Daniel W. Bachman, 70, a retired American Red Cross disaster relief authority, died of cancer Tuesday at Doctors Hospital.

His first work with a major disaster involved the 1951 floods in the Kansas-Missouri-Oklahoma-Illinois region. For the next 20 years, he traveled around the country as a key member of Red Cross disaster teams. His last major relief work was done after tropical storm Agnes hit the East Coast from Florida to New York in 1972.

Mr. Bachman was director of disaster service for the D.C. chapter of the Red Cross during 1968-71. He then was named assistant national director of disaster services at American Red Cross headquarters here. He retired in 1973.

He was born in Shenandoah, Pa., and attended Pennsylvania State College. He graduated with a degree in social studies from Elizabethtown Teachers College in Pennsylvania.

A veteran of Army Service in World War II, Mr. Bachman joined the Red Cross national staff in 1948, working in the veterans's claims service of the Eastern Area Office in Alexandria.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia Joyce, of the home in Alexandria: two brothers, Clarance and Horace, both of Shenandoah, and a sister, Mrs. Peter Justin, of Carmel, Pa.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the Dan Bachman Memorial Fund for Disaster Relief at the American Red Cross Here.