III. TOOLS AND SERVICES FOR DISASTER RESPONSE PREPAREDNESS
With a clear understanding of the primary international tools and services available in disaster response, it is now possible to review the suite of international disaster response preparedness services available to assist Governments in their planning and technical capacity building.
These tools exist in addition to the growing number of national response preparedness tools that Governments in the region have developed to support local authorities and civil society on their sovereign territories. As noted earlier in the guide, the entries included here are limited to response preparedness tools and services and do not encompass broader DRR efforts under the Hyogo Framework Agreement or the general rubric of preparedness.
How to read this chapter
There is a short description of each tool and service, followed by two call outs highlighted in green: Who is it for? How is it accessed?
Nine technical training opportunities are included in this section.28 They are organized as follows: (a) international technical training and (b) bilateral technical training
UNDAC training is offered via two courses: the UNDAC Induction Course and the UNDAC Refresher Course. The Induction Course is a two-week training that gives participants applicable knowledge about UNDAC's core activities: assessment, coordination and information management. The Refresher Course is a four- to five-day training course that UNDAC roster participants are required to take every two years to maintain these skill levels. Once a year, an UNDAC specialty course on environmental emergencies is also offered.
UNDAC training is available to representatives of UNDAC members and UNDAC participating countries. Representatives are generally from Government entities, OCHA and UN Agencies, but can also be from NGOs. Once the course is completed, participants are eligible to sign a contract and be added to the UNDAC emergency response roster. UNDAC roster participants are expected to be available at least two to three times a year for emergency missions.
ASEAN ERAT induction course trains disaster managers from ASEAN Member States on how to assist affected Governments and the AHA Centre in meeting regional and/ or international needs for coordination, and for early and quality information during the initial phase of a sudden-onset emergency. ERAT trainings are conducted over four or five days and focus on assessment, coordination, information management and equipment use within the AADMER operational framework. Initial courses have also covered UNDAC methodologies with support from OCHA.
ERAT induction courses are available to disaster experts from ASEAN countries. ERAT experts comprise representatives from NDMOs, health ministries, and fire and rescue services.
Participants are nominated by ASEAN national focal points. Further information is available from the ASEAN AHA Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org
Training in INSARAG Guidelines and Methodology offers technical expertise in international USAR response according to the following phases: preparedness, mobilization, operations, demobilization and post-mission. INSARAG training is designed to share internationally accepted procedures and systems for sustained cooperation between USAR teams in an emergency.
In addition to engagement with the INSARAG Guidelines, INSARAG member countries with USAR teams deploying internationally are encouraged to apply for IEC. The IEC is an independent, peer-review process of international USAR teams endorsed by INSARAG since 2005.29 The IEC classifies teams as "Medium" and "Heavy" to ensure that only qualified and appropriate USAR resources are deployed in an emergency.30
INSARAG training is available to any Government or organization with a stake in USAR.
UN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination is offered by OCHA through its HQ based Civil-Military Coordination Section (CMCS) as well as OCHA-ROAP. National and international actors are trained in humanitarian civil-military coordination concept and principles and their practical application in emergencies. The various courses offered are the Familiarization Course, the Regular Course, the Field Course and the Training of Trainers course.
UN-CMCoord training is for staff of Government organizations, aid agencies, civilprotection units, military and civil-defence organizations, UN agencies, the RCRC Movement and NGOs.
Environmental Emergencies Centre (EEC) training provides an overview of the environmental emergency response process and introduces tools for assessing environmental risks, contingency planning and preparing for emergencies at the local level. The EEC, managed by the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit, conducts its environmental learning through free online tools, classroom trainings and workshops. Topics include disaster waste management, rapid environmental assessments and environmental emergency contingency planning.
EEC introductory and advanced training is for staff of Governments, UN organizations and public-sector entities.
RedR offers a range of technical learning opportunities in emergency response. Different courses are offered through RedR member organizations in Asia and the Pacific. They include a set each of foundational courses, operational courses and technical sector courses.
RedR training is primarily for NGO staff members, but can also include representatives of Government agencies, regional institutions and international organizations.
