Disaster Resource Centers (DRC)Disaster Resource Center sign in multiple languages

2021 Excessive Heat Resources - DRC Staff

Last updated at 1:45pm Aug. 3, 2021

Check Help for When it's Hot and our map of cool spaces to find an air-conditioned spot near you, as hours and locations may change.

And don’t forget: if visiting a cool public space, bring a mask. If you forget to grab your own, ask for one when you arrive.

2021 Cooling Center Person in Charge (PIC) Training

PIC Training Webinar, Part 1

How do I become a DRC Shelter Worker? 

We ask that anyone interested in working at a Multnomah County Disaster Resource Center (DRC) complete our online training video series. This video series includes eighteen (18) short videos covering important considerations anyone working at a DRC should be aware of. Watch the trailer:  

 There are a few options for accessing these videos:

  • Multnomah County Employees: Use the Workday Learning portal to access “Disaster Resource Center Online Training”. Like all Workday courses, this training requires supervisor's approval. Once they provide this, you will be able to access our videos. To complete the course, you are required to watch every video and complete the short quizzes that follow. Disaster Service Worker Frequently Asked Questions (for county staff only) is available here.

  • Non-County Employees: Videos can be found on the County Department of Human Services YouTube Channel (After clicking on this link, search for "Disaster Resource Center Staff Training" Playlist).

    • Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) Members: Training videos can be found through the link above. NET members are expected to complete a quiz through ExamProfessor following watching the videos.

June 2021 Cooling Shelter workersAdditional training opportunities:

  • DRC Coordinator Training: If you are interested in becoming a DRC coordinator, please keep an eye out in Workday for our full-day training event.
  • Psychological First Aid Training: Psychological First Aid-trained individuals provide emotional support and a comforting presence to guests in the DRC. Please see Workday for Psychological First Aid training opportunities.
  • FEMA Incident Command System (ICS) Training: The following courses are recommended: ICS 100 - Introduction to the Incident Command System; ICS 700 - An Introduction to the National Incident Management System. Both are interactive web-based courses.
  • Deployment Basics: This course delves into expectations for being deployed in a disaster/emergency environment. Offerings can be found through Workday.

What is a Disaster Resource Center (DRC)?  

A Disaster Resource Center, or DRC, is a physical location that is activated to respond to the needs of people in the community who are affected by disaster or an incident. DRCs may include dormitory services. During an emergency response, the Department of County Human Services takes the lead for supporting Emergency Support Function (ESF) 6 functions. This is the coordination of mass care, emergency assistance and human services. The DRC model is often used to open spaces for people to come to in severe weather. For example, cooling centers or cleaner air spaces in the summer. In essence, these shelters are DRCs.

DRC Guiding Principles

 Service delivery, staff and volunteers are held accountable to these principles:

  • Resources will be distributed based on life safety and humanitarian need.

  • We are here to help.

  • Everyone coming to the DRC has experienced some form of trauma.

  • Keep families together.

  • Do the most good for the most people, in response to the greatest need.

  • Personal information is confidential. Informed consent is required to release any personal information.

  • Background checks are required to work in areas with elevated privacy or security risk.

  • Minimum of three staff at a time are required to work in any area of the DRC.

  • Unaccompanied children are never alone in any area of the DRC, for any reason. A minimum of two staff are required with a young unaccompanied child(ren). Older unaccompanied minors may “go with a peer”.

  • Accommodations must be made for residents unable to access services (e.g., people with disabilities and other access and functional needs, and people needing to remain in private restricted-access areas).

  • Only the Public Information Officer communicates with the media.

  • DRC services are available to all DRC staff, including volunteer staff.

June 2021 Cooling Shelter at the Oregon Convention CenterDRC Essential Services:

The availability of services will vary based on event timeline and accessibility.

Accessible Information Services - Keep guests informed of current Joint Information Center (JIC) approved incident specific information via formal briefings, information boards, or by simply answering questions as they arise.

Assessment & Referral Services - Continuous assessment of  the needs of guests to determine if additional services need to be activated in the DRC or whether the guest will be referred to existing services outside the DRC.

Disaster Behavioral Health (DBH) Services - The provision of mental health, substance abuse, and stress management services to disaster survivors and responders at a DRC. DBH interventions are designed to address incident-specific stress reactions, rather than ongoing or developmental behavioral health needs.

Food Services - Snacks and water will always be included in DRC operations. Efforts will be made to accommodate infants, children, older adults and individuals with special dietary food allergies, cultural and religious requirements. Meals will be provided if the DRC will be operations 4 hours beyond any of the given meal times (7am, 12pm, 6pm)

Pet Services - Pets and service animals are always welcome at the DRC. The provision of services like crates, veterinary care, boarding, and transportation will vary based on incident needs. Livestock will be managed separately. Dogs in crates at a Disaster Resource Center

Safety and Security - The DRC will be a safe environment for guests and staff. A system for tracking entrance and departure from the facility will be implemented by having all guests and staff sign in and out of the facility. 

Translation and Interpretation Services - On demand translation services will always be available at a DRC through in person translators or interpreters or through Virtual Remote Interpretation (VRI). 

DRC Additional Services:

These services may be added or removed from a DRC based on guest needs.

Clothing/Personal Care Services 

Dormitory Services 


Financial Assistance 

Medical ServicesCots at a Disaster Resource Center dormitory

Personal Property 

Respite Services 

Spiritual Support 


Crime Victim Assistance/Services 

And other services

Who is a DRC for?Multnomah County's All Are Welcome logo in multiple languages

A DRC is a community response resource and ALL ARE WELCOME.

All are welcome is our DRC overarching value. Values create a moral compass that guides attitudes, actions and decision-making in a DRC. The DRC values include:

  • Safety: We avoid exposure to further harm and support the right to life and privacy of information.

  • Inclusion: Everyone, everywhere in need of shelter services in Multnomah County is welcome in our shelters.

  • Universal Accessibility: Shelter locations and services are accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

  • Equity: Resources and services are distributed to prevent disparate impact across our communities, in proportion to need and without discrimination.

  • Compassion: We value each other’s perspectives and situations.

  • Respect: We treat others the way we wish to be treated.

  • Dignity: We respect the inherent value and worth of each person.

Other Related Resources

Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHASD) Crisis line: 503-988-4888 or toll free at 1-800-716-9769. Hearing-impaired dial: 711. The crisis line provides 24/7 crisis counseling by phone, with translation services for non-English speakers. 

Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC): 503-988-3646 or email adrc@multco.us. This resource provides 24-hour information and assistance to seniors (older people), people with disabilities, and caregivers.

Multnomah County Department of Human Services (DCHS): Visit DCHS’s website. This department is the lead for Mass Care Services in the County.

Multnomah County Office of Emergency Management (MCEM): Visit MCEM’s website. MCEM activates an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to support DRCs.

Red Cross Partners: The American Red Cross is a very important partner in DRC operations. For more information on the Red Cross program, please visit their website.

Trauma Intervention Program (TIP): Office: 502-823-3937. 24-hour: 503-940-7997. TIP is a group of specially trained citizen volunteers who provide emotional aid and practical support and resources to victims of traumatic events and their families in the first few hours following a tragedy. TIP Volunteers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NETs): Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NETs) are Portland residents trained by Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and Portland Fire & Rescue to provide emergency disaster assistance within their own neighborhoods. NET members are trained to save lives and property until professional responders can arrive. Find out how to get involved here.