On March 28, 2000 a strong F2 tornado roared through Fort Worth killing five people, injuring another 100, and causing more than $500 million in damages. As the dust settled, it became clear to many in both the private and public sectors that there needed to be more communication and coordination between organizations before a disaster happens.
To that end, the City of Dallas partnered with business leaders in the city's Central Business District (CBD) and in 2001 created a collaborative relationship among the public and private sectors. The Dallas Emergency Response Team (DERT) was born from these early meetings and is fostering strong relationships between the public, private and non-profit sectors of our community.
In 2020, The Dallas Emergency Response Team's name was changed to the Dallas Evacuation and Recovery Team to more accurately reflect the non-response role of the organization. DERT has become a public-private partnership that is leading the nation in collaboration and communication between local government and the business community. DERT is built around the concept that a city that prepares together will respond and recover more effectively when disaster strikes. The partnership focuses on communications before, during, and after emergencies, exercising disaster plans, and sharing training opportunities for anyone seeking to become better informed and better prepared.
Since 2000, DERT has expanded beyond the CBD to include organizations in the North Central and Northwest areas of the city. In 2007, the Office of Emergency Management, Dallas Police Department, and Dallas Fire-Rescue began working to broaden this program with the inclusion of businesses, volunteer organizations, and non-profits throughout the city. On April 1, 2008, the First Annual DERT Conference was held to educate the public on the citywide effort to expand the DERT program and introduce a new communications tool, USP3.
The City of Dallas is committed to seeing DERT expand and develop through collaboration and communication between the public, private, and non-profit sectors so that we will be better prepared for any disaster.
If you have any questions about the program, please contact The City of Dallas Office of Emergency Management at 214-670-4275 or firstname.lastname@example.org.