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 National Society Investment Alliance (NSIA) today announced the results of its first round of funding, with accelerator investments awarded to the Red Cross Societies of Lebanon and Ukraine, and bridge funding awards made to a further eight Nationa …

6 May 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

By Maude Froberg, IFRC The sound of digging echoes over the mountain slope in the early morning. It is a slow arduous digging, as the soil is becoming more frozen by the day. Choe Gwang Chol, volunteer from the Red Cross, leans against his spade and pa …

3 January 2019

By Maude Froberg It is harvest time in the village of Onjong-ri. The air is bitterly cool, and the stubble fields are frozen. The first snow has already fallen in this north-western part of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Sin Yong Gum bends …

19 December 2018