Help those whose lives have been upended by disaster.

The Challenge

Natural disasters are ravaging the U.S. with ever-greater frequency and ferocity. The Catholic Charities network responds to dozens each year. 

When natural and human-made disasters strike, CCUSA’s Disaster Response Team and local member agency staff mobilize quickly, responding with aid on-site — shelter, meals, water, emergency funding, disaster aid application assistance and more — and following through during recovery to help rebuild lives and restore hope.


From disaster to disaster relief

Meet Khaibar Shafaq, a recent Afghan arrival to Owensboro, Kentucky,
who stepped up to help those in need after a night of deadly tornadoes.

The Response

From immediate disaster response to long-term relief and recovery support, Catholic Charities is there. Staff and volunteers — who themselves often live in affected communities — help survivors rebuild their lives well after disaster strikes. We are nationally recognized as a leader in domestic disaster relief. Watch our latest response video.

featured resource

Impact Report

In 2022, the Catholic Charities network responded to 59 new disasters — on top of 30 ongoing recovery efforts from the prior year — supplying everything from water, food and diapers to temporary housing and emergency funding.

Disaster Team Initiatives

CCUSA works year-round with agencies in impacted communities to coordinate trained disaster response teams and provide life-saving aid and knowledge. So when the worst happens, Catholic Charities is ready to spring into action.

  1. Expert Training
  2. Disaster Case Managers
  3. Disaster Funds
  4. Mobile Response Center
A young man with a purple sweater and a partial beard works on a laptop computer. Two women sit at the table to his left and another sits to his right. They appear to be at a conference.

applied institute for disaster excellence

Expert Training

The annual Applied Institute for Disaster Excellence (AIDE) prepares Catholic Charities network and diocesan staff to successfully engage in disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. AIDE is an unparalleled opportunity to learn from the experts before the next disaster hits.

building capacity

Disaster Case Managers

Through a series of disaster response academies in geographically diverse, high-risk regions, CCUSA is training 400 disaster case managers (DCMs) who can be dispatched via CCUSA’s Disaster Response app when disasters strike. Working with local Catholic Charities staff, DCMs will coordinate and provide humanitarian services, ongoing case management and disaster training for local staff and volunteers, building their capacity.

grants and donations

Disaster Funds

CCUSA disburses disaster funds and grants to agencies to aid their crisis responses, whether it’s $1.9 million after a night of deadly tornadoes or more than $6 million and 75 grants for an entire year. In-kind donations of nearly $8 million were given out another year.

hitting the road

Mobile Response Center

The Mobile Response Center has served survivors of hurricanes, floods and COVID-19. It can carry bottled water, hygiene products, diapers, cleaning supplies, sleeping bags and more. External power stations can charge up to 80 phones, and a specialized trailer with washing machines and dryers can be fitted to the back.

Catholic Charities’ commitment to providing critical, immediate, direct relief, and never hesitating to stay for the long term, even when national attention wanes, has never been more important.

Deanne Criswell, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 

Need assistance? Find a local Catholic Charities agency.

The Impact

Whether it’s immediate, direct relief or long-term accompaniment of disaster survivors, Catholic Charities helps individuals and families rebuild their lives.


People received disaster recovery assistance


New disasters CCUSA responded to in 2022


Disaster aid distributed


Every two years, after a new Congress is seated, CCUSA’s Social Policy Team crafts legislative priorities and recommendations based on the ongoing efforts of the Catholic Charities network of agencies and the needs of the vulnerable populations Catholic Charities serves. 

We lost it all but we saw humanity again. You guys have stepped up, and not only given money, but volunteered your time.

Kat and Barrett, Maui wildfire survivors
Kim Burgo, vice president of disaster operations


Kim Burgo

Kim Burgo is vice president of disaster operations. With 35 years of nonprofit experience, she has participated in or led social service-based disaster response and recovery programming in 25 countries as well as the U.S. and its territories. This work addresses human vulnerability, suffering and poverty and seeks to implement long-term sustainable solutions at the national, regional, community and individual level.

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