Disaster Action Team
The American Red Cross Heartland Chapter Disaster Action Team (DAT) is an integral part of the chapter's disaster preparedness mission. The DAT serves as the chapter's first-on-the-scene response in disaster situations. Through its preparedness program, the Red Cross maintains its capability to take immediate action to provide emergency assistance to any number of people affected by disaster or the threat of disaster.
The Heartland Chapter is organized and ready 24-hours-a-day to place trained volunteers at the scene of a disaster and to provide immediate assistance to people who need it most across Douglas, Sarpy and Cass counties, or to assist on national disaster assignments.
The 92-member Heartland Chapter Disaster Action Team performs the following functions:
DAT volunteers have an opportunity to join the national Disaster Services Human Resources (DSHR) system. DSHR relief workers gain additional experience and develop expertise in specific service areas such as Mass Care, Disaster Mental Health, Family Services, Records and Reports, Shelter Management, etc. Assignments may be local, regional or national in scope and take place across the United States and its territories.
- Meets the immediate and most urgent needs of disaster victims such as shelter, food, clothes, medications and other health-related services. DAT members may open a temporary shelter or may house victims in available community shelters or commercial facilities. When victims leave the scene of a disaster, the Red Cross makes every effort to contact them to determine if their needs have been met.
- Develops relationships and makes contacts with appropriate authorities at the scene of a disaster to coordinate Red Cross actions with those of the police department, the fire department, civil defense and other agencies.
- Makes an appraisal of the total disaster situation and compiles a damage assessment report for chapter administrators.
- Determines the need for Red Cross services and support beyond the team's capability and relays this information to chapter leadership.
To find out more on becoming a member of the American Red Cross Heartland Chapter Disaster Action Team, call the Office of Emergency Services at (402) 343-7700.