Posts Tagged With: Emergency response

Logistics Assessment during Emergency

It is important that the humanitarian agencies sustain their capacity to respond in an effective and timely manner when disasters / emergencies occur. Normally, agencies will send their assessment team to go to the disaster sites and it is very important to include logistician to conduct logistics assessment in order to understand how the logistics services are to be provided.

The overall objective of the logistics assessment is to ensure that appropriate and adequate arrangements are made to respond in a timely, effective and appropriate manner to the needs of the affected people.

Log for blog

The strategy of the assessment normally made in order to answer six questions:

  1. Who – who are the beneficiaries or affected people
  2. Where – location of the beneficiaries or affected people
  3. What – identifies most urgent needs or prioritization
  4. When – when the relief items is needed or to be delivered
  5. How many – total quantity of relief items needed or required
  6. How – this is logistics part – how the relief items will deliver / send to the beneficiaries – this will talk about transport, warehouse, handling, packaging as well as communications and other supporting activities.

Based on the above, we could see that the most important part of the logistics assessment during disaster is to identify impact on the transport infrastructure as well as resource infrastructure, e.g. airport, sea port or river port, roads, bridges, local trucking capacity, vehicle rent, warehouses, electricity and other supporting information.

The assessment should also highlight any special concerns, for example airport congestion, customs clearance procedures, labor issues etc.

Logistics assessment during emergency will be depending on the circumstances or depend on the scale of the disaster. Normally, assessment cycle will include:

  1. Identify information needs and sources
  2. Collect data and information
  3. Analyze and interpret data
  4. Conclusion including provide logistics response plan
  5. Design or modify the response
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Categories: Disaster Management, English | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back to humanitarian works!

ASEAN Response to TC Rammasun, Calabanga, Bicol Region, July 2014

ASEAN Response to TC Rammasun, Calabanga, Bicol Region, July 2014

Safety & Security Training @ AHA Centre HQ

Safety & Security Training @ AHA Centre HQ

With friends from WFP Manila

With friends from WFP Manila

We are ready for One ASEAN One Response!

We are ready for One ASEAN One Response!

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Command System in the Emergency Response

In the emergency situation, we often hear different information about number of casualties and damage, also uneven aid distribution, lack of cooperation between the various stakeholders and so on.  Situations like this are usually caused by a lack of coordination among stakeholders or related agencies.

Incident Commander

To deal with the above situation, we need a command system to coordinate, control, monitor and evaluate emergency response activities. The command system is also known as the Incident Command System (ICS).

In general, the command system of the emergency response is a disaster emergency management system that is used to synergize and integrate the use of all available resources, human resources, equipment and funds or budget.

Or other definitions from Wikipedia:

The Incident Command System (ICS) is “a systematic tool used for the command, control, and coordination of emergency response” according to the United States Federal Highway Administration. A more detailed definition of an ICS according to the United States Center for Excellence in Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance is “a set of personnel, policies, procedures, facilities, and equipment, integrated into a common organizational structure designed to improve emergency response operations of all types and complexities.

Establishment of command system in the emergency response is usually done at the time of emergencies include:

  1. Emergency standby (preparedness) phase. Establishment of command system at this stage is usually performed for the type of disaster that happens gradually, like a flood or volcanic eruption. At this stage, operations control center is usually located in the region concerned (provincial / district / city).
  2. Emergency response phase. Establishment of command system at this stage is usually performed for the type of disaster that occurs suddenly, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and landslides.
  3. Transition phase from emergency response phase to recovery phase.

Establishment of command system for the disaster that occurs suddenly is usually done after going through the following four stages:

1. Information about the initial event of disaster. This information can be obtained from various sources, to create a simple formula:

  • What: type of disaster
  • When: day, date, month, year, hour, local time
  • Where: location/place/disaster area
  • Who: number of casualties and infrastructure damage
  • Why: the cause of the disaster
  • How: what efforts have been made and what urgent needs

2. Assignment of Rapid Response Team. Based on the information about the initial event of disaster, the government or relevant agencies send Rapid Response Team to immediately conduct a quickly and accurate assessment also to provide the necessary support services for emergency response. The results of assessment from Rapid Response Team will be an input and consideration to the Government or related agencies to determine the next steps or to determine the status or level of disaster.

