Montgomery County Alumnae and DERT Member Appointed Disaster Action Team Coordinator


Submitted by Ngozi Okoli

From chapter Emergency Response Team member to becoming the newly appointed Disaster Action Team Coordinator, Cindy Douglas can’t get enough of helping people in emergencies. 

Douglas was first introduced to the American Red Cross through her work as a Delta. She has been actively engaged in the Montgomery County (MD) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incoporated’s Emergency Response Team and currently serves as co-chair of the Webinar Development Subcommittee of the Eastern Regional Delta Emergency Response Team (DERT). Acting in these positions allowed Douglas to learn more about emergency response and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.’s partnership with the American Red Cross. She became particularly interested in the Pillowcase Project, an American Red Cross program that educates children and teens on emergency preparedness. She volunteered as a Pillowcase Project Presenter, giving emergency kit and preparedness presentations at schools and summer camps. 

Once the pandemic started, many Pillowcase Project presenters struggled to transition to a virtual environment; Douglas was the exception.

“I maintained a steady state with my knowledge and experience in using multiple platforms in a virtual environment. I gained invaluable experience and sharpened my saw in presenting interactively to youth in grades 3-5” Douglas stated.

Within a few short weeks, she was promoted to Pillowcase Project Region Lead. The new appointment only increased her passion for emergency preparedness. She decided to expand her work within the Red Cross by joining the Disaster Action Team. Her years as a dedicated member of the sorority gave her the organizational and leadership skills necessary to excel as a Disaster Action Team member, and she quickly moved up the ranks in a few short months.

So, after starting her American Red Cross journey as a Pillowcase Project Presenter, Douglas has been appointed the new American Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) Coordinator for Montgomery County, Howard County, and Frederick County in Maryland. As DAT Coordinator, she serves more than 1.5 million residents across the three counties, providing administrative support and leadership to the Disaster Action Program in her territory. She and her team are responsible for responding and providing recovery assistance to individuals and families in the community following disasters that displace them from their homes. 

Douglas says that her favorite part of being DAT Coordinator is “the gratification from truly being able to help families work towards recovery” following an emergency or disaster. She emphasizes the role that empathy and compassion play when working with families and other clients. She enjoys the camaraderie among the American Red Cross team, and how they can all come together to do so much good in the community. 

Initiated into the Montgomery County Alumnae Chapter on April 28, 1985, Douglas has remained an active member of her chapter, serving as Facilities Subcommittee Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, Project Manager of the Shadow Subcommittee of the Strategic Planning Committee, and Election committee chair, all in addition to her work on the Emergency Response Team at the chapter and regional levels.


Submitted by Ngozi Okoli From chapter Emergency Response Team member to becoming the newly appointed Disaster Action Team Coordinator, Cindy Douglas can’t get enough of helping people in emergencies.  Douglas was first introduced to the American Red Cross through her work as a Delta. She has been actively engaged in the Montgomery County (MD) Alumnae …

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