In 1969, after Hurricane Camille, it became clear to organizations that regularly helped disaster victims that their services were frequently duplicated and uncoordinated. Representatives from several national organizations began to meet on a regular basis to share their respective activities, concerns, and frustrations in disaster response. They established the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) and conducted their first annual meeting in 1971.

Later, in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo (1989), the California earthquakes, and Hurricane Andrew (1992), it was abundantly clear that no single organization could handle disaster response on the scale required. Learning that coordination at the state and local level was crucial, servicing state VOADs became part of the national mission in 1996. Almost every state and territory in the US now has a VOAD organization, and there are a growing number of VOADs in local communities.

In North Carolina, a group of statewide disaster response leaders began meeting in 1998 to discuss the possibility of establishing a state VOAD organization. After electing officers, developing by-laws, and establishing a Disaster Coordination Plan, the group entered into an official Cooperative Agreement with National VOAD and was chartered in October 1999.

Hurricane Floyd hit NC in September 1999 and NC VOAD has done an exceptional job leading volunteers in response, recovery and then preparation ever since. Tested again with Isabel in 2003 and Ivan in 2004, NC VOAD managed to continue to flourish and hosted a successful National Annual VOAD Conference in Raleigh in 2006.