Sensitive to criticism that the humanitarian aid movement is sometimes slow to act when disaster strikes, we have our own Disaster Aid Response Team (DARTs). Their raison d’être is to get the group’s survival systems to those in most need, soonest, safely, via its team of highly trained and experienced professionals and volunteers. We do not aim to be the first on the ground to establish evacuation centres but to provide a meaningful response as soon as families are able to be safely located within their communities.
When help is sought or we are alerted to an impending or actual disaster, the first assessment is whether the situation is likely to benefit from Disaster Aid International’s specific area of expertise: to provide either refuge; potable water; other non-food aid or training for families within their communities so that they can be supported in building a sustainable future for the longer term.
Once this assessment is made a DART is rapidly brought together using group selection criteria. The DART, usually small in number and tightly focused, is then deployed to the scene.
The DART conducts a reconnaissance and gathers intelligence. Many factors are taken into consideration, for example, the social, legal, economic, political, technological aspects of the locale and then more specifically, logistics, warehousing and security. Need assessments, incorporating consideration of water, sanitation and health conditions are conducted. Site assessments are then carried out and distribution plans put in place. All this is done in liaison with other aid agencies wherever possible. The job of moving the survival systems from storage facilities to the front line begins.
Our international DART undertakes to go the “extra mile” and to do its utmost to overcome all the obstacles in its way to ensure the survival systems are delivered personally to those in most need; as quickly and as safely as possible.
The DART is trained to work effectively under severe emergency conditions. Get further information about how to become a DART team member.
What is deployed
Disaster Aid International has a range of products that it can deploy according to the needs identified during the initial in-country assessment.
Care is taken to ensure that only equipment that is defined as needed is actually sent. This may mean that tents may be sent with or without associated survival kits, water filters, tarpaulins, mosquito nets etc. In cases where damaged homes are recoverable, it maybe more appropriate to acquire building materials locally, thereby helping the local economy to recover as well.
All material that is sent or supplied is deployed under the supervision of the DART or by those who have been trained by the DART in cases where aid has
to be dispersed over a wide area or over a long period of time..