National Society preparedness for response refers to the measures and actions taken by a National Society to prepare for, respond to, recover from and reduce the effects of disasters and crises.

The Disaster Preparedness policy of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) recognizes that disaster preparedness should be one of the primary activities of the IFRC and of each of the 190 Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies worldwide.

To better support National Societies in meeting the minimum standards for preparedness and response capacity as set out in the Principles and Rules for Red Cross and Red Crescent Humanitarian Assistance, the National Disaster Preparedness and Response Mechanism was developed as a hands-on resource to guide National Societies through the process of setting up and strengthening a disaster preparedness and response system.

National Disaster Preparedness and Response Mechanism

The National Disaster Preparedness and Response Mechanism (NDPRM) guidelines were designed by the IFRC for use by National Societies in enhancing the processes, systems, teams and individuals involved in preparing for and responding to disasters and crises. They contain common standards, key indicators, guidance notes, and real-life experiences to help National Societies determine the best way to achieve their preparedness objectives.

The guidelines acknowledge that response is first and foremost local, but that it takes place within the global solidarity of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The mechanism and its components align with key Movement initiatives, and can be downloaded in eBook form in English and Spanish (ePub file, 120MB).

Read and download the guidelines in:

Areas and Components of NDPRM

First identified in 2012 and revised in 2017, 5 areas and 37 components drawn from the NDPRM guidelines were determined by a global group of practitioners to be an essential basis for disaster and crisis response.These inter-related elements of an effective preparedness for response system include National and Regional Disaster Response Teams, enhanced Contingency Planning, and standardised Emergency Needs Assessments.

Based on these components, a harmonized approach to strengthening a National Society’s response capacity was developed in consultation with key stakeholders within the Movement. Preparedness for Effective Response utilizes an assessment framework to appraise a National Society’s response preparedness, and supports a multi-sectorial analysis process to identify and incorporate areas of a National Society’s response into an effective plan of action. The approach is one in a range of assessment tools created by the IFRC to provide a National Society with an in-depth understanding of its performance and capacity status.

Preparedness for Effective Response integrates the experiences and learning gathered through implementation of Well Prepared National Societies (WPNS) and Disaster Response Capacity Enhancement (DRCE), both designed to support National Societies in strengthening their ability to prepare for and respond to disasters.

Methods and tools of Preparedness for Effective Response

Self-assessment (WPNS)

To measure preparedness capacity and to create/revise a preparedness plan

Simulation (DRCE)

To test response capacity and validate/revise preparedness plans for future response

Operational (DRCE)

To assess actual response capacity and inform preparedness for response planning

Post-Operational (DRCE)

To assess response and recovery capacity and inform preparedness planning

Each method will support the enhancement of a National Society’s capacity to deliver services in a crisis/emergency response, allowing the IFRC to fulfil its duty to assist National Societies in disaster risk management, disaster preparedness and the organization of their relief actions.

Cross-regional pilot testing of the revised self-assessment method (WPNS) of Preparedness for Effective Response is currently underway, with ArgentinaArmeniaEl SalvadorGeorgiaand Timor-Leste selected as pilot countries.

Working with National Societies to prepare and respond:

The bikes are gifts from the Red Cross Society of China as part of the Volunteers on Wheels project, a global initiative involving the national society and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

12 September 2017

Guatemalan Red Cross, with the support of Norwegian Red Cross, trained 476 people through the “Community Resilience Project” with the aim of increasing their resilience to disasters.

29 August 2017

On a shaded veranda outside the Horinagor Mother and Child Care Centre, a midwife meets with a group of moms who recently gave birth at the facility, and explains the nutritional and health benefits of breastfeeding. The centre, in Satkhira district of …

4 August 2017

Thanks to the efforts of Red Cross staff and volunteers working closely with local communities, more than one million seedlings have been planted across three countries in Indonesia including Aceh, central Java and West Nusa Tenggara, where there is a high risk of disasters such as tsunamis, floods and landslides.

1 August 2017