What is a Disaster Response Team?

Haven Esme

A disaster response team is a group of individuals who have designed plans to assist others in an emergency or crisis event. Disaster response teams can be formed in churches, non-profit organizations, and companies. Even families can organize their own disaster response team. The role of the response team is to assist with the emotional and physical needs of a disaster victim.

A disaster response team may be sent into an area to help after a natural disaster.
A disaster response team may be sent into an area to help after a natural disaster.

Emergency counseling, food, child care, transportation, first aid, and other comforts are all very important during a disaster. Disaster response teams are very helpful in causing an emergency or disaster to have a less severe impact on those who are going through the crisis. There are two specific types of disasters that can occur – manmade and natural.

Response teams might help to evacuate people during severe flooding.
Response teams might help to evacuate people during severe flooding.

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Natural disasters are things like earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, tsunamis, and other natural occurrences that can wreak havoc on a population. Manmade disasters are things like terrorism, explosions, wars, and any other activity produced by mankind that endangers the lives of individuals. In the event of natural and manmade disasters, a disaster response team is there to assist people with things like providing meals, clean-up, and rebuilding.

Disaster teams may distribute bottled water to individuals living in a disaster area.
Disaster teams may distribute bottled water to individuals living in a disaster area.

Large corporations often form disaster response teams that consist of employees willing to assist their colleagues in the event of an emergency. In many cases, when the disaster is significant, the disaster response team is simply not enough and volunteers are needed to assist the team.

Members of a disaster response team may hand out canned goods and other supplies to survivors.
Members of a disaster response team may hand out canned goods and other supplies to survivors.

Another thing that disaster response teams do is to run emergency drills. These drills and exercises are designed to help team members have an accurate idea of what they should do and how they should respond to a life threatening situation. Often the team members are prepared through training that covers life-saving strategies. Drills are perfect for helping disaster response teams know what they can anticipate in the event of a crisis. However, when a disaster happens, improvisation is often required and people must simply think of their feet and handle chaos.

Disaster response teams try to contain fires before they spread.
Disaster response teams try to contain fires before they spread.

Emergency management is vital to reducing the amount of people who are injured or killed during a disaster. It is vital that families prepare their own disaster response teams and have the necessary supplies, preparations, and evacuation plans ready if something catastrophic happens. Most family disaster response teams are created to keep family members together and cooperating during an event like a tornado or nuclear attack.

Disaster response teams may be called in to assist following an accident at a nuclear power plant.
Disaster response teams may be called in to assist following an accident at a nuclear power plant.

Those who form disaster response teams are individuals with a true desire to help others and are emotionally and mentally capable of handling emergency events. Those on a disaster response team are often risking their lives by placing themselves in dangerous and precarious situations so that they can rescue or help others. Most importantly, people on disaster response teams understand that they cannot control a disaster but they can control what they do and how they react during the disaster.

A disaster response team assists with the emotional and physical needs of a victim.
A disaster response team assists with the emotional and physical needs of a victim.
Disaster response teams provide first aid until paramedics arrive.
Disaster response teams provide first aid until paramedics arrive.

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