JCFPD CERT and RED CROSS have partnered to develop a Disaster Action Team (DAT) to serve San Diego County back country. Disaster Action Team volunteers are the heart of American Red Cross disaster relief efforts. DAT members respond immediately to a disaster when called by emergency dispatch. The eight volunteers in the photo were trained on March 5th how to assess the scope of the damage, meet with the affected family or families to determine their immediate disaster-related needs, and ensure that those needs are met. Depending upon individual requirements, the Red Cross can provide assistance in the form of secure shelter, food, clothing, medical needs and mental health counseling.
Over the past five years Red Cross has trained over 50 local residents from Julian, Shelter Valley and Warner Springs as Shelter Workers and at least half are still active Red Cross volunteers. What this means is:
- If there is an incident that damages or destroys a single home (fire, quake, or other natural disaster), a Disaster Action Team will arrive within 3 hours to assist the residents with temporary shelter, food, clothing and money.
- If a disaster requires evacuations, Red Cross will establish a Temporary Evacuation Point and provide a Canteen with water and snacks.
- When necessary to assist a large number of residents evacuated or displaced from their homes for a day or more, Red Cross will set up a Shelter where food, health and mental health services, and basic needs will be met.
- When support is requested by law enforcement or fire services, Red Cross will provide a Canteen and food for first responders and volunteers. This occurred at a recent search and rescue attempt north of Warner Springs.
- When communications are affected by a disaster, Red Cross will provide communications that may even include satellite operations.
In all of these situations, local residents who have become trained Red Cross volunteers will be boots on the ground to assist the Red Cross quickly and efficiently.
If you are interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer, contact: www.redcross.org/ca/san-diego/volunteer