When disaster strikes, Islamic Relief USA responds immediately to get vital resources to survivors as quickly and efficiently as possible. IRUSA Disaster Assistance Response Team members are essential to the success of our response.
Support Islamic Relief USA’s DART Team—made mostly of volunteers—by donating to help provide training in essential courses, like disaster assessment and shelter fundamentals, and to aid the procurement of supplies, transportation, lodging and food for volunteers while they donate their time to providing emergency relief in the field.
Join the DART Team
Apply today to be a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) member for Islamic Relief USA, and turn your extra time into good deeds. Fill out this form or contact Miriam Soliman, Islamic Relief USA disaster response team coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with us at email@example.com. And join the conversation about DART on social media—make sure to use #IRDART with your note.
**To learn how to apply for volunteer work in an Islamic Relief USA office
or for special events, check out our Volunteer page.**
DART Training and Certification
Islamic Relief emergency volunteers undergo extensive training by certified staffers from the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The safety and security of our volunteers are extremely important to us—and every precaution is taken to provide the smoothest experience possible for our team members.
Islamic Relief USA offers training sessions for disaster assistance efforts. Click on your state’s name to learn when the next planned session is coming to your area.
How DART Has Helped
On Dec. 14, 2012, a tragic shooting took place in Newtown, CT, which resulted in the deaths of 20 young children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Since the events of that day, Islamic Relief USA’s Disaster Assistance Response Team has been working with local groups to provide emotional support to communities in need. The effort was lead by DART Chaplain Sr. Khaliah Abdul-Karim, who has been providing emotional support and spiritual care to affected families—she has been working every day since the shooting to help. Chaplain Br. AbdulMalik Negedu is also helping in communities in and around Newton, and is directing crisis care sessions in various mosques in the region (there are 15 sessions scheduled between Jan. 2 and June 1, 2013). In addition, DART Chaplain Matiniah Yahya connected with an interfaith group that works in the region. Through this contact, Islamic Relief USA’s Chaplains have joined the Association of Religious Communities (ARC), which has been tasked with forming volunteer teams that will continue the effort after the first group is relieved of its tasks. “We are here for the teachers and parents as well,” said Chaplain Negedu. “This is a tragedy that affects all of us, all humanity.” Islamic Relief USA is now working on opening up a permanent office in Connecticut to be able to efficiently continue these chaplain services.
Superstorm Sandy, which started as a category 1 hurricane with 90+ MPH winds, thrashed the Mid-Atlantic East Coast for several days, starting Oct. 28, 2012. As soon as storm watches were announced, DART moved quickly to offer its expertise and prepare for any relief efforts that would be needed. On Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, DART conferred with representatives from FEMA, American Red Cross and VOAD to discuss emergency response efforts. A day later, DART teams arrived in New Jersey, where the brunt of the storm was forecast to hit, and met with local DART volunteers before splitting into two teams to offer shelter management at separate relief areas on the campus of Rutgers University. Efforts continued for several days. DART teams have also been working with local NGO groups, including the Church of Latter-day Saints, to help as needed in a variety of hard-hit neighborhoods in New York and New Jersey. Major clean-up efforts began on Nov. 10, and food distribution began in mid-December; and mold testing in affected homes continues. Learn more about relief efforts for survivors of Hurricane Sandy.