ALERT: an emergency preparedness platform

A man receives aid in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan (c) Peter Caton/HelpAge International

(c) Peter Caton/HelpAge International

A man receives aid in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan

ALERT is a three-year programme to develop an information management system that improves disaster preparedness. It will help humanitarian agencies to respond with greater speed, efficiency and effectiveness before and immediately after a disaster strikes.

Why is this programme needed?

People’s lives are on the line in times of disaster. Survival greatly depends on the speed and quality of humanitarian aid. If it is not fast enough or ineffective, people who could have been saved die and many more people suffer.

Improving disaster preparedness enables agencies to respond faster and in a way that is more accurately attuned to the needs of the affected population. It means that when a disaster strikes, agencies have the necessary resources for an immediate, effective and appropriate response, and the individuals responsible know how best to use those resources.

What will we do?

ALERT improves preparedness through providing a system of processes to humanitarian agencies to enhance and complement their responses to disasters.

It is a unique, easy-to-use system designed for agencies and donors, regardless of size or mandate. Agencies will gain access to training materials, software, tools and manuals that are appropriate and adaptable to a wide range of contexts.

Representatives from the START Network member agencies discuss the response planning component of the ALERT system (c) Vincent Henson/HelpAge International

(c) Vincent Henson/HelpAge International

Representatives from the START Network member agencies discuss the response planning component of the ALERT system

ALERT harnesses technology and collaboration

ALERT takes into account the realities on the ground and responds to the needs of aid workers. It uses technology to overcome the challenges of disaster preparedness and response faced by humanitarian agencies and donors.

It streamlines the emergency preparedness and response process and enhances coordination and learning. ALERT is designed to enable donor agencies to quickly identify and fund response plans before the onset of a disaster or immediately after one, and therefore increasing the chances of saving lives.

Multi-sectoral collaboration between humanitarian organisations, donor agencies, international institutions, academia and the private sector, including tech companies, risk management firms, law firms, is key. ALERT brings together the collective knowledge and experience of these various actors and draws on their different strengths in order to find innovative ways to improve emergency preparedness and response, distilling all of this into one system.

Who is involved?

The ALERT project is part of an innovative portfolio of projects under the Start Network, supported by DFID's Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme.

ALERT is led by the following consortium of organisations: CARE, Concern Worldwide, Handicap International, HelpAge International, Islamic Relief, Oxfam, and Coventry University.

Interested in learning more?

Visit the ALERT website.

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