To find out more about RedR training, contact a RedR member organization rather than the RedR secretariat. RedR member organizations in Asia and the Pacific are RedR Australia, RedR India, RedR Lanka, RedR Malaysia and RedR New Zealand. Applications can be downloaded from the member organizations' websites.
UNHCR Regional Centre for Emergency Preparedness (the "Centre") training offers in-depth technical information on sector-specific emergency issues, with a focus on forced migration and protection. The Tokyo-based eCentre runs approximately 10 to 12 trainings per year covering topics including contingency planning, border management in humanitarian emergencies, standards of protection, safety in the field, media management and humanitarian coordination.
eCentre training is primarily for NGO staff members, but they can also include representatives of Government agencies, regional institutions and international organizations.
Training applications can be downloaded from the eCentre website.
Programme for Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER) is a regional training programme run by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) to increase national actors' capacity to manage and prepare for disasters. Courses and curricula developed under the overall rubric of PEER include Hospital Preparedness for Emergencies and Community Action for Disaster Response (CADRE) . PEER also runs CADRE trainings and simulations in collaboration with Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies and other partners to develop the skills of community-level disaster responders.
PEER is for national NGOs and Governments. It operates in 10 Asia-Pacific countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Incident Command System (ICS) Technical Support and Training is offered through USAID and the US Forest Service International Programs to help Governments incorporate ICS into their national emergency response systems. The primary focus is the ICS, which is a system that allows for the integration of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures and communications operating within a common organizational structure in an emergency.
The US Forest Service also provides training and technical assistance in other incident management system components, including Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) management, Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) systems and Exercise Design/ Conduct/Evaluation. US Forest Service technical assistance programmes typically include a train-the-trainer scheme, pilot testing and implementation, and a process for customizing and institutionalizing the system.
ICS, EOC, MAC and exercise-related training and technical assistance are for national Governments and partner response agencies/organizations.
For more information on ICS training through USAID and US Forest Service International Programs, contact the USAID/OFDA Regional Office for Asia Pacific at +66 2 257 3271, or Kevin Misenheimer at US Forest Service International Programs, kmisenheimer@ fs.fed.us.
In addition to the technical trainings described here, regional intergovernmental organizations, such as ASEAN, SAARC and SPC, offer regular training opportunities to representatives of their Member States. Please refer to their websites for listings.
Sector-specific trainings are also available through global clusters, UN agenices, NGOs and regional learning institutions. One example is the Humanitarian Leadership Programme offered by Save the Children Australia and Deakin University.
Training costs are generally the responsibility of participants; however, applicants are always encouraged to inquire about financial assistance.
The term "readiness planning" refers to policy and legal preparedness, contingency planning, establishment of national incident command systems and other processes that clarify the roles between humanitarian actors. Five readiness tools and services are included in this section.
Legal preparedness for disasters consistent with IDRL Guidelines addresses the initiation, facilitation, transit and regulation of international disaster relief and initial recovery assistance. Preparedness planning can include the review and development of disaster management laws, immigration laws, customs laws, quarantine procedures, and civil and criminal liability processes. The IFRC facilitated review of national legislation on disaster management usually takes between six and eight months. However, the development of new laws is a longer-term process, as these laws are subject to the review and adoption processes of a particular country's legal system.
A model legislation developed by IFRC to support legal preparedness for disasters by national Governments is called the Model Act for the Facilitation and Regulation of International Disaster Relief and Initial Recovery Assistance. It is a reference tool and example for lawmakers on how to develop legislation appropriate to the national situation, keeping in mind the different legal and disaster response systems across states.
The implementation of the IDRL Guidelines and the Model Act are designed to greatly enhance the timely response during a sudden onset disaster or emergency.
IDRL in action : the cases of Indonesia , Cambodia and the Cook Islands
Between 2004 and 2006, IFRC and the Indonesia Red Cross conducted a series of studies in collaboration with the Government of Indonesia to identify the legal issues that had affected international relief operations in that country. Following intensive consultations involving a wide range of stakeholders, the Government adopted a new law on disaster management in 2007. In 2008, the President promulgated Regulation No.23 on the Participation of International Institutions and Foreign Non-governmental Institutions in Disaster Management, which draws strongly from the IDRL Guidelines. In December 2010, more detailed and specific guidelines were adopted, titled "The Role of International Organisations and Foreign Nongovernment Organisations during Emergency Response".
