Troubleshooter: Want to help storm victims?

Staff writerApril 18, 2011 

Updated April 27 at 3 p.m.

Lots of folks want to help their community after tornadoes destroyed parts of the Triangle. So here’s where to donate your money and time.

The American Red Cross is accepting online donations, or you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS. You can also text 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Salvation Army, which is partnering with the Red Cross, is accepting monetary and food donations. They also need baby formula, diapers, hygiene products brought to its facilities at 215 S. Person Street in downtown Raleigh. Furniture and clothing donations are also a need. Those items can be taken to the Salvation Army Family Store at 205 Tryon Road in Raleigh. Volunteers are needed at both locations to help accept and distribute donations. For assistance and volunteer information, call 919-834-6733 or visit the Salvation Army website.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Raleigh-Cary Jewish Federation has set up a disaster relief fund, where 100 percent of the tax deductable donations are going to Saturday’s storm victims. Make checks to the Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary, marked "Tornado Disaster Relief," and send to the Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary; 8210 Creedmoor Rd., Suite 104, Raleigh, 27613.

N.C. Baptist Men has a relief fund, where 100 percent of donations are going to Saturday’s storm victims. Make checks to N.C. Baptist Men, marked “N.C. Tornado Relief,” and send to N.C. Baptist Men, P.O. Box 1107, Cary, 27512. Or call (919) 459-5613.

Mechanics and Farmers Bank has a relief fund for Shaw University. Tax deductible contributions may be sent to: Shaw University, Disaster Relief Fund, Mechanics and Farmers Bank; 13 E. Hargett Street; Raleigh, 27601.

Catholic Charities is accepting online donations at the “How To Contribute” page. Once your gift is entered on the PayPal secure server (you can use a credit card if you do not have a PayPal account), you will see a review page where you can type the message “Disaster Relief” before clicking the submit button. Or, mail a check to: Catholic Charities, 715 Nazareth Street, Raleigh, NC 27606 Attn: Disaster Relief.

The Oakwood Cemetery’s eastern boundary has been destroyed by fallen trees -- some 200 years old. While Joe Free, cemetery executive director, appreciates the offers of help, they are going to hire a professional tree service to clean up. But they will accept donations for such an endeavor. Donate here.

All Panera Bread store locations in the Triangle will be donating 50 cents of every bagel sale on Monday, May 9, to help tornado victims. The money will be given to NC Baptists (, which has been organizing emergency relief in the state.

The city of Raleigh has set up a website to provide information on how to donate food, supplies and clothing. Residents can also call 996-6100 to learn about volunteer opportunities.

Wake County is still assessing the damage and does not volunteers right now, but people interested in volunteering can register at 919-856-7044. If you are needed, officials will contact you.

To volunteer in Johnston County, call the Emergency Operations Center at 919-989-5400.

The Durham Bulls are asking Facebook fans to help the storm victims. For every new Facebook fan the team gets between now and Friday, the Bulls will donate $1 to the Red Cross. The team is prepared to donate up to $2,000, according to a news release

The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is distributing food to victims. Go to the shuttle headquarters, 1001 Blair Drive (off Centennial Drive near the State Farmers Market). Staff and volunteers are in the parking lot distributing food and accepting donations. Most-needed items are water and juice; pop-top fruit cups and canned meats like tuna and chicken; deli items such as sandwiches and salads; snack items such as granola bars and snack crackers; and cereal. You can also donate online. You may call (919) 250-0043 to find a partner agency distributing food. IFFS also needs volunteers all week to help sort nonperishable food in the warehouse; come between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and wear closed-toed shoes and dress for the weather. The warehouse might be warm.

North Carolina Conference United Methodist Church is collecting donations for tornado victims. To donate financially online, go to To volunteer call 1-888-440-9167 or send an email to

SAFE Haven for Cats is offering to help storm victims with their cats at no charge. It is providing temporary shelter for cats in its no-kill shelter with a veterinarian on staff; cat food, kitty litter; supplies; humane traps in case your cat is on the loose; and assistance with transportation to get your pet to the shelter. Call Pam at 919 270-6518 or the shelter at 919 872-1128.

The Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina expects an increase in need. Volunteers are needed to donate food in Durham, Raleigh, New Bern, Greenville, Southern Pines and Wilmington. The most needed items during a natural disaster are: canned meals (pop-top cans) and peanut butter, single serving meals that do not require refrigeration or cooking, meals ready to eat, single serving snacks, paper goods and products (paper towels, paper plates/cups/napkins, plastic utensils), hygiene products (hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, soap, etc.), and cleaning supplies (wipes preferred). You can also donate money here or text a $10 donation by sending “40meals” to 50555. Checks can be mailed to 3808 Tarheel Drive, Raleigh, NC. For more information, click here.

Six area La Quinta Inns are offering reduced rates to provide temporary shelter to people and pets, which can stay free, according to the SPCA of Wake County. Also, pet food from the SPCA’s Pet Food Pantry is available for families trying to feed pets. Send an email or call 919-772-2326 for assistance. In addition, the SPCA is coordinating temporary placement of pets in the SPCA Holding Center as well as several area boarding facilities. It is taking animals through Wake County Emergency Services. Call 919-772-3203 for temporary placement options or send an email.

The N.C. Housing Finance Agency and the N.C. Division of Emergency Management are asking landlords and property managers to list available rental housing on the statewide housing locator to help families dislocated after Saturday's storms. NCHousingSearch is a nonprofit service that is free for people listing or looking for housing. The service is available in English and Spanish. To list available housing, landlords should log on here and go to “List Housing” or contact the toll-free call center at 1-877-428-8844.

North Carolinians who have been displaced from their homes can go to NCHousingSearch or call 1-877-428-8844.

