Guidance for Responders

A needs-driven, user-led approach, which is intended not to be a substitute for self-support, but as an addition to it, has been at the heart of Disaster Action’s work. It is now recognised that appropriate practical and emotional assistance in the immediate aftermath of a trauma can help to prevent any future mental health disorder, which supports the long-term views and experience of Disaster Action.

The ideal is to enable people to help themselves, while facilitating access to organised support for ongoing practical/medical/financial help for those who may fall through gaps, or for whom disaster-related needs may not become apparent till some time after the disaster. The need for practical/medical/financial help to be available may continue for a considerable period of time.

The most effective support in our view is a practical, signposting service that enables people to access the services that they may require. The Guidance leaflets in this section of the website should be helpful both in planning and responding to the human aspects of emergencies.