Why do we prepare and how do we do it?
The Prepare section and sub-sections on Early Warning, Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans (EPRP) and Emergency Training of the platform provide guidance and tools, which will enable your operation in particular and DRC in general to have a consistent, simple and meaningful approach to preparedness planning at the practical level.
The basic logic underpinning emergency preparedness is that we believe it enables us to respond better and faster if an acute crisis occurs. In other words preparedness is where a strong emergency response starts.
Remember that emergency response in DRC is primarily driven from the field. DRC’s default policy, which also underpins the emergency platform, is that Country offices are responsible for initiating and carrying out an appropriate emergency response, whereas Regional offices are accountable.
Whether we set up contingency stocks, negotiate framework agreements with suppliers and contractors, keep an overview of resources that can potentially be redeployed, link up with neighboring or global DRC colleagues, take part in inter-agency contingency planning or discuss scenarios and analyze risks and capacity gaps with your colleagues during EPRP workshops, such activities are part of due diligence measures that we should continuously engage in.
Keeping a keen eye on and understanding the history, political, economic and social development in your operational contexts are important preconditions for identifying drivers and triggers that can potentially develop into crisis. Being able to do this will help us see the Early Warning signs and prepare accordingly.
Whether you end up focusing more on some preparedness measures than others the mere activity of thinking about possible scenarios and what we could do if they materialize will positively influence the mindset and reactivity of you and your colleagues regardless of the specifics of the actual crisis.
Emergency preparedness should be an ongoing process in all DRC operations, and in the post-crisis phase, when your operation is starting the transition from implementing an emergency response to recovery and solutions programming, you will “return” to the start, and revitalize your preparedness planning for the next potential crisis.