On December 7, 1988, an earthquake with a 6.9 magnitude struck the Soviet Republic of Armenia. Occurring in the northern region of Armenia, Spitak, Gyumri, and Vanadzor were greatly affected with large losses of life and devastating effects to buildings and other structures. With powerful aftershocks continuing for months, Armenia struggled to recover. By United Nations’ estimates, more than 25,000 people were killed, 15,000 were injured, and the physical damage equaled $14.2 billion. Thousands were left homeless, and the orphan population increased significantly.

Despite the tensions of the Cold War, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev formally asked the United States for humanitarian help within a few days of the earthquake, the first such request since the Second World War. One hundred and thirteen countries sent substantial amounts of humanitarian aid in the form of rescue equipment, search teams and medical supplies, while private donations and assistance from non-government organizations also contributed to the international effort.

While we hope that no similar catastrophe occurs in Armenia again, SOAR is committed to being prepared with our Disaster Assistance and Response Team (DART). You are critical to our ability to provide high-impact disaster relief. We need skilled and prepared volunteers who are ready for action the minute a crisis happens. 

We are seeking volunteers NOW. Your applications will be saved in our DART database and, in the event of an emergency, you will be contacted for potential service. As you consider completing the application, please understand that you MUST:

  • Be physically fit, enough to engage in hiking, lifting and enduring extreme temperatures.
  • Be able to work and live without amenities.
  • Be able to work long hours in unpredictable and rough conditions.
  • Be flexible and able to work as part of a team.
  • Have current immunizations, including Hepatitis A & B and yellow fever.
  • Be able to be gone for three or four weeks at a time.

Apply now, but pray you will never be called for service.

To apply for the Disaster Assistance and Response Team:

  1. Download the application HERE and save as a PDF

  2. Scan and email back to the email on the application OR

  3. Fax to the number on the application.