Meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.

Disaster Response

Disasters happen, and when it does New York Cares is ready to step and up to contribute. Our volunteers have helped at a number of disasters that affected New York and its citizens. 

Disaster Response

Respond with New York Cares

New York Cares is designated by OEM as the lead agency for mobilizing volunteers in case of citywide emergencies, in recognition of our leadership after 9/11. We also have an MOU with the Red Cross of Greater New York to work together in case of an emergency.

In late October 2012, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, New York Cares was again called upon by OEM and New York City officials to respond to the urgent need created by the storm.

From the day after Sandy through the end of June, New York Cares filled 22,000 volunteer slots on 1,640 relief projects in impacted areas.

15,000 New Yorkers have volunteered with New York Cares disaster response programs since Hurricane Sandy.

How we mobilize in the event of an emergency 

We prioritize immediate needs like housing and hunger. Volunteer efforts range from food distribution to muck-outs, rebuilding support, and community revitalization.

We work with community institutions (schools, libraries, churches, and community centers) to address long-term needs like education and employment. This has two phases: first, getting the physical spaces of these community centers back to how they were pre-disaster, and second, working to develop sustainable volunteer programs to provide tutoring programs, job readiness, and recreation opportunities for impacted residents.

How to get involved

Sign up to become a volunteer. Being prepared for any emergency can be as simple as planning ahead. As a New York Cares volunteer, you will be informed and ready to go when New York City needs you most.

Donate. Every emergency situation is different and has unique needs. By donating to New York Cares, we can ensure that we mobilize the appropriate people and resources in the event of an emergency.

Educate yourself and your family. Every home should have an emergency plan in place. Develop and practice a plan with your household members to ensure safety during an emergency situation.