3. Determination status or level of disaster. Based on the input from Rapid Response Team (point 2 above), the government will set a status or level of disaster. At this stage the Government will also sometimes assign an officer as a Commander for Disaster Emergency Response in accordance with state or disaster level (national or regional scale).

4. Establishment of Disaster Emergency Response Command. Government in this regard the President / Governor / Regent / Mayor will issue a decree forming Disaster Emergency Response Command and immediately activate it. Mobilization of all resources is also usually done at this stage.

Emergency Command System is typically a single command organization. The chain of command and responsibilities are clearly. Usually all stakeholders will be coordinated within the organization is based on a unity of command. This organization can be formed at all levels of the region, at the central / national, provincial and district / city.

In general, basic organization structure of the Command System in the Emergency Response:

1. Incident Commander.

2. Deputy Incident Commander.

3. Command Unit:

  • Secretariat
  • Public Relations
  • Safety and Security
  • Liaison Officers from all respective stakeholders

4. General Unit:

  • Planning Section
  • Operations Section
  • Logistics, Equipment Section
  • Finance and Administration

The organizational structure above can be narrowed or expanded based on the needs.

Categories: Disaster Management | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Response – Disaster / Emergency Response

Airlift to speed up assistance to the affected people

Airlift to speed up assistance to the affected people

Previously, we have seen that response is the provision of assistances and services during or immediately after a disaster with primary goals to save lives, reduce the impact of the diseases or health-related, providing health services and providing basic needs required by the affected people/communities.

We can use a reference from The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR, 2009):

The provision of emergency services and public assistance during or immediately after a disaster in order to save lives, reduce health impacts, ensure public safety and meet the basic subsistence needs of the people affected.

As above reference, we can see there are two stages of response, namely:

  1. Response given immediately after a disaster or as we know is the emergency response.  The main activities at this stage are save lives and evacuation, fulfillment of basic needs and health care delivery. Emergency response period is usually set by the government for a certain period of time based on the recommendation from the agency or a special team tasked to assess and consider the conditions and impacts that occurred shortly after the disaster.
  2. Responses given during the disaster, this stage we know as well as the transition period. At this stage the provision of basic needs and health services still on-going and began providing assistance to improve vital infrastructure in order to support socio-economic activities as soon as possible. However, activities at this stage are temporary. Sometimes this phase continues until the recovery period.

Preliminary information about disaster events can be obtained from various sources, from the public reports, local government, mass media, the internet or other reliable sources. This early information must include the required data, namely:

  1. What: type of disaster
  2. When: day, date, time
  3. Where: location
  4. Who: number of casualties and infrastructure damage
  5. Why: the cause of the disaster
  6. How: what efforts have been made

Based on the preliminary information, the government or other professional organizations typically directly send their assigned Rapid Response Team to immediately conduct a quickly  and accurately assessment as well as provide the necessary support services for emergency response. In general, the team will conduct an assessment by using references from the initial information received and other secondary data. The report of rapid assessment must contain the necessary data, namely:

  1. Describes the type of disaster.
  2. Describes the exact time when disaster occurred.
  3. Describes the exact location or disaster area.
  4. Describes number of casualties (death toll, severe injured, minor injured, sick, missing) and the number of refugees, destruction of buildings and vital infrastructure that are damaged.
  5. Make a brief analysis of the causes of the disaster.
  6. Make a brief analysis of the available resources in the closest area to the disaster site and urgent resources needs.

From the report of assessment from Rapid Response Team, then usually the government will determine the status or level of disaster and set the next steps that should be taken to respond.

Categories: Disaster Management | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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