4.5 Boilerplate emergency statement for rapid-onset emergencies

When disaster strikes in a country where CARE works, CARE’s communications and fundraising teams should be fast and nimble in customizing a statement about CARE’s response for use on CI member websites and with media. Ideally we will get information/approval from the CO in the affected country and we will make every effort to contact the CO, but this is not always possible. Because every minute we wait can mean thousands of dollars in lost support for those in need, it is critical to simply let the donating public and journalists know that we have a presence in the country and are monitoring the situation, even if that’s all we know. Below are boilerplate (standard text) emergency statements that can be quickly customized for two distinct types (natural and manmade) of sudden-onset, high-profile disasters. The statement should be issued as soon as possible: ideally within one-two hours of the disaster. When posted on websites, the statements may be accompanied by “donate” buttons and legally vetted language (based on local laws) such as “Please make a tax-deductible gift today to help us rush lifesaving aid to COUNTRY and better prepare us to carry out our critical, poverty-fighting work in the world’s poorest countries.”

Approvals for the boilerplate emergency statement:

  • Approval is required by the CI Humanitarian Director (or designate, i.e. a senior staff member from CEG or the Communications Office in Charge). Approval from the CO is only required if the statement includes specific information about CARE’s actual or planned response. No additional sign-off is required for sensitive countries.

Where to find information for the statement:

  • Date of CO opening: in the CO fact sheets here.
  •  List of programs in a CO: in the PIIRS program database here.
  •  Basic info about the disaster: media reports or UN OCHA sitreps/alerts available on ReliefWeb.
  •  Details about CARE’s planned response: the CO or the CO Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP); however, in many emergencies, this information will not be available at this time so this will not be part of the initial statement.
  •  Details about CARE’s past responses: in the Emergency database here.

Natural disaster boilerplate emergency statement

DESCRIBE DISASTER BASICS HERE. CARE’s humanitarian workers on the ground in COUNTRY are on high alert and are assessing the situation. ADD ANY DETAILS OF CARE’s RESPONSE OR PLANNED RESPONSE IF KNOWN. Initial media reports are that DESCRIBE MORE DETAILS OF SITUATION AS REPORTED BY MEDIA, ADDING ANY DETAIL AVAILABLE FROM CARE STAFF ON THE GROUND IF THEY ARE REACHABLE. CARE has worked in COUNTRY since YEAR, providing LIST PROGRAMS HERE and emergency relief when disaster strikes. CARE’s past responses in COUNTRY have included DISASTER in YEAR and DISASTER in YEAR.

Manmade disaster boilerplate emergency statement

DESCRIBE DISASTER BASICS HERE. CARE’s humanitarian workers on the ground in COUNTRY are on high alert and are assessing the situation. ADD ANY DETAILS OF CARE’s RESPONSE OR PLANNED RESPONSE IF KNOWN. Initial media reports are that DESCRIBE MORE DETAILS OF SITUATION AS REPORTED BY MEDIA, ADDING ANY DETAIL AVAILABLE FROM CARE STAFF ON THE GROUND IF THEY ARE REACHABLE. CARE has worked in COUNTRY since YEAR, providing LIST PROGRAMS HERE and emergency relief when disaster strikes. CARE’s past responses in COUNTRY have included DISASTER in YEAR and DISASTER in YEAR.

While each CO and CI member can tailor the boilerplate to their market, there are five key things every boilerplate must include:

  • CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting poverty and providing assistance in emergencies
  • CARE was founded in 1945
  • CARE works in 93 countries, supporting 950 poverty-fighting development and humanitarian aid projects, reaching more than 62 million people directly (in FY17)
  • CARE has a special focus on working with women and girls
  • CARE website URL (optional: Twitter handle)

For the standard CARE International boilerplates, see the Standards for the Use of Words – Standard Language to Describe CARE’s Work section in the CARE International Brand Standards.

Example boilerplate emergency statement: Support for Families, Children Part of CARE’s Response Following Fuego Volcano Eruption
GUATEMALA CITY (June 7, 2018) — The global humanitarian organization CARE is responding to the Fuego volcano’s massive eruption with psychosocial support for affected families, particularly children in shelters. On the ground in the affected areas, teams continue assessing the impact of the blast, mobilizing financial resources and determining how best to meet the needs of affected families and communities.

 

Guatemalan authorities are conducting search and rescue operations in hard-hit provinces of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepéquez, where the eruption has killed at least 99 people and affected 1.7 million.
“In crises like this, it is vital that families, particularly children, feel supported,” said Amilcar Miron, Programme Quality and Resource Mobilization Manager. “Some communities have been buried under the lava and ash, and many have lost everything, including loved ones. Our psychosocial activities help them cope with their losses and reclaim some level of stability in a desperately chaotic situation.”

 

With more than 3,600 people having already fled their homes and communities, the primary needs include shelter and household items such as mattresses and blankets, as many families are sleeping, unprotected, on the ground. CARE is active in the affected area and anticipated response plans include assistance with water, sanitation and hygiene; food security; and protection – in particular for women and girls at risk of gender-based violence.

 

CARE also supports communities in their coffee and avocado production. Significant crop losses are being reported, and the volcanic blast and risk for new eruptions have forced families working in the agricultural sector to flee their homes and farms. CARE has personnel on the ground and is in close contact with local leaders, coordinating a response with humanitarian international NGOs, UN and CONRED (Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres). CARE has activated an 8-member CARE team to assist in the response as needed.
CARE has worked in Guatemala since 1959. Beyond the psychosocial support, we will continue to monitor and assess the impact of the eruption and the needs of those affected, particularly around the loss of livelihoods. CARE is especially concerned about the well-being of women and girls who often are most vulnerable when disaster strikes, whether natural or man-made.

 

About CARE
Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. That’s why women and girls are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve education and health, create economic opportunity, respond to emergencies and confront hunger. Last year CARE worked in 93 countries and reached more than 63 million people around the world.

Learn more at care.org.

Media Contacts
Nicole Harris, nharris@care.org, 404-735-0871
Mahmoud Shabeeb, mshabeeb@care.org, +962-79-146-39-03, Skype: mahmoud.shabeeb_1 (based in Amman)