Disaster Response and Contigency Planning Guide 2007

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is a world leader in disaster management. Effective preparedness for and response to emergency situations are fundamental elements of its mandate and support the fulfilment of basic human rights and respect for humanity. The Movement’s comparative advantages are its large number of paid and volunteer staff throughout the world, who are able to respond immediately at local level, and the significant resources of the 186 National Societies and the International Federation’s Secretariat. Each of these 186 members bases its actions on the Movement’s seven Fundamental Principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. 

Most National Societies are recognized by their governments as “auxiliary to the public authorities in the humanitarian field”. National Societies and the International Federation are uniquely placed to work with governmental authorities and response agencies and have the community-based outreach to identify those most at risk and vulnerable to disasters. Activities conducted within each country are delivered through a nation-wide network of volunteers who, in times of disaster, are often the first to provide assistance to those affected.