Disaster Assistance Response Team
Utilizing Forest Service expertise with the Incident Command System (ICS), DASP initially helped USAID/OFDA develop the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) concept as a method to systematically provide rapid response assistance to international disasters.
The activities of a DART vary depending on the type, size, and complexity of the disaster but may be used to help conduct assessments, prioritize needs, manage on-site relief operations, coordinate the movement and consignment of USG relief commodities, and coordinate response activities with other USG agencies, host-country organizations, donors and implementing partners.
Similar to the domestic ICS, the DART is organized into six major functional areas: Management, Operations, Planning, Logistics, Administration and Communications. All team members perform a functional task in support of this organization based on a defined scope of work. The number of individuals assigned to a DART is determined by the response strategy and objectives, and is generally tied to anticipated work outputs. Based on lessons learned from past DART deployments, minimum staffing of five core positions is now required for basic team support, field operations and coordination. Training is a pre-requisite for all positions, and advanced training and experience are required for most positions.