Section 2: How ActionAid responds to emergencies

2.2

ActionAid disaster alert levels

ActionAid uses a system of alert levels to categorise emergencies and determine the scale of appropriate response.

GREEN means the situation is normal.

In YELLOW alert emergencies, the response is delivered by the member/country programme alone, with support from IHART as requested. Additional support from the wider federation is not required.

In ORANGE alert emergencies, IHART provides significant support to the member/country programme, and additional support will be provided from other parts of the organisation as required.

In RED alert emergencies, the emergency response becomes the number one priority for the entire organisation and IHART plays a coordinating role.

These alert levels are described below; subsequent sections of this handbook will explain in detail the roles that different parts of the organisation are expected to play for each of the alert levels. Annex 2 summarises the organisation’s standard operating procedures (SOP) during red and orange alert disasters.


Alert level criteria

Green – ActionAid member/country programme decides on alert level.

  • Normal – situation normal.


National

International

  • Technical support for preparedness planning and capacity-building.

  • Recruitment, management and capacity-building of EFAST.

  • Monitoring trends. Alert level criteria


Alert level criteria

Yellow – ActionAid member/country programme decides on alert level.

  • Portion of country/population affected (less than 20,000 people).

  • ActionAid communities are affected.

  • Attention on the disaster is from local to national.


National

  • Emergency response starts in member/country programme by country team.

  • Situation reports updated.

International

  • Information flow through IHART.

  • EFAST mobilised on request of member/country programme.

  • Disaster Preparedness and Response Funds released if appropriate.


Alert level criteria

Orange – Based on its assessment, IHART recommends alert level to Director of Country Co-ordination.

  • 20,000–50,000 people affected nationally including communities that ActionAid works with.

  • Some global or regional media interest.

  • Declaration of national emergency by government OR

  • IHART and/or government, or other humanitarian actors define the situation as significant.

PLUS in addition to the above criteria, IHART assess that the capacity of the member/country programme to respond effectively is overwhelmed.


National

  • Emergency response starts in affected member/country programme by country team.

  • Situation reports updated daily or weekly.

International

  • Alert level declared by Director of Country Co-ordination on recommendation of Head of IHART.

  • IHART co-ordinates international support from the federation.

  • Oversight Group appointed by Director of Country Co-ordination and meets regularly as per the ToRs with a focus on strategic and not just operational issues (see below).

  • EFAST mobilised by IHART in consultation with the country.

  • Disaster Preparedness and Response Funds released if proposal is approved.

  • IHART International Programme Manager deployed if assessed by IHART to be necessary.

  • Very High Dependency Units and other affiliates who have fundraising capacity fundraise through institutional donors and major donors.


Alert level criteria

Red – Based on its assessment, IHART recommends alert level to CEO

  • Over 50,000 people affected nationally including communities ActionAid works with AND

  • Significant global media interest OR

  • Declaration of national emergency by government OR

  • IHART and/or government, or other humanitarian actors define the situation as critical.

PLUS in addition to the above criteria, IHART assess that the capacity of the member/country programme to respond effectively is overwhelmed.


National

  • Emergency response starts in affected member/country programme by country team.

  • Situation reports updated daily or weekly.

International

  • Alert level declared by CEO on recommendation of Head of IHART in consultation with Director of Country Co-ordination.

  • Crisis becomes top priority for all units and constituents of the federation.

  • IHART co-ordinates international part of the federation.

  • Oversight Group appointed by CEO and meets regularly as per ToRs and focus on strategic issues, as well as operational effectiveness of the response. IHART mobilises EFAST in consultation with country.

  • IHART International Programme Manager deployed.

  • Disaster Preparedness and Response Funds released if proposal is approved.

  • Very High Dependency Units and other affiliates who have fundraising capacity fundraise through institutional donors, major donors and public appeals.