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DERA is actively involved in providing emergency assistance to communities and individual victims in response to several recent disasters.  DERA members are currently active in 18 countries, providing a wide range of preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery, relief assistance and planning duties.  Detailed reports of our efforts are included in our quarterly newsletter, DisasterCom, which is available online.



DERA recently conducted the following major emergency response and relief operations in addition to sponsoring numerous long-term preparedness and educational programs.  DERA members are actively supporting long-term recovery efforts while preparing for future emergency response needs.

We would welcome you as an active or sustaining member, and urgently need your support. 

Everyone working for DERA is an unpaid volunteer.  We depend on initiative, teamwork and resourcefulness of our members to develop and manage all our programs. 


Current activities can be seen at the DERA Online Operations Center


Previous DERA Disaster Operations and Preparedness Events

Haiti Earthquake 2010 : DERA provided emergency communications systems to partner organizations and operated a 24-hour Emergency Operations Center for six months to support information management needs of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) involved in the Haiti relief effort. DERA teams provided logistics management, communications planning, and administrative support so that our partner agencies could concentrate on field work. Prior to the earthquake, DERA had prepositioned emergency communications equipment on the island.

Earthquake Exercise 2009: DERA sponsored a multistate, multiagency exercise to identify logistics, communications and preplanning opportunities for a major event on the New Madrid fault. State agencies from Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois participated, as well as numerous Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs).

Hurricanes 2008: DERA deployed satellite communications teams and equipment to several states prior to landfall of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricane Gustav in order to provide communications and logistics support to mass care operations and community recovery. DERA provided logistics support and technical assistance in three states, while making the DERA Online Emergency Operations Center available to numerous other relief organizations.

North India Floods 2008: DERA international partner, NIAR, deployed communications teams to Northeast India in August following heavy monsoon floods which had caused dam and levee failures, destroying the homes of 750,000 and the evacuation of 2.3 million residents. NIAR teams provided the only communications out of vast regions of Bihar and continue to support logistics communications for medical teams and relief agencies.

California Fires 2007: DERA members at the Joint Field Office provided state and federal agencies with expertise in Special Needs planning and assisted in obtaining services for a large number of individuals for whom there were no other resources.

North American Blizzards 2006: New England experienced a powerful Nor'easter in November and Western States, especially Colorado, had a severe blizzard in December. DERA teams provided emergency communications until the infrastructure could be repaired and continued to support communications and logistics needs of response agencies.

HURRICANES DENNIS, KATRINA, OPHELIA, RITA, WILMA IN 2005:   DERA members from around the globe provided technical, financial, and logistical support to this response and recovery effort.  

DERA members deployed on a great variety of response and relief missions in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Texas, as well as in Arkansas, Colorado, Tennessee, Utah, Georgia, North Carolina and other states where large numbers of evacuees found temporary housing.DERA provided financial assistance to Mexican volunteer rescue teams following devastating damage from Hurricane Wilma on the Yucatan peninsula. 

  • DERA, along with our partner WCARS, operated an emergency communications vehicle in support of disaster operations in several states.  The vehicle, now in the mountains of North Carolina, continues to provide support for communications emergencies including severe winter storms.
  • DERA communications equipment, including satellite ground stations, portable satellite telephones, portable HF stations and VHF/UHF tactical radios were deployed to key response areas ahead of these hurricanes and provided critically needed service. 
  • DERA logistics teams and emergency management specialists assisted other relief organizations with logistics, mission coordination and other special needs.
  • DERA continues to operate a clearinghouse to match offers of assistance with those in need for long-term recovery.
  • DERA members provided round-the-clock communications support and technical assistance to recovery teams in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and will continue to provide assistance as needed.  
  • DERA members are leading long-term recovery projects and will remain committed to this mission for the long term.
  • DERA is providing education and materials to families on ways they can restore vital paper documents and photographs that have been damaged.

EARTHQUAKE: INDIA - KASHMIR - PAKISTAN 2005: The October 2005 earthquake has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and loss of homes and livelihoods for about a million people.  Our lead partner for response is NIAR, with teams active throughout the region.  DERA will also support shipment of food by our member organization Feed the Children.

TSUNAMI 2004:  Critical recovery efforts are continuing, nearly a year after the disaster. The December 2004 earthquake and tsunami tragedy is one of the most notable natural disasters in modern history.  Deaths have been confirmed in at least eight countries while a dozen other countries are now experiencing severe economic impact.  Citizens from over 75 countries have been reported as missing, and the death toll is now estimated to exceed well over 150,000, with millions more at immediate risk from disease and complications from injury.  The Tsunami left at least 5,000,000 people homeless and in  need of immediate shelter.

  • At the time of the disaster, DERA members were on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (near the earthquake's epicenter in Indonesia) working on an amateur radio communications project which DERA was co-funding with NIAR/India.  The highly trained team of unpaid volunteers was well equipped with radios, food, medical supplies and support supplies. 
  • Although many of their supplies were lost or damaged, team members escaped with minor injuries and immediately began assisting the rescue and relief effort by providing local and long range radio communications and conducting preliminary damage assessment.  
  • For several days, these team members provided the only communications with the outside world from remote areas of the islands.  Because Car Nicobar Island remained isolated even after several days, the government of India asked the team to further divide its assets and send two team members with HF radio equipment by helicopter to that island.  
  • Team members plan to remain on the islands providing critical, life-saving communications as long as needed.  DERA will continue to fund the operation.

  • DERA is also working through our members in affected countries and in support of our partnership organizations to provide medical assistance, emergency communications, and recovery planning.