Garner's "American Idol" viewing party on Thursday from 7-9 p.m. at Garner Historic Auditorium and Avery Street Recreation Center is asking participants to bring canned goods to donate for tornado relief efforts.

Cavallo Ridge Farm, 730 Oakridge River Road in Fuquay-Varina, is hosting a horse show benefit to help Misty Creek Ranch and other horse farms who were affected by the storms. The benefit show will take place Saturday May 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information to come.

RAFI, a Pittsboro-based nonprofit that works with family farmers, wants to help farmers have access to the information they need to recover. RAFI has posted an updated list of resources for farmers who lost crops, barns, animals or equipment in the storm here.

RAFI is available to assist with paperwork, confidential financial, counseling, and advice. Farmers can call Scott Marlow at (919) 542-1396 x210 or email him for more information.

The Green Chair Project is partnering with the Salvation Army to host a collection drive for Tornado victims on April 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its facility at 1319 Capital Boulevard, including non-perishable food, baby items, cookware, dishware, toiletries, linens and lamps.

The Triangle Community Foundation has NC Tornado Relief 2011 fund for Triangle-based nonprofits providing support to the victims of Saturday’s storms that ravaged the area. To donate visit the TCF website or mail a check to: Triangle Community Foundation, 324 Blackwell Street, Suite 1220, Durham, NC 27701. Please designate NC Tornado Relief 2011 in the memo line of your check. You may also text NCCARES to 20222 to make a $10 contribution. In addition, the Foundation’s community website is collecting information on organizations in need of volunteers to bring food, clothing, toiletries or cleanup support to victims. Follow TCF on Twitter or Facebook for updates on how you can help.

Insurance claims

The N.C. Department of Insurance has issued insurance tips for those dealing with property damage. They include contacting your insurance agency immediately; document the damage; and check your policy before hiring tree removal services. Questions? Call 800-546-5664 or 919-807-6750, or visit the DOI website.

Avoid scams

After a disaster is when scammers can take advantage of people in need, particularly with so much tree work needing to be done.

“Scammers use natural disasters and other tragedies to prey on desperate, unsuspecting victims,” said Attorney General Roy Cooper, who issues a release offering consumer tips, such as:

Beware of face disaster officials. Do not pay for work up front and inspect the work before you pay. Watch out for brokers who promise loans from FEMA. And get three estimates before selecting a contractor.

To read the entire news release, go here and click on “news and alerts.”

Cooper also enacted the price gouging law in areas affected by the storm. Price gouging—or charging an unreasonably excessive amount in times of crisis—is against North Carolina law when a disaster, an emergency or an abnormal market disruption for critical goods and services is declared by the Governor or local governments. The law also applies to all levels of the supply chain from the manufacturer to the distributor to the retailer.

Staying safe

The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers tips for staying safe after a disaster.

Storm debris

N.C. Department of Transportation will pick up storm-related debris that is placed at the curb and separated into two piles -- vegetative and construction. Debris should be cut in 5- to 6-foot sections. Appliances, furniture and household hazardous materials will not be collected. Pickup schedules are still being determined and will be publicized when finalized.

To expedite the debris removal process, Wake County residents may use the county’s convenience centers to drop off storm debris, including vegetation and building-related debris. The facilities are open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Site #1: 10505 Old Stage Road, Raleigh
Site #2: 6025 Old Smithfield Road, Apex
Site #3: 266 Aviation Parkway, Morrisville
Site #4: 3600 Yates Mill Pond Road, Raleigh
Site #5: 8401 Battle Bridge Road, Raleigh
Site #6: 3913 Lillie Liles Road, Wake Forest
Site #7: 9008 Deponie Drive, Raleigh
Site #8: 2001 Durham Road – NC 98, Wake Forest
Site #9: 3337 New Hill-Holleman Road, New Hill
Site #10: 5216 Knightdale - Eagle Rock Road, Knightdale
Site #11: 5051 Wendell Blvd., Wendell (US 64 Business Hwy)

View a map of < ahref="">Wake County Convenience Centers.

County residents may take major appliances, household hazardous materials such as paint, propane tanks to Wake County Multi-material facilities. The facilities are open Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

North Wake: 9037 Deponie Drive, Raleigh

South Wake: 6130 Old Smithfield Road, Apex

In need?

Red Cross has set up shelters for those affected by the storm:

Wake County: Garner United Methodist Church, 201 Methodist Dr., Garner, 27529; Heritage High School, 1150 Forestville Road, Wake Forest, 27587

Johnston County: Feeding Location only at Micro Middle School, 301 E. Main St, Micro, 27576

Cumberland County: Westover Recreational, 267 Bonanza, Fayetteville.

Harnett County: Triton HS, 215 Maynard Lake Rd, Erwin.

Lee County: SanLee Middle School, 2309 Tramway Rd. Sanford, 27330

Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring prescriptions, identification, clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and children’s items. Pets are not permitted.

Register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well site to let your family know you are OK.

Johnston County residents who need bottled water may visit the following locations between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.: Micro First Baptist Church, 106 West Wilson Street, Micro, or Cornerstone Baptist Church, 5058 US 701 Hwy South, Four Oaks.

N.C. Baptist Men are helping people cut up debris and make temporary roof repairs. To register your needs, go to Carolina Pines Baptist Church, S. Saunders Street, Raleigh, 27603.

Securcare Self Storagecorrect no “e” in secure is offering free units to anyone who lost their home and needs a place to store items that made it through the storm.

Visit or call 919-859-1125 for more information.

Little Learners Child Care, 6199 Little Creek Church Road, Clayton, has turned itself into a shelter for women and children affected by the tornadoes. They are open 24 hours and are also accepting food donations. Call 919-553-1057 for more information.

The American Institute of CPA’s has a guide produced with the Red Cross to help people think through financial issues prompted by disasters.

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