Emergency guidelines

Download our guidelines on shelter, preparing for an emergency, good practice, needs assessments, livelihoods and health.

Nutrition interventions

Nutrition interventions for older people in emergencies.Nutrition interventions for older people in emergencies (1.4mb)

This document provides general guidance for the implementation of emergency nutrition activities ensuring the inclusion of older people and addressing their specific needs.

Its primary target is humanitarian actors working in the field – no specific knowledge of nutrition is assumed. While the guidance recognises the connection between nutritional wellbeing, food security and health care it does not provide guidance on programming in these areas. These can be found in other HelpAge documentation.

At both global and field level, this guidance can also be used to highlight and advocate for the nutrition needs of older people in humanitarian crisis.


Protection interventions

Protection interventions for older people in emergencies Protection interventions for older people in emergencies (1.2mb)

The challenges and protection issues that older people face in humanitarian crises can be delineated on two levels.

The first are pre-existing conditions and positions which are exacerbated by a crisis. The second are those issues and risks created by the emergency itself. In both cases, as we shall see, examples can be found at the individual, community and structural levels.

HelpAge recommends five action points for addressing the protection needs of older people in emergencies. The action points are not exhaustive; they provide guidance for essential minimum standards in protection programming.


Older people in emergencies

Older people in emergencies, identifying and reducing risksOlder people in emergencies: Identifying and reducing risks (2mb)

This document systematically reviews the main risks (defined as potential adverse consequences of a crisis) to which older people are exposed in emergency situations.

It is intended for humanitarian practitioners and emergency managers involved in the design and implementation of emergency programmes.

For each risk, under "key actions" the document lists simple measures that can be taken within the standard programming and funding parameters of humanitarian organisations to reduce risks for older people in emergencies.

At the end, the document points to esssential resources for further reading.


Needs assessments

Ensuring inclusion of older people in initial emergency needs assessmentsEnsuring inclusion of older people in initial emergency needs assessments (1mb)

This manual produced with funding from the European Community's Humanitarian Office (ECHO) provides guidance for the implementation of three key action points to formulate an initial emergency needs assessment that includes older people.

The aim of this guidance is therefore to ensure that the specific vulnerabilities and capacities of older people in emergencies are fully taken into account as part of a thorough gender and age analysis of humanitarian needs.

It can be utilised whether agencies are engaged in coordinated assessments through the Multi-cluster Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) methodology or whether they carry out individual assessments applying any of the different existing methodologies within their organisations.


Livelihoods

Food security and livelihoods interventions for older people in emergencies Food security and livelihoods interventions for older people in emergencies (1.3mb)

This manual produced with funding from the European Community's Humanitarian Office (ECHO) provides guidance for the implementation of four key action points to ensure the delivery of food security and livelihoods' interventions which meet the needs of older people and other vulnerable groups in emergencies.

This document aims to provide general guidance on implementing food security and livelihoods programmes for older people and other vulnerable groups in emergency situations. Its primary target is humanitarian workers in the field, specifically in the design and implementation of food security and livelihoods programmes. At both global and field level, it can also be used in advocacy to highlight the livelihood needs of older people in humanitarian crises.

Also available in French.


Health

Health interventions for older people in emergenciesHealth interventions for older people in emergencies (1mb)

This manual produced with funding from the European Community's Humanitarian Office (ECHO) provides guidance for the implementation of five key action points to address the health needs of older people in emergencies.

The primary target of this document is humanitarian workers working in the field. No specific knowledge of health is assumed. At both global and field level, this guidance can also be used to highlight and advocate for the health needs of older people in humanitarian crises.

Also available in French.


Good practice    

Protecting older people in emergencies: good practice guide (470 kb)    

When communities are struck by conflict or natural disaster, older people are among the most vulnerable people affected. However, humanitarian programmes often fail to recognise the challenges and vulnerabilities faced by older people - either because they do not meet their programming
criteria or because their needs are not fully understood.

This briefing highlights the need for agencies to better understand and address older people's needs. It is also available in Spanish and French.


Shelter

Guidance on including older people in emergency shelter programmesGuidance on including older people in emergency shelter programmes (a summary) (160 kb)

Shelter is a basic human right for people of all ages, but for older people the sense of security and comfort that a home provides is particularly important. Losing their home in a disaster or conflict therefore has a profound psychological impact, particularly on the "oldest old" (people above 80 years).

These guidelines recommend five key action points for including older people in shelter programmes. These action points are not exhaustive but provide a framework for the different phases of a shelter programme: temporary, transitional and permanent.

More resources:

Guidance on including older people in emergency shelter programmes (500kb)


Cash transfers

Cash transfers in emergencies: A practical field guide

Cash transfers in emergencies: A practical field guide (351kb)

This document provides a practical step by step guide to planning, determining beneficiaries and managing the cash grant in emergencies.

This guide is not exhaustive, nor does it cover all of the complexities of cash transfers.

The methodologies presented in this guide are based on the experiences of several organisations and agencies, as well as the Humanitarian Charter and Sphere Minimum Standards in Disaster Response.


Preparing for an emergency

How to prepare for an emergencyHow to prepare for an emergency poster (951 kb)

This poster shows how to prepare for an emergency, including community mapping, communications, preparing an evacuation bag, and general preparedness.

More resources:

Evacuation bag checklist (293 kb) 

What to do when an emergency strikes poster (828 kb)

After an emergency poster (993 kb)

Link to older people in emergencies blog.

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