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Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Associations

  • By: David Alexander
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

The primary divisions of organizations that deal with disaster preparedness and response are public authorities, international bodies, and voluntary associations. The first of these includes the civil protection or civil defense wings of local, regional, and national governments, and the second category includes the agencies of the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The last category, voluntary associations, constitute an important source of manpower and expertise, as well as a vital link between official attempts to tackle the problem of disasters, and civil society, the beneficiaries of those attempts.

Before the full, modern development of civil protection and humanitarian assistance, the first forms of volunteerism were uncoordinated and limited to the reactive phase of interventions immediately after disaster had struck. People, usually young ...

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