Cleveland County Chapter Disaster Services-What We Do! 

The Red Cross is renowned for its response to major disasters.  When a disaster strikes, the Red Cross is one of the first to respond with emergency food, clothing, shelter, health and mental health care to the victims and workers.  For more information on our role in a major disaster, visit www.redcross.org/disaster

Not so ll known is the local Red Cross response to single-family disasters – house fires.  Each Red Cross chapter provides assistance to the victims of these disasters too, every day.  To a family burned out of their home, this single family disaster is just as devastating as a disaster that destroys an entire community.

Your support of the Cleveland County Red Cross chapter means we can help the victims of all disasters, from house fires to tornados.  Volunteers are always needed.  There are many ways you can help, depending on how much you want to get involved.  Call 704 487-8594 right away to become a Red Cross volunteer.

Level 1 Emergency Response Teams and the Disaster Action Team

The Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) and Level 1 Emergency Response Teams place trained Red Cross volunteers and equipment at the scene of a disaster to provide immediate emergency service to disaster victims and relief workers. The Disaster Action Team provides 24 hour coverage for our county. Upon initial response to an emergency or disaster, members of the teams can mobilize additional resources, if necessary. These resources can be from within our chapter, other local chapters, or from the National Red Cross. The teams also provide additional trained resources for mutual aid to other chapters or assignment during (National) administered disasters.

Functions of the Level 1 Emergency Response Teams

The Level 1 Emergency Response Teams serve as the chapter’s first on-the-scene contact with disaster situations. The teams provide initial response to Level 1 disasters (e.g.: Single Family Fires) by providing Emergency Assistance to Families. If the disaster requires additional functions, then the Disaster Action Team (DAT) will be activated.

Functions of the Disaster Action Team (DAT)

The Disaster Action Team functions as an integral part of the Chapter’s disaster preparedness organization and serves as the chapter’s on-the-scene contact with major disaster situations. The team provides Survey/Damage Assessment, Mass Care (Feeding and Shelter), Emergency Assistance to Families, Disaster Health Services, Disaster Welfare Inquiry, and Public Relations. Other members of the team provide background support such as Staffing, Records & Reports, Communications, etc.

Disaster Action Team Responsibilities

 Meet the immediate needs of disaster victims for necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, first aid, and emergency health services, and provides other personal humanitarian services that may be needed. The teams may open a temporary shelter or may house disaster victims in available hotels or motels. If, as in the case of small fires or localized disasters, some victims have already left the scene, team members must make every effort to arrange for follow-up contact with such families.

 Make contact with ranking public officials and other appropriate authorities at the disaster scene to coordinate Red Cross actions with those of the police, the fire department, emergency management, and other agencies involved.

 Make a rapid appraisal of the total situation and compile damage assessment surveys, and immediately get this information to the chapter as outlined in the chapter disaster preparedness plan.

 Determine the immeeydiate need for Red Cross service and support bond the team’s capability, and relay this information to the chapter.

 Make sure that all Red Cross activities are well identified.

Basic Training

Level 1 Emergency Response Team member

1. Introduction to American Red Cross (45 minutes)

2. Introduction to Disaster Services (3 Hours)

3. Introduction to the Disaster Action Team (2 Hours)

4. Single Family Fire Plan Workshop (Fire ll Training) (2 Hours)

Disaster Action Team members should complete as many of the following additional courses as would be appropriate for their specific interests:

5. Mass Care 1 (8 Hours)

6. Survey/Damage Assessment (3 Hours)

7. Emergency Assistance to Families 1 (8 Hours)

8. Emergency Assistance to Families 2 (8 Hours)

9. Standard First Aid and Adult CPR (8 Hours)

10. Emergency Response Vehicles Training (ERV) – to include use and safe operation of all American Red Cross vehicles and equipment used by Disaster Services (8 Hours)

Specialized Training

If a DAT member wishes to be a member of the national DSHR (Disaster Services Human Resources) system and/or an officer or assistant officer of the DAT, the DAT Coordinator/Assistant Coordinator will discuss how he/she can pursue specialized disaster training, such as Public Affairs, Staffing, etc., or supervisory level courses. A DAT member wishing to be an officer or an assistant officer must have the basic and supervisory training for that function, and must take the courses ‘Administering a Small Disaster Operation’ (ASDO) and ‘Supervision in Disaster’ (SID). The Disaster Chairperson and the Director of Emergency Services must make the necessary recommendations for taking these courses.

Coordination and Notification

Cleveland County Red Cross officials have established a plan with the appropriate community authorities, such as fire, police, emergency management, and other local government offices to ensure that the Red Cross chapter is informed immediately upon the occurrence of a disaster. It is important for all volunteers and paid staff to be alert to any disaster occurrence and to report it immediately to the Cleveland County Chapter Emergency Services office. The chapter maintains 24 hour disaster coverage seven days a week.