Disaster Response Team (DRT)
The Atlantic County Office of Emergency Preparedness (ACOEP) works to identify and train members of our community to prepare themselves and their families for the next emergency. We also encourage these individuals to join our effort to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters by joining our Disaster Response Team (DRT). We know that government alone cannot address all of the needs of a community impacted by disaster so we identify and put in place teams of citizens to support critical emergency operations.
The Atlantic County DRT consists of our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) , our County Animal Response Team (CART), our Medical Needs Team (MNS) and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and community volunteers who just want to help out when disaster strikes.
ACOEP strives to provide information, education and training to make our community and the people who live here more resilient. This is accomplished through many venues that include our web presence, social media, public outreach and demonstrations, but mainly through the extensive array of programs offered through our training section.
ACOEP’s training section has developed a training plan for our community volunteers. This basically follows two major areas: 1) a track for individuals who are interested in preparing themselves and their families for disaster that includes the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program and 2) a professional development track for individuals interested in participating in our Disaster Response Team (DRT).
DRT training is intended to prepare team members for the tasks that they may encounter when working in a disaster environment. This will ensure: 1) the team member will have the basic skills to perform the tasks or operations that are needed; and 2) ACOEP will be confident that the teams are able to accomplish those tasks quasi-independently.
DRT Training is divided into three levels:
Level 1 (Disaster Volunteer) - This is required for all team members. It provides an operational overview of ACOEP as well as personal preparedness information. The ICS (Incident Command System) component meets the federal NIMS (National Incident Management System) requirement while providing the team member a glimpse of their “spot” in the overall management of a disaster.
Level 2 (Disaster Worker )- This level is divided into six (6) tracks currently: Shelter Operations, Feeding Operations, Animal Response, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Operations, Incident Management and Domestic Preparedness. This allows for an individual to select an area(s) in which they are comfortable working and allows them to develop one or more skill sets to be able to accomplish the missions assigned to those teams. To complete Level 2, a team member must participate in at least two (2) disasters, EOC activations or full scale exercises. Additionally, training tracks are available for licensed professional medical and mental health providers.
Level 3 (Disaster Leader) - This level of team membership provides the team member with management level training and experience to manage missions and other team members in the field. These team members will provide valuable leadership during operations and will be the eyes and ears of ACOEP in the field.
Upon receipt of an Atlantic County Emergency Preparedness Volunteer Application, the potential team member will be given a “Training Task Book,” which will serve as the record as each training program or level of team membership is completed. It will be initiated by a member of the career ACOEP staff. As each task is completed a staff member will sign off on the book. As each level is completed recognition of that achievement will be given to the team member.
Each task level is identified below and will be outlined in the task book. All Team Members are required to adhere to the policies and procedures of Atlantic County Government and the Atlantic County Office of Emergency Preparedness.
If you are interested in participating or even just learning more about the DRT please contact ACOEP at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 609-407-6742.
Citizen Volunteers Aid Relief Effort