ZAKA seeking expansion into Western Hemisphere

The disaster response team is aiming to establish local operation hubs in an effort to save more lives worldwidd.

ZAKA volunteers in Johannesburg help with clean-up and relief efforts following severe storms that displaced thousands and left two people dead and over 50 people injured. (photo credit: Courtesy)
ZAKA volunteers in Johannesburg help with clean-up and relief efforts following severe storms that displaced thousands and left two people dead and over 50 people injured.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
One of the world’s most well-known and respected international mass disaster response agencies, ZAKA Search and Rescue, Inc, has declared their intention to expand operations to strategic cities in North and South America and the Caribbean, according to Edward Mermelstein, president of ZAKA in the United States.

“ZAKA’s primary mission is to save lives. Its effectiveness can be enhanced only through establishing autonomous ‘operations hubs’ in strategic locations in the US, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and elsewhere,” Mermelstein noted.
ZAKA has been prominently involved in numerous search and rescue operations throughout the globe, including Haiti, Southeast Asia, and most recently, Guatemala, in which the organization was recognized with the Ambassador of Peace Award by the government for its humanitarian service following the 2018 Volcán de Fuego volcanic eruption.

Many ZAKA volunteers are trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), drawing members from the police, fire department, military and those with specialized skills, such as doctors and nurses. 
Additionally, ZAKA has placed great emphasis on inter-organizational coordination, working closely with the US National Guard, FEMA, and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on humanitarian relief operations in response to man-made and natural disasters around the world.
To achieve their ambitious goal, ZAKA will be required to raise to sufficient funds through private and institutional donations, establishing a logistical network for rapid deployment of staff and equipment, and a recruitment network for volunteers to undergo training.



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