Preparing for Disasters

Being prepared saves lives, livelihoods and property, and it helps people to feel less vulnerable. When preparedness activities are also done in combination with risk reduction activities, the impact of a potential disaster is also reduced.

This is why Tearfund works with and invests in the capacity of both local organisations and churches in at-risk communities – to help them understand the risks they face, and develop plans to respond to any anticipated crisis or disasters. Preparedness involves forward-looking activities that can increase people’s ability to predict, prepare for, respond to and recover from the effects of a hazard (for example, a storm) or crisis event (for example, local tribal conflict).

Resources on preparing for disasters


Contingency Planning
A template for contingency planning, helping you to look at potential scenarios prior to a disaster occurring. Questions on early warning signs and early action activities prompt you to consider anticipating and responding, where possible, before a crisis fully develops.

ROOTS 9 – Reducing the risk of disaster In our communities (PDF 896 KB)
Tearfund has developed tools to help local communities assess their own risks and reduce the impact of disasters. This includes preparedness plans.
Also available in French (PDF 1.2 MB), Spanish (PDF 676 KB), Portuguese (PDF 682 KB), Arabic (PDF 1.8 MB), Chinese (Mandarin) (PDF 1.4 MB), Bangla (PDF 10.9 MB) and Nepali (PDF 2 MB).

Rapid Fragility Assessments 
Tearfund uses these assessments to consider fragility across five dimensions: security; social; political; economic, and environmental. Fragility looks at the combination of risk and capacity to cope with those risks should they become reality.

The ALERT Project
ALERT is a platform which has been designed to have a standardised emergency process to help humanitarian actors increase their level of preparedness. It is a combined contingency planning and preparedness activity for a number of organisations.

IRI Map Room
The START Network Map Room is a collection of maps which provide climate forecast information on seasonal and sub-seasonal timescales to support decision-making by humanitarian aid agencies in the START Network.

START Network DEPP Learning Platform
Tearfund was part of the Disasters Emergency Preparedness Programme. Many of the useful resources and tools from the various projects can be found on this link.  

Emergency Capacity Building Project (EBC)
ECB develops resources and materials for organisational capacity development. The website has some useful tools.  

Emergency crisis situations - Useful websites

In this document (PDF 65 KB) you will find a list of websites which will help you to keep an eye on emerging crisis situations so you are ready to respond when a disaster occurs.