Disaster Management - DRT - Disaster Response Teams

Disaster Management - DRT - Disaster Response Teams

  • Overview

    Vision / description

    In cooperation with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a network of around 500 trained DHL employees serve as volunteers in Disaster Response Teams (DRT) in the Americas, Middle East/Africa and Asia Pacific regions. When called upon by the United Nations, we deploy our volunteers to disaster areas within a maximum of 72 hours. These Disaster Response Teams provide immediate logistics support at main relief airports, ensuring that incoming relief supplies are processed and passed on quickly and effectively to aid organizations on site.

    Project objectives

    We aim to process and provide relief supplies to aid organizations on the site of disaster areas. This includes warehouse logistics, shipping and on-site assistance.
    We provide our DRT volunteers with intensive training to make sure they are prepared for the extraordinary demands of such deployments. DRT members also undergo regular training to ensure that their work fulfills rigorous UN requirements. As part of the training, DRT volunteers are familiarized with various aspects of disaster relief and management. Warehouse management is one of the focal points of the training. Volunteers also learn how to collaborate effectively with representatives from the UN and other relief organizations during their deployment.


    Communities and areas affected by disaster areas.

    Current progress

    In 2017, DRTs were deployed on four occasions around the world – in Barbados, Costa Rica, Peru and Puerto Rico.
    Following the devastating floods and mudslides caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon, the Peruvian authorities requested the assistance of our DRT in the spring of 2017. Our employees handled the loading and unloading of relief supplies as well as warehouse logistics in two warehouses at Lima Airport.

    In Puerto Rico, our employees provided support in the coordination of relief shipments following the wide-spread destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Maria in October of the reporting year. During this deployment some of our employees were on site and providing assistance for fourteen days.

    In 2017, over 100 employees were trained for disaster response deployments and in 2018; we plan to conduct at least one training in each of the three DRT deployment regions.

    Project URL


    Sustainable Development Goals

    13. Climate action; 17. Partnerships for the goals

    Regions / countries / territories

    Europe: Germany

    Issue areas

    Climate Change; Education

    Business sectors



    Existing partners

    United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
    Local authorities and governments

    Preferred partner organisation(s)

    UN Entity

    Type of support needed


    Collective Action
    • This initiative has a potential for scalability.
    • This initiative is seeking additional partners.
    • This initiative respects all dimensions of sustainable development.
    • This initiative is not submitted with commercial intent.