In 2008, IFRC initiated support to the Government of Cambodia and the Cambodia Red Cross Society in their undertaking of an IDRL technical assistance project to analyse the national legal framework for international assistance. Following this review, Cambodia drafted a new disaster management law. If passed in its current form by Parliament, it will be one of the most comprehensive disaster management laws in the Asia-Pacific region, with an entire chapter dedicated to international assistance.
The IDRL Guidelines are also having a significant impact in the Pacific. Following the completion of an IDRL study in the Cook Islands, the Cook Islands Prime Minister raised the importance of the IDRL Guidelines with leaders of Pacific Island States during the 43rd Pacific Island Forum in August 2012. The Forum Communique encourages the Pacific Island States to use the IDRL Guidelines to strengthen their national policy and institutional and legal frameworks in collaboration with their National Red Cross Societies, IFRC, the UN and other relevant partners.
Indonesia, New Zealand and the Philippines have adopted new laws, regulations or procedures at the national level with provisions inspired by or consistent with the IDRL Guidelines. Legal review processes and/or IDRL studies conducted by IFRC and National Societies have been completed or are underway in Afghanistan, Cambodia, the Cook Islands, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Vanuatu and Viet Nam. For detailed information on the progress of IDRL technical assistance projects in Asia and the Pacific, see here.
Legal preparedness consistent with the IDRL Guidelines, and the Model Act, are for Governments.
The legal-preparedness process is usually initiated by a National Red Cross Red Crescent Society in cooperation with its national Government and with support from IFRC. The Model Act is available online. It is also available through National Societies or IFRC.
UN Model Customs Facilitation Agreement is a tool available to States to expedite the import, export and transit of relief consignments and the possessions of relief personnel in a disaster. The UN Model Customs Agreement contains provisions regarding simplified documentation and inspection procedures; temporary or permanent waiving of duties; taxes on imports of relief items and equipment of relief personnel, UN agencies and accredited NGOs; and arrangements for clearance outside official working hours and locations.
A UN Model Customs Agreement is signed between a Government and the UN. Countries in Asia and the Pacific that have signed a UN Model Customs Agreement are Nepal, Bhutan and Thailand.
Information on procedures for signing the agreement can be accessed through the UN RC or HC, or through OCHA-ROAP at email@example.com
Minimum Preparedness Package (MPP) is an integrated set of support services managed by OCHA and designed to help Governments, RC/HCs and HCTs at the country level to improve response preparedness. The MPP seeks to identify preparedness gaps and thereafter provide targeted training to achieve a basic readiness to undertake a coordinated response in support of Government. Simulation exercises are used to determine the overall impact of interventions. The MPP focuses on six main areas considered central to an effective and well-coordinated response:  basic roles and responsibilities,  arrangements for coordination, including with Governments;  needs assessment;  arrangements for resource mobilization;  communications and reporting; and  arrangements for information management.
The MPP is for RC/HCs, HCTs and Governments at the country level. In Asia and the Pacific, the MPP has been piloted in Papua New Guinea, Lao PDR and DPRK. MPP activities are underway in Cambodia, Mongolia and Myanmar.
UN RC/HCs and Governments can request OCHA-ROAP to undertake an MPP implementation. NDMOs and relevant line ministries are an integral part of in-country activities. Further information is also available from OCHA-ROAP at firstname.lastname@example.org
UNDAC disaster response preparedness missions support the evaluation and strengthening of national response preparedness, including policies and legislation. UNDAC response preparedness teams comprise five to 10 trained UNDAC members and include experts from UN humanitarian organizations, UN Member States, donor countries, the RCRC Movement and humanitarian NGOs. The missions are generally conducted over two weeks and periodic reviews on the progress in implementing the recommendations that have been agreed with national authorities are undertaken by the UNDAC team.
