Emergency Preparedness and Response Handbook

Introduction

Introduction

Saving lives and protecting rights

A dedication to Sunil Sharma of ActionAid India and messages from Biranchi Upadhyaya and Bijay Kumar.

Section 1

Section 1

ActionAid’s approach to emergencies

This section outlines why ActionAid sees engaging in emergencies as a global strategic priority, and summarises some of the key principles that guide ActionAid’s work in emergencies. It is designed as an overall introduction to the Manual and should be read by all users, ideally in advance of an emergency.

Section 2

Section 2

How ActionAid responds to emergencies

This section explains how ActionAid’s emergency response is structured and the roles that different parts of the organisation play. It describes the types of emergencies that ActionAid is mandated to respond to, and the system we use for categorising emergencies according to their impact. It is designed to provide context to the subsequent sections, which describe in detail what is required at each stage of an emergency response.

Section 3

Section 3

Key Actions within 72 Hours of Disaster

This section describes the actions that should be taken in the first 72 hours after a disaster. It explains what the member/country programme should do, as well as the support that should be provided by other parts of the organisation. This section summarises the key information and actions that are required, and contains references to the annexes where there are relevant templates and detailed guidance on each activity.

It is designed as a practical guide for staff across the organisation who have a role in responding to disasters. It should ideally be read before an emergency, but can also be used as a resource to refer to during an emergency response.

Section 4

Section 4

Key Actions within 1 Month of Disaster

This section describes the actions that should be taken in the first month after a disaster. It explains what the member/country programme should do, as well as the support that should be provided by other parts of the organisation. This section summarises the key information and actions that are required, and contains references to the annexes where relevant templates and detailed guidance on each activity can be found.

This section follows on from Section 3, which explains what should be done in the first 72 hours. Many of these activities will continue or overlap with activities in the first month. This section is designed as a practical guide for staff across the organisation who have a role in responding to disasters. It should ideally be read before an emergency, but can also be used as a resource to refer to during an emergency response.

Section 5

Section 5

Key Actions within 6 Months of Disaster

This section describes the actions that should be taken as the disaster response moves from the immediate relief phase towards longer term recovery. It explains what the member/country programme should do around six months after the disaster, as well as the support that should be provided by other parts of the organisation. This section summarises the key information and actions that are required, and contains references to the annexes where relevant templates and detailed guidance on each activity can be found.

This section follows on from Section 4, which explains what should be done in the first month following a disaster. The activities started in the first month will be continued up to six months, according to the Emergency Response and Resilience Building Plan, and may also continue beyond six months. This section sets out the specific activities that should be considered as the disaster response moves into a new phase. This section should be referred to when planning a disaster response, and also when a disaster-affected member/country programme is writing annual plans or country strategies.

Section 6

Section 6

Preparedness

This section describes the key actions that should be taken before a disaster happens, to ensure that ActionAid, partners and, most importantly, the communities we work with, are ready.

Section 7

Section 7

Programming in Emergencies

This section provides detailed guidance on key programming areas in disaster response. It is intended to help managers, field staff and partners design disaster response programmes. This section builds on Sections 2–6, which summarise the key operational activities that should be implemented during a disaster response. This section describes how ActionAid approaches disaster response in several key programme areas:

  • human rights based approach (HRBA)

  • accountability

  • communicating with disaster-affected communities

  • women’s rights

  • psychosocial work

  • livelihoods

  • food security

  • non-food items

  • conflict sensitivity

  • policy.

Annexes

The Annexes

The Annexes

The Annexes contain key organizational policies, documents and templates referenced throughout this handbook.