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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams

Helping families find closure in the of worst times

In the wake of a mass casualty event, families, friends and communities need to find closure. Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams (DMORTs) work to quickly and accurately identify victims and support local mortuary services. DMORTs reunite victims with their loved ones in a dignified, respectful manner.

DMORT responders at pathology station

DMORTs are composed of funeral directors, medical examiners, pathologists, forensic anthropologists, finger print specialists, forensic odontologists, dental assistants, administrative specialists, and security specialists. They are deployed to supplement federal, state, local, tribal and territorial resources at the request of local authorities. They help families, friends and communities find closure so that they can move forward and begin to heal.

Helping Communities Solve Tough Challenges

DMORT members provide technical assistance and consultation on fatality management and mortuary affairs. DMORTs may be called on to provide a wide range of services, such as:

  • tracking and documenting human remains and personal effects
  • establishing temporary morgue facilities
  • assisting in the determination of cause and manner of death
  • collecting ante-mortem data
  • collection of medical records, dental records, or DNA of victims from next of kin to assist in victim identification
  • performing postmortem data collection
  • documentation during field retrieval and morgue operations
  • performing forensic dental pathology and forensic anthropology methods
  • processing and re-interment of disinterred remains preparation

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  • This page last reviewed: September 09, 2017