process – the Surge alert system
Following arequest for surge capacity support, alerts will be generated from the surge capacity desk in Geneva, as per the activation procedure, which depends on the category of emergency (local, regional or global). Alerts are sent out to the rapid response personnel registered with the surge desk, and to the surge focal points within (in British Red Cross, this includes members of staff from HR, logistics and emergencies).
On-call roster members will be expected to answer the alert within 24 to 48 hours in order to be able to respond to the need without any delays.
Alerts follow previous standard operating procedures with Information, Alert, Stand down and Deployment messages:
|Type of alert
|System members receive information of an event that may require surge support.
No response is necessary, but surge personnel to do the pre-checking for possible
|Sent to all active participants that meet the basic required profile and surge focal points
An immediate reply with details of availability is required.
|Members receive an alert indicating who is deploying.
Alert contains name, profile and NS.
|(S) Stand down
|Deployment request has been cancelled.
Available to download here.
A terms of reference (ToR) for the deployment should be provided with the alert message, containing the deployment requirements in terms of both the kit and personnel.
For more details on the IFRC’s internal compiled surge standard operating procedures available from the IFRC surge desk.(and other emergency response personnel) deployment procedures, see the
British Red Cross internal process
In parallel to the Disaster Management Standard Operating Procedures (DMSOPs). The response lead ensures all decisions are logged and documented through the standard / records. Below is a summarised version of the British Red Cross process for deploying an :process, the British Red Cross will follow its own internal procedures as outlined in the
- IFRC contacts on-call and Int HR by phone/email informing them an ERU may be required.
- HoE and HR to check on-call team availability, also liaising with relevant regional and technical teams.
- ETF held to decide whether to confirm ERU availability with IFRC and potential funding options.
- HoE confirms with IFRC that ERU is available.
- On-call HR adviser and HR assistant put the team on standby.
- Logistics team prepare kit requirements for ERU team.
- IFRC receives all offers from and makes selection.
- IFRC then informs all that have been given the green light for deployment.
- IFRC senior officer, global surge capacity confirms deployment in writing.
- HR team mobilises for deployment, contacting the team and organising their transport to for briefing.
- Logistics team mobilise kit.
- ERU briefed at UKO.
- If the ERU is deployed to an emergency within a region, the assumes the role of deployment manager. For emergencies outside of the regional footprint, the response officer undertakes this role.
View and download a flowchart detailing the process for deploying an ERU here.
Before the decision is made to deploy the, logistics provide the with preliminary information on:
- availability of ERU roster to deploy and deployment timeline
- availability of kit to deploy, estimated deployment cost and timeline
- status of British Red Cross globally pre-positioned stocks, including costs and shipping timeline.
After the decision to deploy is made, the below tasks must be completed per the allocated responsibilities.
If the ETF decides to deploy a British Red Cross ERU, based on the input of logistics but also of other teams such as security, finance and regional teams, the decision must also be made on the deployment location, including any suggestions to have a split deployment (with the ERU team split into different locations). This decision can be reviewed during the deployment, based on operational realities.
The below actions need to be completed:
|Tasks relating to personnel deployment
|Arrange briefing schedule
|Arrange mission float (maximum of $5,000)
|Collate operations briefing pack
|Notification of per diem allowance and advance
|Pre-deployment checks: insurance, medical
|Arrange flights and visa
|Request necessary kit, including workwear
|Issue kit to delegates
|Hand over mission float and related forms to delegates
|Issue visibility items to delegates
|Notify in-country team (IFRC/ICRC) of itinerary
|Write-off value of kit deployed from the balance sheet
and charge it to the relevant project code
Available to download here.
Note: a “briefing pack” is available from PIMS here. Reach out to international HR if you cannot access the documents through PIMS; they can share the briefing and debriefing templates upon request.
The kits are split into modules, designed around the various functions of the ERU. The ERU technical managers can advise which modules to deploy, based on the initial assessment received from the ERU kit standard operating procedure and/or request the ERU step-by-step process flowchart.. For more details on logistics’ responsibility and internal procedure to deploy an ERU, read the
- Response lead submits request for kit to aligned , stating kit type and tentative deployment date.
- Logistics team assistant preps standard kit (comms, IT, PFK) and warehouse officer prep ERU kit.
- Response lead raises and sends to aligned LogCo.
- LogCo confirms availability of kit with operational team (ccing team).
- HR schedules briefings and kit issue with logistics team.
- HR informs delegate of briefing schedule and kit content.
- Logistics issues kit to delegates, waybill is signed.
- Kit stock tracker is updated.
- Post deployment: kit is returned to logistics team as agreed.
View and download a flowchart detailing the internal procedures for deploying an ERU here.
Monitoring the deployment
Thedeployment can last between one and four months, with a new team sent out to take over from the previous one every four weeks. The operational lead and the response lead have overall responsibility for managing the deployment. However, the logistics team is involved each time a new team is sent out and are responsible for the below points:
|Kit issued to outbound team (IT and/or comms)
|Kit received from returning team (IT and/or comms)
|Collecting feedback from returning teams on the ERU kit
(through the kit feedback form)
|Attending briefings, as scheduled by HR
|Attending debriefings, as scheduled by HR
|Analysing and monitoring the ERU’s performance
Available to download here.
For more details on reporting requirements, read the IFRC ERU standard operating procedures (2012).standard reporting requirements for ERU deployments and refer to the annexed templates within the
ERU delegates’ appraisal
Emergency Response Unit managers are also involved in the appraisal process of all British Red Cross delegates returning from an ERU deployment. The team leader appraises the ERU team members (thedelegate appraises the ERU team leader) using the surge standard appraisal form, which is shared with IFRC surge desk, British Red Cross HR and the roster manager.
Each ERU delegate must complete two separate end-of-mission reports. The first one is operational, and the second is focused on HR aspects of the deployment. This latter report is confidential and only shared with British Red Cross HR. The operational report can be shared within British Red Cross and with IFRC when relevant.
When theintervention finishes (this can be after a full four-rotation deployment or fewer rotations, depending on the operational needs), it is good practice to request for an independent evaluation. Ideally a partner organisation should lead on the evaluation and present results to both the British Red Cross and the , and also to the relevant technical working groups to address suggested improvements.
Terms of reference for the evaluation should be drafted by the technical roster manager (logistics or) with the operational lead and response lead, capturing points fed back by delegates through their end-of-mission reports and situation reports shared during deployment. The evaluation should include a “satisfaction survey”, to understand how others involved in the response (other ERUs, , the IFRC coordination structure, the and, where relevant, beneficiaries of support directly provided by the ERU) benefitted from its deployment. Standard Logistics ERU evaluation terms of reference are being developed by the Logistics ERU technical working group.
It is important to take the cost of evaluation into consideration when developing the budget for the response.
Read the next section on Replenishing the ERU kits here.