HAITI 2004:   Hurricanes in 2004 caused extensive devastation on the island of Haiti, resulting in a humanitarian crisis of extreme proportions. Emergency medical care, rescue of trapped victims and mass care for homeless victims were top priorities.  Unfortunately, the storms had also destroyed much of the island's communications infrastructure, making the task of incident management and resource prioritization nearly impossible. 

  • DERA quickly coordinated requirements with medical assistance teams and humanitarian aid groups already in Haiti, developed a contingency communications support plan, purchased radio equipment, and dispatched technical teams to Haiti in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ivan. 
  • DERA continues to work in partnership with medical support teams and other relief organizations on several long-term recovery and restoration projects in Haiti, and plans to send additional technical support teams as needed. 
  • DERA is hosting a workshop in Orlando, Florida in February 2005, to identify urgent unmet needs in Haiti and facilitate a coordinated effort among the many organizations committed to assisting in the Haitian recovery.

FLORIDA and OTHER U.S. STATES 2004:  The 2004 hurricane season was an exceptionally difficult one for many states in addition to Florida.  At times, local resources were overwhelmed despite a very high level of preparedness. DERA responded to numerous requests for assistance and is continuing to support local recovery efforts, public education, and compilation of lessons-learned reports.

  • DERA deployed communications support teams with satellite telephone equipment to numerous sites in Florida, and was credited with providing life-saving medical communications in the Pensacola area following Hurricane Ivan.
  • In North Carolina, DERA members provided emergency communications support to isolated communities following massive flooding.

Will You Help Provide a Disaster Communications Lifeline?



You can provide life-saving disaster communications as an individual donor, team sponsor or volunteer.


Tragically, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita underscored just how critical disaster communications can be.


Since 1962, our nonprofit mission has been to provide emergency communications during disasters.  Our volunteers have responded to hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, wildfires, floods, volcanoes, winter storms, manmade disasters and tsunami.  Our volunteers have served in every part of the U.S. and throughout the world.  They need your help.


You can be an important part of this vital mission starting today.


We operate and maintain a variety of emergency communications systems including portable satellite terminals, mobile units that can provide local and long distance communications and lightweight flyaway kits with battery powered two-way radios.  Our volunteers deploy these systems in support of emergency responders, relief agencies and the public whenever there is a need.


No community is immune from disasters and communications emergencies, and we are working hard to strengthen our ability to respond rapidly to any location that has a need.  To do this, we need to modernize our aging equipment, some of which is over 25 years old, upgrade our satellite systems to handle greater capacity, and obtain additional communications vehicles and satellite terminals. 


An important aspect of our project is training and equipping local volunteer teams in communities throughout the U.S.   Our volunteers are active and retired communications professionals, Amateur Radio operators, emergency managers and electronics technicians working as highly effective, rapidly deployable teams. 


Annually, each emergency communications team needs sponsorship contributions of at least $35,000 to maintain their equipment and cover deployment costs.  This does not include the initial $98,000 needed to purchase and equip each communications vehicle.  A reliable source of funds is needed to maintain and repair vehicles, electronics equipment and portable generators, pay for satellite air time and internet service, cover insurance, gasoline, travel expenses and to upgrade or replace obsolete equipment.  We receive no government funds, but depend entirely on the generosity of private individuals, civic groups, businesses and other donors. 


We urgently need financial support for this vital mission. 

Please help or refer us to someone who can.


Donors and Sponsors Needed


Please help us obtain operating funds as well as donations of vehicles, satellite systems and radio equipment.


Major sponsors who partner with DERA on this project will receive full recognition through logo and name placement on communications vehicles, prominent attention in media releases, and extensive visibility as vehicles are seen enroute to disasters and on display at exercises, conferences and significant public events.


Your help as a donor, project sponsor or volunteer will provide a communications lifeline to those in need.

DERA urgently needs your help.  

  • You can best support our disaster efforts by joining DERA as a member and making a donation to support our all-volunteer field teams.

  • DERA urgently needs donations of used or new communications equipment,  portable computers and utility vehicles.  If you can help, please email:

All donations to DERA qualify as U.S. tax deductible charitable contributions.




Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Association           Email:


P.O. Box 797, Longmont, CO 80502



Current Disaster Bulletins and Broadcasts


To report stranded or distressed individuals contact  the U.S. Coast Guard at:

(USA) + 314-539-3900 Ext 2276 or 2277

For more information, go to the USCG Homeport Web Site:



Guide to Emergency Biological Decontamination

by Robert J. Heyer, D.SC



DERA Talking Paper

Guide for Donating Goods and Services During Disaster

(Five Ways You Can Help Disaster Victims)



DERA members having urgent requests for disaster assistance please click here.

Whether your need is personal or for your organization, we will do everything possible to obtain the assistance you need.



We are a membership-led organization and would value having you as a member.  Click on the link below to go to the online membership registration page:

Go To Online Membership Registration

or write to us at

DERA Membership

P.O. Box 797,  Longmont, CO 80502


 DERA is a private, non-profit organization and is not affiliated with any governmental agency.  DERA is recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization.  Our tax identification number (FEIN) is 39-1777651.  DERA is registered with GuideStar® and our financial records are available for public inspection. 


Feed the Children...You Can Help




Update:  1 August 2011

All material at is Copyright © 1998-2011, DERA International.  All rights reserved.  "DERA" and the DERA Logo are Service Marks/Trade Marks (TM) of the Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Association, Inc., Denver, Colorado USA, and may not be used without permission.