Section 3: Key Actions within 72 Hours of Disaster

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Key Points

  • In RED and ORANGE alert level emergencies, ActionAid expects members/country programmes to respond. IHART mobilises and co-ordinates the federation’s resources to support the response. In YELLOW alert level emergencies, members/country programmes are advised to respond.

The member/country programme should:

  • Activate Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP).

  • Conduct a rapid assessment to gather basic information about the disaster and impact on the communities that ActionAid works with.

  • Trained EFAST member(s) can be deployed within 48 hours to the disaster-affected country if required.

  • Commence relief activities focusing on saving lives and addressing the immediate needs of the most vulnerable groups, women and children. In addition to food, water, shelter etc, the immediate response also includes information, psychosocial support, accountability and policy linkages.

In addition:

  • Information management: in emergencies, IHART acts as the central co-ordinating body for information on the disaster and ActionAid’s response. A situation report (sitrep) is to be completed within 24 hours of the disaster and at regular intervals after that.

  • International Programme Managers (IPMs) have responsibility for emergency preparedness and response in a specific geographic region. In orange and red alert emergencies, IHART may deploy an IPM to support the member/country programme.

  • Management response: in RED and ORANGE alert emergencies, IHART supports the disaster-affected member/country programme to establish a management response system to oversee and direct effective and efficient delivery of the emergency response.

  • Oversight group: formed of International Senior Leadership Team members (or their representatives), and chaired by the Head of IHART, an Oversight Group is formed in ORANGE and RED alert disasters to help guide and monitor the disaster response.

  • Review and update the security assessment and security plan. Staff security must be ActionAid’s top priority in disasters. All countries where ActionAid has a presence must already have security risk analysis and plans in place before a disaster strikes. If ActionAid responds outside its usual operating area, security analysis and plans must be developed.

  • Members/country programmes should sign a new MOU with all partners (even existing partners with whom they have worked prior to the emergency) at the start of the response.

  • Fundraising must be started within 72 hours of a disaster. IHART co-ordinates the emergency response fundraising. In RED alert disasters, all fundraising affiliates are expected to launch public or supporter fundraising appeals. In ORANGE alert disasters, while fundraising remains a priority, it is not expected that affiliates will launch public or supporter appeals, although if they feel that there is a particular opportunity for these, they should discuss with IHART and International Fundraising.

  • Communications in emergencies: the first 24/48 hours of any emergency are crucial for media, communications and fundraising. ActionAid must be immediately visible at the local, national and international level. If required, deployment of an Emergency News Officer can be made in the first 12-24 hours of a rapid onset emergency or at an appropriate time during a slow onset emergency.

  • Co-ordination with UN clusters and INGO/NGO platforms: it is particularly important for ActionAid to engage with relevant clusters from the start of the disaster response. The member/country programme should also engage with other country level actors including INGO/NGOs.