Disaster Relief & Community Outreach

The hard work and stewardship of Catholic Social Services of Rapid City aims to uplift the communities we serve throughout South Dakota. In remaining involved in these communities, we’re able to transform the lives of those in need with our impactful Disaster Relief Services and ongoing community outreach. We believe it is our duty to bring the utmost safety, compassion and care to those in the communities in which we live.

Become a Volunteer

Volunteer to be a mobile disaster case manager. Leverage your local community knowledge to go out and help those in need complete our online disaster assistance application.

Volunteer to be a disaster case manager to assess cases, develop a plan for recovery, and connect people with the resources they need.

Volunteer to serve on the Long-Term Recovery Group in your community.
Volunteer Application 

Make a Donation

As a non-profit organization, CSS of Rapid City relies on the generous support of our donors to deliver our services, resources, and support to those in need.

To donate to a specific disaster, community, or area, please indicate your preference on the donation form or in the memo on the check. Checks can be mailed to: Catholic Social Services, 529 Kansas City St, Rapid City, SD 57701. All disaster donations will be held in escrow for general disaster relief, unless otherwise specified.


Diocese of Rapid City

County Level Disaster Map

Click or tap on a county to see more information. The disaster team at CSS is committed to responding to the disaster-related needs of families, communities and parishes in western South Dakota. We are helping to organize community organizations that will have the ability to respond to a disaster in their area. Maynard Konechne, who is the statewide Disaster Chairman for the Knights of Columbus, is working diligently to enlist volunteers to assist in this endeavor. Also, Catholic Charities USA is assisting CSS with funding to implement the community management structure that will take the lead in the disaster recovery efforts.

Disaster Response

Does your Parish need help with a local natural disaster?
The Rapid City Diocesan Disaster Response Committee can help if you are located in one of the twenty-two counties in South Dakota west of the Missouri River.

Any Parish in Western South Dakota that is a part of the Rapid City Diocese can activate the DDRC to apply for a $10,000 Dollar Disaster Response fund immediately after a natural disaster.

Call us to learn more about available resources and trainings.

View or download our Diocesan Disaster Response Plan.

Get Prepared

Do you need help with preparing your Parish for natural disaster?

Catholic Charities USA can help you each step of the way to create a plan that works for you in Western South Dakota.

Catholic Disaster Preparedness Program (CDPP) is a three-part video training series that explores the natural intersection of our Gospel Call, the needs of those suffering and the gifts we have to share before, during and after a disaster event.

Part 1: Preparing Individuals and Families 

Preparing Individuals and Families Part 1-Video A
Preparing Individuals and Families Part 1-Video B

Participant Guide
Facilitator Guide

Part 2: Parish Disaster Planning 

Parish Disaster Planning Part 2 - Video A
Parish Disaster Planning Part 2 - Video B 

Participant Guide
Facilitator Guide 

Part 3: Sharing Our Gifts 

Sharing Our Gifts Video Part 3

Participant Guide
Facilitator Guide 

Use the map at the top of the page to see the Regional Coordinator's contact information for the county/region you are in.

The South Dakota Office of Emergency Management (OEM) encourages the development of comprehensive preparedness and disaster management plans, programs, capabilities and organizations by the state and its local governments. Because disasters often disrupt the normal functioning of governments, communities and families, OEM provides the organization necessary to expedite aid, rehabilitation and the rapid acquisition and delivery of resources.

View the SD Office of Emergency Management severe weather guide.

View South Dakota State University's emergency procedures webpage.

Our Long-time History of Providing Disaster Relief Services

Catholic Social Services of Rapid City has a long tradition of being involved in disaster response in western South Dakota. The late Msgr. William O’Connell led the community in response to the 1972 flood which claimed 238 lives. Msgr. O’Connell’s efforts were foundational and eventually helped to shape a national movement known as National VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster).

CSS services an area covering 22 counties and 43,000 square miles of geography that often experiences the extremes of blizzards, drought, tornadoes, hailstorms, flash floods, wildfires and other disasters.

Additional Resources



CSS's dedicated team is continually looking for opportunities to bring our services, skills, resources, and support to communities in need. From gathering volunteers to assist in clean-up efforts to providing post-disaster counseling, we’re firmly rooted in our mission to lead our communities to a brighter tomorrow.

See Available Classes


South Dakota Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster consists of both locally based organizations and local representatives of National organizations. Their mission is to strengthen the capabilities of organizations working together in our State to respond to communities affected by disaster. Dominique Tigert, Disaster Relief Director at CSS, is currently serving as the Treasurer for SD VOAD.

Learn More


For those impacted by a disaster, Catholic Social Services can provide licensed, professional counselors to meet in our main office in Rapid City, at satellite offices in western South Dakota and via telehealth statewide.

Learn More


From their humble beginnings in 1903 with the chartering of Marquette Council 815 in Sioux Falls on October 22, 1903, Huron Council 779 on October 27, 1903, Aberdeen Council 820 on October 29, 1903 and Lead (Black Hills) Council 703 on December 6, 1903, the SD Knights of Columbus have grown to over 80 councils with 8,000+ members.

Learn More


CCUSA offers an interactive map to explore social vulernability across the United States. Two data sources are used in the Disaster Operations Map. First, the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) is a public data base curated by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Second, te Natural Hazard Housing Risk Index is a proprietary data set released by ATTOM Data Solutions.

See the map