Emergency Response

Emergency Response

The following resources help build competence of healthcare providers and first responders to trauma and emergencies. Specific topics include emergency management, disaster response and recovery, nutrition and food security, and safety and security.

Required courses for Humanitarian Response Volunteers:

  • Building a Better Response

    Required course for Humanitarian Response Volunteers and recommended for all Medical Teams International staff and volunteers. This free online course is designed for NGO staff and volunteers to provide an understanding of the humanitarian architecture for both sudden-onset emergencies and protracted crises.
  • Sphere Project

    Required course for Humanitarian Response Volunteers and recommended for all Medical Teams International staff and volunteers. The Sphere Project is a voluntary initiative that brings a wide range of humanitarian agencies together around a common aim - to improve the quality of humanitarian assistance and the accountability of humanitarian actors to their constituents, donors and affected populations. The Sphere Handbook, together with the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response, is one of the most widely known and internationally recognized sets of common principles and universal minimum standards in life-saving areas of humanitarian response.
  • Stay Safe - Personal Security

    Required course for Humanitarian Response Volunteers and recommended for all Medical Teams International staff and volunteers. Stay Safe - Personal Security by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): To access this course, you will need to create a profile, then search “Stay Safe- Personal Security.”

All Emergency Response resources:

  • Building a Better Response

    Required course for Humanitarian Response Volunteers and recommended for all Medical Teams International staff and volunteers. This free online course is designed for NGO staff and volunteers to provide an understanding of the humanitarian architecture for both sudden-onset emergencies and protracted crises.
  • Community Based Psychosocial Services in Humanitarian Assistance

    This is a facilitator's guide. The field staff of the Network of Action by Churches Together (ACT) has experienced a growing awareness of the need for psychosocial services in major emergencies and disasters. A lot of work has been done in this field. Often this work has not been labeled as psychosocial work and therefore the work has not been counted and reported. This guide meets the need to train community-based psychosocial workers following major emergencies or disasters. 

    The choice of topics that are included in this guide is made out of our common experience as the most essential to build awareness and knowledge in psychosocial assistance in humanitarian assistance.
  • Conflict and Health

    Conflict and Health is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal encompassing all aspects of the intertwined relationship between health and conflict. Millions of people around the world are caught between the vicious spiral of violent conflict and poor health. The journal will focus on the intricate relationship between conflict and health, and how health interventions in war zones may contribute to peace.
  • DisasterReady.org

    DisasterReady.org offers a library of cutting-edge eLearning courses on critical topics such as Humanitarian Essentials, Technical Sectors, Program Support, Protection, Management & Leadership, Staff Safety & Security, Staff Welfare, and Personal Development.
  • Emergency Capacity Building Project

    Although the Emergency Capacity Building Project has ended, a wide variety of tools and materials from the project are still available on the ALNAP site.
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response Handbook [PDF]

    This handbook aims to assist Catholic Relief Services country programs to improve accountability to disaster affected population and to donors through the design and implementation of high quality emergency preparedness and response programs.
  • Emergency Response Manual [PDF]

    This manual is intended to help World Health Organization staff in the Western Pacific Region to act effectively and efficiently in response to emergency situations which impact on people’s health and on health services. 

    Distilled from official documents and recent WHO technical reports and publications, it provides concise memory aids, fact sheets and checklists.
  • Field Operations Guide for Disaster Assessment and Response [PDF]

    This Field Operations Guide for Disaster Assessment and Response has been developed by USAID and related organizations as a reference tool for individuals sent to disaster sites to undertake initial assessments or to participate as members of an OFDA Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). 

    The guide contains information on general responsibilities for disaster responders, formats and reference material for assessing and reporting on populations at risk, DART position descriptions and duty checklists, descriptions of OFDA stockpile commodities, general information related to disaster activities, information on working with the military in the field and a glossary of acronyms and terms used by OFDA and other organizations with which OFDA works. 
  • Good Enough Guide [PDF]

    What difference are we making? How do we know? The Good Enough Guide, provided by the Emergency Capacity Building Project, helps busy field workers to address these questions. 

    It offers a set of basic guidelines on how to be accountable to local people and measure program impact in emergency situations. Its ‘good enough’ approach emphasizes simple and practical solutions and encourages the user to choose tools that are safe, quick and easy to implement.
  • Medical Teams International Acute Illness Treatment Guidelines

    Volunteer health care providers often encounter challenging situations with minimal access to diagnostic testing. Medical Teams International has created a series of treatment guidelines for some of the countries where our volunteers work, such as Haiti [PDF], Uganda [PDF], and Somalia [PDF]. 

    We have also created a specialized guide for treating patients with cholera inHaiti [PDF] and Somalia [PDF].
  • Medical Teams International Chronic Disease Treatment Guidelines

    Chronic non-communicable diseases, HIV, TB and malnutrition present unique challenges in resource-limited environments where volunteers work. This document provides guidance for these situations.
  • Medical Teams International Severe Acute Malnutrition Guidelines

    Volunteers often see children with severe acute malnutrition present to our clinics. This guideline summarizes the evidence based recommendations for the outpatient management of this condition.
  • Mental Health and Disaster Preparedness

    Dr. Parker, of Johns Hopkins, created this presentation that introduces the topics of disaster mental health services, mental health surge capacity, and psychiatric first aid. 
  • Minimal Initial Service Package for Reproductive Health in Crisis Situations (MISP)

    This is a distance learning module produced by the Women's Refugee Commission with support from UNHCR.
  • Sphere Project

    Required course for Humanitarian Response Volunteers and recommended for all Medical Teams International staff and volunteers. The Sphere Project is a voluntary initiative that brings a wide range of humanitarian agencies together around a common aim - to improve the quality of humanitarian assistance and the accountability of humanitarian actors to their constituents, donors and affected populations. The Sphere Handbook, together with the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response, is one of the most widely known and internationally recognized sets of common principles and universal minimum standards in life-saving areas of humanitarian response.
  • Sphere Project Handbook

    The aim of the Sphere Project is to improve the quality of assistance provided to people affected by disasters, and to enhance the accountability of the humanitarian system in disaster response.
  • Stay Safe - Personal Security

    Required course for Humanitarian Response Volunteers and recommended for all Medical Teams International staff and volunteers. Stay Safe - Personal Security by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): To access this course, you will need to create a profile, then search “Stay Safe- Personal Security.”
  • Staying Alive: Safety and Security Guidelines for Humanitarian Volunteers in Conflict Areas

    Security is an important concern for those engaged in humanitarian action. The International Committee of the Red Cross is anxious to give to its staff all possible training and guidance in this field. 

    A greater awareness of security-related issues will in some cases help avert incidents and in most cases lessen their consequences.
  • UNHCR Learn and Connect Courses

    UNHCR offers online courses on a variety of emergency and humanitarian topics. Courses are available to UNHCR staff and partner affiliate organizations.

  • UNICEF Online Course on Nutrition and Emergencies

    This course covers basic concepts around the humanitarian system and reform, undernutrition and response in emergencies, individual assessment and micronutrients. The package aims to increase the accessibility of information within key modules of the Harmonized Training Package: Resource Material for Training on Nutrition in Emergencies (the HTP) to strengthen the technical knowledge of individuals working in or aspiring to work in emergency nutrition.