Disaster Relief

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Since its founding in 1999, the Carolina Center for Public Service has been active in UNC’s response and relief efforts in the aftermath of disasters in North Carolina, the nation and the world. In the wake of devastation, students, faculty and staff at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill stand ready to assist in any way that we can. The Carolina Center for Public Service serves as a resource of disaster relief information. For those looking to assist, volunteer or donate, see information about current disaster relief efforts.

Quick Links:

Announcing Grants to Support Disaster Recovery Projects

Over the last two years hurricanes have resulted in long-term impact on communities across North Carolina that will take years of recovery. The Carolina Center for Public Service encourages students, staff and faculty to continue exploring ways to assist in the recovery efforts.

The Carolina Center for Public Service manages a Disaster Relief Fund to support hurricane recovery efforts in North Carolina. Grants of up to $5,000 are available to enable public service efforts by UNC-Chapel Hill students, staff and faculty. For the Request for Proposals (RFP), go to the CCPS application portal. Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis.

The Center encourages the Carolina community to think creatively about how it can contribute its resources and expertise to assist in the recovery. All projects should be conducted with a community partner and address a stated need of the community. The Center encourages projects that have an academic connection.

Students and student organizations must have a faculty or staff advisor who will be asked to submit a statement of support during the application process. All proposals should be in direct response to the impact of the hurricane. Beginning April 29, 2019, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. We will review project grants quarterly at the following deadlines: May 31, August 30, December 5, and February 28. Applicants will be notified within two to three weeks of submission. For questions, contact Kate Palmer at kate.palmer@unc.edu or 919-843-6616.

Additionally, if you would like to submit an application for a disaster relief trip, the CCPS has limited funds available to support campus efforts. The grants are up to $1,000 for relief trips organized by UNC-Chapel Hill student, staff or faculty to affected areas. For more information about disaster relief trips read the “Apply for a Relief Trip Grant!” section below:

Apply for a Relief Trip Grant!

This fall’s hurricanes have had a long-term impact on North Carolina and recovery will take years. Students, staff and faculty continue to explore ways to assist in the recovery efforts. Thanks to the generosity of donors, the CCPS has limited funds available to support campus efforts. The grants are up to $1,000 for relief trips organized by UNC-Chapel Hill students, staff or faculty to affected areas.

Students and student organizations must have a faculty or staff adviser submit a statement of support for their trip as a part of the application process. All trip proposals should be in direct response to the hurricane and expressed community need. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis and can be submitted through the Carolina Center for Public Service application portal. Please contact ccps@unc.edu with questions.

Required Forms

Relief Trip Planning Resources

UNC Disaster Relief Research and Continuing Education

Service After the Storm: Engaged Disaster Response
CCPS staff presented a workshop at NC Campus Compact’s 2019 PACE Conference, using examples from UNC-Chapel Hill and the Center’s disaster relief efforts after Hurricanes Matthew, Florence and Michael to discuss the benefits of having an engaged disaster response. The slides and handout from the workshop can be downloaded for reference.

UNC Public Policy: Applied Qualitative Research Methods
As a part of this Experiential Education class, students were asked to collect qualitative interviews from residents living in Columbus, Edgecombe, Robeson, and Wayne Counties to investigate the extent community members remained resilient and recovered from hurricanes.

Previous Disaster Relief Efforts

To see ways Carolina students, faculty and staff have helped, visit previous disaster relief efforts.

Natural Disaster Preparation

Whenever disasters strike – in North Carolina, the United States or around the world – Carolina students, faculty and staff immediately ask, “What can we do to help?” With the threat Hurricane Florence had on our Carolina community in 2018, we first asked, “What can we do to prepare?”

The Carolina Center for Public Service works with the university community to provide hurricane preparation advice.

Preparation Resources

  • Comments on hurricane preparation from Dr. Gavin Smith, Director of the Coastal Resilience Center.
  • ReadyNC – This app provides an all-in-one tool to help people prepare for emergency situations. Available on both iPhones and Android phones, the app will provide real-time updates on the storm and current weather conditions.
  • Hurricane Watch – The N.C. Department of Public Safety provides hourly storm updates.
  • Be sure your cell phone is registered for Alert Carolina. In an emergency, the University will post safety-related announcements at this website, along with updates, information and other resources. Instructions on how to register for text message alerts can be found here.
  • Track hurricanes via the National Hurricane Center.
  • More preparation tips at ready.gov.