides advocacy services to assist disaster victims in finding permanent, long-term solutions to their disaster-related problems, as well as housing repair and construction, needs assessment, clean-up, child care, and other recovery services.

Church World Service (CWS) Disaster Response assists disaster survivors through partner organizations in the U.S. and worldwide on behalf of its 35 member communion plus affiliated agencies. CWS deploys Emergency Response Specialists who (1) coordinate and conduct training to assure that its partners can carry on effective long-term recovery efforts when disasters strike and (2) work with its partners in developing and implementing projects that address unmet needs of vulnerable populations.

Disaster Distress Helpline

Enterprise Works/ Volunteers in Technical Assistance provides telecommunications and management information systems support to the emergency management community.

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief responds to domestic disasters principally through its network of nearly 100 U.S. dioceses and over 8,200 parishes. It also sends immediate relief grants for such basics as food, water, medical assistance, and financial aid within the first 90 days following a disaster. Ongoing recovery activities are provided through rehabilitation grants, which offer the means to rebuild, replant ruined crops, and counsel those in trauma. The Episcopal Church works primarily through Church World Service in providing its disaster-related services.

Episcopal Dioceses of Olympia/Episcopal Relief & Development

Feeding America is the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Our mission is to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

Friends Disaster Service (FDS) provides clean-up and rebuilding assistance to the elderly, disabled, low income, or uninsured survivors of disasters. It also provides an outlet for Christian service to Friends’ volunteers, with an emphasis on love and caring. In most cases, FDS is unable to provide building materials and, therefore, looks to other NVOAD member agencies for these materials.

Food Lifeline

Foursquare Disaster Relief (FDR) Powered by donations from churches and individuals, FDR delivers food, clean water and supplies to disaster survivors in partnership with local Foursquare churches in or near disaster zones. FDR can even send trained first responders to assess damage and provide best practices for rescue, recovery and rebuilding efforts using locally sourced materials. While meeting physical needs, FDR also cares for spiritual needs, deploying crisis-trained chaplains to bring hope and healing to those who need it most.

Habitat for Humanity

Hope AACR/Pet Partners is to provide comfort and encouragement through animal-assisted support to individuals affected by crises and disasters.

International Association of Jewish Vocational Services (IAJVS) is an affiliation of 26 U.S., Canadian, and Israeli Jewish Employment and Vocational and Family Services agencies that provides a broad spectrum of training and employment initiatives needed in a disaster. Some of these specific services include vocational evaluation, career counseling, skills training, and job placement. In addition to providing vocational services, IAJVS is also involved in problems of drug and alcohol abuse programs for the homeless, specialized services for welfare recipients, and workshops for disabled individuals.

International Relief Friendship Foundation (IRFF) has the fundamental goal of assisting agencies involved in responding to the needs of a community after disaster strikes. When a disaster hits, IRFF mobilizes a volunteer group from universities, businesses, youth groups, women’s organizations, and religious groups. IRFF also provides direct support and emergency services immediately following a disaster such as blankets, food, clothing, and relief kits.

Island Empire (COAD)

Islamic Relief USA

Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) organizes direct assistance, such as financial and social services, to Jewish and general communities in the U.S. following disaster. It also provides rebuilding services to neighborhoods and enters into long-term recovery partnerships with residents.

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle / SAFE Washington is a partnership program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle,  Secure Community Network, Setracon, Inc., and the ADL, Pacific Northwest- which provides a communications network to the Jewish community via the NWWarn Network, HSIN, and the Secure Community Network. This network is used to alert agencies of imminent threats, dangers, and response protocols.

Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) provides for immediate disaster response, in both natural and technological disasters, long-term rebuilding efforts, and support for preparedness planning through synods, districts, and social ministry organizations. The disasters to which LDR responds are those in which needs outstrip available local resources. LDR provides for the coordination of 6,000 volunteers annually. In addition, LDR provides crisis counseling, support groups, mental health assistance, and pastoral care through its accredited social service agencies.

