Working with communities to prepare for disasters and reduce their impact.

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IFRC Disaster Response and Preparedness

IFRC Go aims to make all disaster information universally accessible and useful to IFRC responders for better decision making.

Disaster preparedness refers to measures taken to prepare for and reduce the effects of disasters. That is, to predict and, where possible, prevent disasters, mitigate their impact on vulnerable populations, and respond to and effectively cope with their consequences.

Disaster preparedness provides a platform to design effective, realistic and coordinated planning, reduces duplication of efforts and increase the overall effectiveness of National Societies, household and community members disaster preparedness and response efforts. Disaster preparedness activities embedded with risk reduction measures can prevent disaster situations and also result in saving maximum lives and livelihoods during any disaster situation, enabling the affected population to get back to normalcy within a short time period.

Disaster preparedness is a continuous and integrated process resulting from a wide range of risk reduction activities and resources rather than from a distinct sectoral activity by itself. It requires the contributions of many different areas—ranging from training and logistics, to health care, recovery, livelihood to institutional development.

Reducing risks

Vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA)

Disaster preparedness tools

Recent additions to the resources library

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Presentation 2010

15 October 2020
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Understanding community resilience and program factors that strengthen them.  A comprehensive study of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies tsunami operation. The IFRC’s response and recovery operation in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami refl …

15 October 2020
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Traditionally, much of the humanitarian effort focuses on immediate life saving responses to disasters or crises. At the same time, individuals and communities facing simultaneous or repeated shocks, such as economic crises, disease epidemics, or natur …

15 October 2020

News stories

By Dr. Michael Charles All countries in the Southern Africa are currently experiencing pockets of dryness. Worryingly for the sub-region, Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe have declared state of emergencies due to looming drought. The United Natio …

18 October 2019

Today South Africa marks Women’s Day. Much like the women being commemorated for the march to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956, women in southern Africa today may well hold the same flint that lights a “new movement” – climate change. Southern Africa is one of the regions projected to experience the most serious consequences of global warning and the El Niño effect. In 2019, we experienced one of the worst disasters the region has ever seen – Cyclone Idai ravaged communities in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe and continue to rebuild their lives.

9 August 2019

By Agnes Ndaaba The rainy season in Uganda brings mixed feelings and reactions. To some, it is welcome while to others, it spells doom and awakens very bad memories. In April, Buyende District was at the receiving end of Mother Nature following heavy r …

28 June 2019
In this file photo from June 22, 2018, a volunteer demonstrates his first aid skills at a disaster simulation drill in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The drill is helping to prepare residents of Kutupalong—a camp and temporary home for displaced families from Rakhine state—on how to stay safe during monsoon season. As heavy rains approach, the camp residents face strong winds, flooding, and possible cyclones. Their temporary shelters, perched on unstable hillsides, will not be able to hold up to cyclone-force conditions. Since August 2017, more than 600,000 people have fled Rakhine state (Myanmar) to seek safety in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The American Red Cross has been working alongside global Red Cross and Red Crescent teams to provide lifesaving aid to the families. As monsoon season sets in, we’re leading disaster preparedness efforts to help people prepare. As part of the Bangladesh government’s Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP), the American Red Cross, Bangladesh Red Crescent, and IFRC are training thousands of camp residents and local community members on first aid, early warning systems, search-and-rescue, and other lifesaving skills. We're supporting these disaster simulation drills and equipping volunteers to warn fellow residents of danger via megaphones, a flag system, and even loudspeakers at mosques. Photo by Brad Zerivitz/American Red Cross

Red Cross volunteers in the Indian state of Odisha are ramping up efforts to warn 20 million people of the imminent and potentially deadly arrival of Cyclone Fani. Fani is predicted to make landfall on India’s east coast on 3 May. It is expected to bri …

2 May 2019