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Join the Southeast Louisiana Disaster Action Team

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DAT volunteers are the heart of American Red Cross disaster relief efforts by responding immediately to a disaster when called by emergency dispatch.

Every 8 minutes in the U.S., Red Cross volunteers are helping people affected by disaster. More volunteers are needed to join the American Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT), which is on call around the clock so we can be there for our neighbors in their times of need.

Southeast Louisiana volunteers respond to an average of two fire calls per day. Our dedicated volunteers go to the scene of the fire to provide the residents with immediate emergency needs, such as food, clothing and shelter.

“Most importantly, they provide hope and guidance because they have the privilege of being present and serving their neighbors just after the disaster,” said Norma Cortez Crowder, deputy director of response operations for the South Louisiana Red Cross.

DAT volunteers are the heart of American Red Cross disaster relief efforts by responding immediately to a disaster when called by emergency dispatch.

Specially trained DAT volunteers assess the scope of the damage and meet with the affected family or families to determine their immediate disaster-related needs and ensure that those needs are met. The Red Cross can assist with shelter, food, clothing, medical needs and mental health counseling.

DAT volunteers must have:

• The willingness and availability to respond to emergencies anytime during their self-selected "on-call" shift.

• A sensitivity to people's needs in difficult situations.

• The ability to work objectively and compassionately with diverse individuals.

• Respect and concern for the people you serve and with whom you work.

• The ability to maintain confidentiality.

• The ability to work well in a "team" environment.

All disaster volunteer training is free. To become a DAT volunteer or to learn more about other Red Cross volunteer opportunities, visit our volunteer website and complete the application to become a Red Cross DAT volunteer.

If you have questions about Southeast Louisiana DAT, contact:

• Northshore Louisiana: Kim Adams, Kim.Adams@redcross.org or (985) 377-2758

• Greater New Orleans Area: Debbie McCoy Deborah.Mccoy@redcross.org, or (504) 620-3128.

• Bayou / River Region: Irvin Patecek, Irvin.Patecek@redcross.org or (504) 915-1823.

Join us at the next Northshore DAT meeting on Sept. 12, 2013, at 6 p.m. These monthly meetings are held at the American Red Cross Madisonville office, 300 Ashland Way, Madisonville, LA 70447. Call (985) 892-4317 for more information.