|UNDAC Disaster Response Preparedness Missions in Asia and the Pacific|
|Country||Year||Participating countries/organizations||Team size|
|Sri Lanka||2011||OCHA, UNISDR, IFRC, World Bank, UNDP, Australia, Fiji, India, Italy, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sweden, IHP (Norway)||14|
|PNG||2009||OCHA, IFRC, UNEP, Australia, Fiji, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Tonga||9|
|Cambodia||2009||OCHA, IFRC, UNEP, Australia, France, Singapore, Switzerland, UNEP, IFRC||11|
|Bhutan||2008||OCHA, IFRC, ECHO India, Philippines, UK||9|
|Laos||2007||OCHA, IFRC, Australia, Estonia, Korea, Philippines, Sweden, UK||11|
|Philippines||2005||OCHA, IFRC Australia, China, Malaysia, Philippines, UK||9|
|Mongolia||2004||OCHA, Japan, Netderlands, Philippines, Sweden, Switzerland, UK||8|
UNDAC disaster response preparedness missions are conducted at the request of and for Governments and/or HCTs.
National Governments, in particular the national UNDAC Focal Point where such exists, can contact the UN RC or HC, as they provide overall guidance for the UNDAC disaster response preparedness missions. Information is also available from OCHA-ROAP at email@example.com
National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) development is provided by USAID and US Forest Service International Programs in collaboration with other US Government entities. NIMS has five primary components: Preparedness, Communications and Information Management, Resource Management, Command and Management (including ICS), and Ongoing Maintenance and Management. A national incident-management system provides a consistent nationwide approach for incident management that enables Government officials at all levels and their partners to work together before, during and after incidents.
NIMS technical support is for national Governments.
It is accessed through USAID/OFDA Regional Office for Asia Pacific at +66 2 257 3271, or by contacting Kevin Misenheimer at US Forest Service International Programs, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technical support for readiness planning can be called upon as offered. The TORs for technical support can also be tailored to the specific training needs and national capacity-building efforts of national Governments.
There are a number of disaster simulation exercises conducted periodically in Asia and the Pacific designed to enhance humanitarian actors' readiness to respond to a disaster. In addition to regular civil-military coordination simulation exercises conducted at the national and regional levels (based on bilateral / multi-lateral arrangements), there are a number of regular, intergovernmental simulation exercises that occur annually, which are organized by international or regional organizations:
Regional INSARAG USAR simulation exercises give disaster managers the opportunity to test earthquake-response methodologies and to improve coordination between local, regional and international USAR teams. The exercises include preexercise training, simulation and lessons-learned components that take place over one week.
INSARAG simulation exercises are for Government officials, including civil-defence and USAR teams, and national and international humanitarian organizations. Regional INSARAG simulation exercises have taken place in Manila, (Philippines), Kathmandu (Nepal), Padang (Indonesia) and Agra (India).
IASC Inter-Agency Emergency Simulation (IASC IAES) is an inter-agency simulation platform that aims to reinforce country-level emergency preparedness and coordination. The simulation includes a one-day pre-briefing, a full day field exercise, and a one-day debriefing. IASC IAES is designed to enable in-country actors to test existing disaster preparedness policies, contingency plans and procedures.
IASC IAES are conducted at the national level. Participants include government entities and in-country humanitarian agencies. Countries in Asia Pacific that have participated in the IASC IAES include DPRK, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.
The IASC IAES can be requested through the UN Resident Coordinator or Humanitarian Coordinator or through OCHA-ROAP at email@example.com.
In addition to the overarching simulation exercises described here, UN agencies, NGOs and clusters often run additional sector-specific and/or community-level simulations. Some such simulations include WHO-led national and regional simulation exercises on influenza pandemic responses, ECB simulation exercises, and World Vision disaster simulation exercises.
ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercises (ARDEX) are multi-day field simulations involving ASEAN country representatives and their partners. They generate practical inputs for the effective implementation of AADMER, with a focus on using the ASEAN Standby Arrangements and Standard Operating Procedures (SASOP). During ARDEX, representatives from participating ASEAN member countries seek to understand, test and enhance national and international mechanisms for disaster and emergency response. ARDEX has taken place in Malaysia (2005), Cambodia (2006), Singapore (2007) and Indonesia (2008).
ARDEX is for ASEAN Governments and their partners.
For more information, contact the ASEAN AHA Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASEAN Regional Forum Disaster Relief Exercise (ARF-DiREx) is a large-scale multinational military-to-military and civilian-to-military disaster relief simulation that takes place over approximately five days. ARF-DiREx allows participating countries to strengthen cooperation and enhance interoperability for large-scale international response efforts.