Lutheran Community Services

Mennonite Disaster Services assists disaster victims by providing volunteer personnel to clean up and remove debris from damaged and destroyed homes and personal property and to repair or rebuild homes. Special emphasis is placed on assisting those less able to help themselves, such as the elderly and handicapped.

National Emergency Response Team (NERT) meets the basic human needs of shelter, food, and clothing during times of crisis and disaster. NERT provides Emergency Mobile Trailer units (EMTU's), which are self-contained, modest living units for up to 8-10 people, to places where a disaster occurs. When EMTU's are not in use, they serve as mobile teaching units used in Emergency Preparedness programs in communities.

National Organization for Victim Assistance provides social and mental health services for individuals and families who experience major trauma after a disaster, including critical incident debriefings.

Nazarene Disaster Response provides clean-up and rebuilding assistance, especially to the elderly, disabled, widowed, and those least able to help themselves. In addition, a National Crisis Counseling Coordinator works into the recovery phase by assisting with the emotional needs of disaster victims.

Nazarene Compassionate Alliance

Northwest Healthcare Response Network

Northwest Justice Project

Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors provides social services and emotional support for individuals who experience major burn injuries, as well as their families. Three-hundred area coordinators throughout the U.S. give their time to support burn survivors and their families on a volunteer basis. All are burn survivors themselves or parents of a burned child. 
Points of Light Institute coordinates spontaneous, unaffiliated volunteers and meets the needs of the local community and other disaster response agencies through its affiliated network of local Volunteer Centers.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance works primarily through Church World Service in providing volunteers to serve as disaster consultants and funding for local recovery projects that meet certain guidelines. This agency also provides trained volunteers who participate in the Cooperative Disaster Child Care program. On a local level, many Presbyterians provide volunteer labor and material assistance.

Presbyterian Synod of Alaska/Northwest

REACT International provides emergency communication facilities for other agencies through its national network of Citizens Band radio operators and volunteer teams. REACT teams are encouraged to become part of their local disaster preparedness plan. Furthermore, they are encouraged to take first aid training and to become proficient in communications in time of disaster.

Saint Vincent De Paul provides social services to individuals and families and collects and distributes donated goods. It operates retail stores, homeless shelters, and feeding facilities that are similar to those run by the Salvation Army. The stores’ merchandise can be made available to disaster victims. Warehousing facilities are used for storing and sorting donated merchandise during the emergency period.

Salvation Army provides emergency assistance including mass and mobile feeding, temporary shelter, counseling, missing person services, medical assistance, and distribution of donated goods including food, clothing, and household items. It also provides referrals to government and private agencies for special services.


Southern Baptist Disaster Relief provides more than 200 mobile feeding units staffed by volunteers who can prepare and distribute thousands of meals a day. Active in providing disaster childcare, the agency has several mobile childcare units. Southern Baptists also assist with clean-up activities, temporary repairs, reconstruction, counseling, and bilingual services.

Team Rubicon

United Methodist Committee on Relief provides funding for local units in response and recovery projects based on the needs of each situation. This agency also provides spiritual and emotional care to disaster victims and long-term care of children impacted by a disaster.

United Methodist Volunteers in Mission

Volunteers of America is involved in initial response services aimed at meeting the critical needs of disaster victims, such as making trucks available for transporting victims and supplies to designated shelters. It also collects and distributes donated goods and provides mental health care for survivors of a disaster.

St. Vincent De Paul provides social services to individuals and families, and collects and distributes donated goods. It operates retail stores, homeless shelters, and feeding facilities that are similar to those run by the Salvation Army. The stores’ merchandise can be made available to disaster victims. Warehousing facilities are used for storing and sorting donated merchandise during the emergency period.

WA State Animal Response Team (WASART)

World Renew

World Vision trains and mobilizes community-based volunteers in major response and recovery activities; provides consultant services to local unaffiliated churches and Christian charities involved in locally-designed recovery projects; and collects, manages, and organizes community-based distribution for donated goods.



State ESF6

State EMD

FEMA Region X

City of Seattle

Carlton Complex LTRG

Spokane COAD

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration