4. What to do in the first 24 to 72 hours


  • The Country Directortakes part in a Crisis Coordination and Action (CCA) meeting (conference call) to make the first key decisions about the response. This call has a fixed agenda set out in Protocol C5
  • Activate and follow your CO emergency policies and procedures.

In the field

  • Send  an assessment team into the field ASAP. The team should be gender balanced and preferably have language skills and cultural knowledge of the communities most affected by the emergency. Work with other humanitarian agencies in a joint assessment where possible.  Ensure that the assessment forms and questions are gender smart and information collected is SADD.
  • Make sure CARE teams can communicate safely and reliably (by phone, radio, satellite phone, internet).
  • Distribute vital relief supplies as soon as you can (see Sphere standards). Don’t wait for the finished assessment before helping to save lives.


  • Request funds from the CI Humanitarian Surge Fund  if needed.
  • Contact donors and submit initial concept papers or funding proposals.
  • Your Gender in Brief is key to attach to initial concepts and to share with donors.
  • Use the  CO capacity assessment to decide what extra help to request from CI.
  • Ask the CI HR Coordinator for any extra staff you need. Key positions may be: emergency coordinator, information manager, media officer, proposal writer, finance officer, HR officer, logistician, M&E officer, safety and security officer, sector specialists.

Media / Advocacy

  • Decide who will be the media contact/spokesperson for interviews and dealing with other CI media officers.
  • Send photos and information to CI for media releases and stories.
  • Suggest what to say about any complex advocacy issues.


  • Put information management systems in place to make sure all staff share information with each other.
  • Send regular sitreps. You may need to do this daily if things are changing quickly.  Keep the sitreps short, focus on new information.  Attach OCHA sitreps no need to add the details.
  • Contact CARE Humanitarian Affairs for advice and guidance on information management.

See Annex 2.6 Emergency sitrep form


  • Develop the first response strategy ASAP – review what you put in the EPP. Consider CARE’s key sectors and capacities and expertise, and the CO and partners’ strengths and capacities. Look at how we fit in with the work of other humanitarian agencies and what value we can add to the overall response.   Keep focused to ease management, operations and funding.
  • Use this strategy to write a generic proposal to discuss with donors – remember to highlight our gender in emergencies approach.  The Gender in Brief can greatly support initial proposals and we should plan a rapid gender assessment ASAP.
  • Assess possible risks from CARE’s response and how to deal with them. This includes effects on your normal programmes.

See Annex 2.7 Emergency response strategy format