The American Red Cross responds to approximately 64,000 disasters each year and most are home fires. Red Cross Disaster Action Teams (DAT) are the first line of care, comfort and compassion for those affected by a disaster.
In Fiscal Year 2018, there were 482 DAT responses in Kansas and demand for DAT services is rising. To meet those demands, the Red Cross is making an urgent call for new volunteers.
“We strive to respond consistently in a proactive, timely and meaningful way, making service available to everyone who needs assistance,” said Jill Orton, Kansas, Nebraska, SW Iowa CEO. “To do that, it is essential that we grow our base of volunteers.”
No previous experience is required. Volunteers will be trained to respond to a scene of a disaster and properly assist those affected. The Red Cross is offering special disaster volunteer training sessions this spring.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities and to register as a volunteer, visit https://www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer.html.
March is Red Cross Month and to celebrate, the Red Cross is encouraging people to be a hero in their community through volunteering, donating blood, giving financially or taking a first aid or CPR course. Becoming a DAT member is a great way to be a hero.
DAT members distribute relief supplies, provide client assistance for temporary lodging and other disaster-caused needs, offer some health services, mental health services and spiritual care.
DAT members encounter people who are experiencing possibly the worst day of their lives. While the lodging, food and supplies are welcomed, many times it is the comfort and emotional support that DAT members provide that makes the most difference.
“Volunteers carry out 90 percent of the service provided by the American Red Cross, so it goes without saying without volunteers, we couldn’t do what we do,” Orton said. “DAT members are there in the immediate hours after a home fire or other local disaster to provide compassionate care and comfort. They are an important part of our mission.”