ARF-DiREx participants include Government representatives from ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) countries, as well as staff from the AHA Centre, UN agencies and the RCRC Movement. The first ARF DiREx took place in Manado, Indonesia, in 2011.
Information about ARF-DiREx can be accessed through ARF contact points for disaster relief in each of the ARF participating countries.
Regional civil-military simulation exercises are designed to strengthen regional partners' ability to respond to shared security challenges and other contingencies. Many focus on the rapid and effective establishment and/or augmentation of a multinational task force headquarters and include skills training on humanitarian assistance and disaster response. A variety of such exercises take place throughout the year and mostly through bilateral arrangements between Asia-Pacific States and their dialogue partners. Some examples include the US-Thai Cobra Gold exercises, MPAT Tempest Express exercises and the US-Philippines Balikatan exercises.
Regional civil-military simulations are for national military forces and their dialogue partners.
Information about the civil-military simulations listed above can be accessed through the military forces of hosting and organizing countries.
There are a growing number of early warning systems available to disaster managers in Asia and the Pacific. Early warning systems vary in geographic and thematic coverage, and offer different levels of situational awareness, alerting and executive decisionmaking support to national Governments and their partners. The early warning systems listed here are the regional and international systems that exist in addition to the mechanisms operated by national meteorological agencies and other Government entities in the region, including NDMOs.
Fourteen early warning systems are described in this section. For ease of reference, this section consists of a summary table only.
|Early Warning Systems in Asia and the Pacific|
|Joint Typhoon Warning System||US Navy||Provides weather advisories and tropical cyclone alerts for the Indian Ocean and Pacific|
|Fiji Meteorological Service||Fiji||Offers weather forecasting and tropical cyclone warning services on a regional scale to countries across the South Pacific in addition to forecasting for Fiji|
|Emergency Managers Weather Information Service (EmWIN)||USA||Offers severe weather information through a suite of data-access methods (radio, Internet, satellite) and live stream alerts|
|Japan Meteorological Agency||Japan||Provides weather advisories and tropical cyclone alerts for Japan and neighbouring countries|
|Bureau of Meteorology||Australia||Provides weather advisories and tropical cyclone alerts for Australia and neighbouring countries|
|Mekong River Commission Monitoring and Forecasting||Mekong River Commission||Monitors water levels of Mekong River and provides flash flood warnings|
|Pacific Tsunami Warning System (PTWS)||26 Member States (Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, based in Hawaii, is the operational centre).||Monitors water levels of Mekong River and provides flash flood warnings|
|Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System (IOTWS)||UN||Provides tsunami early warning to nations bordering the Indian Ocean. It consists of 25 seismographic stations and three deep-ocean sensors|
|Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES)||13 Member and 18 Collaborating States (housed at Asian Institute of Technology)||Provides regional early warning services and builds its Member States' capacity in the end-to-end early warning of tsunami and hydro-meteorological hazards|
|ASEAN Disaster Monitoring and Response System (DMRS)||AHA Centre (powered by Disaster AWARE)||Integrates data from numerous sources, including national and international hazard monitoring and disaster warning agencies, into a single platform. Registration of ASEAN disaster managers is required for access.|
|DisasterAWARE||Pacific Disaster Center (PDC)||Provides global Internet-based multi-hazard monitoring, alerting and decision support to disaster management and International organizations and NGOs. DisasterAWARE also powers the regional and national warning systems at the ASEAN AHA Centre, Viet Nam's DMC and Thailand's NDWC. 31|
|US Geological Service||USA||Provides information on global ecosystems & environments with attention to natural hazards warning. USGS supports the warning responsibilities of the NOAA for geomagnetic storms & tsunamis.|
|Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS)||UN & EU||Provides alerts about global hazards and tools to facilitate response coordination. It contains preliminary disaster information and electronically calculated loss-and-impact estimations after major disasters.|
|Humanitarian Emergency Warning Service||IASC (WFP)||An up-to-the-minute global multi-hazardwatch service to support humanitarian preparedness.|
Early warning systems are continually evolving in the region. They provide varying levels of situational awareness depending on the scale of GIS and other data layers included.
Most of the systems listed here use the same information sources and share warning and alert messages with each other.