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close this bookHandbook for Emergencies - Second Edition (UNHCR, 1999, 414 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentUsing the Handbook
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentAbbreviations
View the documentUNHCR's Mission Statement
close this folder1. Aim and Principles of Response
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View the documentDefinition and Aim
View the documentResponsibilities
View the documentPrinciples of Response
close this folder2. Protection
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentProtection in Emergencies
View the documentInitial Actions
View the documentPhysical Safety of Refugees
View the documentEmergencies as a Result of Changes in Government Policy
View the documentOther Persons of Concern to UNHCR
View the documentDurable Solutions
View the documentKey References
View the documentAnnexes
close this folder3. Emergency Management
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe Key Emergency Management Functions
View the documentStages in Refugee Emergency Operations
View the documentKey References
close this folder4. Contingency Planning
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View the documentPlanning as a Process
View the documentContingency Planning Tasks
View the documentCharacteristics of a Good Plan
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View the documentAnnexes
close this folder5. Initial Assessment, Immediate Response
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentOrganizing the Assessment
View the documentImmediate Response
View the documentProtection and Material Assistance
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close this folder6. Operations Planning
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View the documentOperations Planning Tasks
View the documentAllocation of Responsibilities
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close this folder7. Coordination and Site Level Organization
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View the documentCoordination
View the documentOrganization at the Site Level
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close this folder8. Implementing Arrangements
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentImplementing Arrangements
View the documentImplementing Procedures
View the documentMonitoring, Reporting and Evaluation
View the documentSpecial Considerations
View the documentKey References
View the documentAnnexes
close this folder9. External Relations
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View the documentRelations with Government and Diplomatic Corps
View the documentRelations with the Media
View the documentFunding and Donor Relations
View the documentFormal Written Communications
View the documentAnnexes
close this folder10. Community Services and Education
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View the documentOrganizing Community Services
View the documentHuman Resources
View the documentFamily Tracing and Reunification
View the documentGroups at Risk and Vulnerable Groups
View the documentEducation
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View the documentAnnexes
close this folder11. Population Estimation and Registration
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View the documentPopulation Estimates
View the documentRegistration
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close this folder12. Site Selection, Planning and Shelter
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentOrganization of Response
View the documentCriteria for Site Selection
View the documentSite Planning: General Considerations
View the documentSite Planning: Specific Infrastructure
View the documentShelter
View the documentReception and Transit Camps
View the documentPublic Buildings and Communal Facilities
close this folder13. Commodity Distribution
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View the documentWhen to start distribution
View the documentChoosing a Commodity Distribution System
View the documentComponents of Distribution Systems
View the documentThe Role of Refugee Women
View the documentMonitoring
View the documentKey References
close this folder14. Health
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentHealth Assessment, Planning, Monitoring and Surveillance
View the documentMain Health Programmes
View the documentOrganization of Refugee Health Care
View the documentHuman Resources and Coordination
View the documentKey References
View the documentAnnexes
close this folder15. Food and Nutrition
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View the documentOrganization of Food Support
View the documentNutritional Assessments
View the documentGeneral Feeding Programme
View the documentSelective Feeding Programmes
View the documentInfant Feeding and use of Milk Products
View the documentKey References
View the documentAnnexes
close this folder16. Water
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View the documentAssessment and Organization
View the documentThe Need
View the documentImmediate Response
View the documentWater Supply Systems
View the documentWater Sources
View the documentPumping Equipment
View the documentTreatment
View the documentStorage
View the documentDistribution
View the documentKey References
close this folder17. Environmental Sanitation
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View the documentBasic Principles And Standards
View the documentHuman Resources And Organization
View the documentHuman Excretia Disposal
View the documentSolid Wastes
View the documentWastewater
View the documentPest and Vector Control
View the documentGeneral Hygiene
View the documentDisposal Of The Dead
View the documentKey References
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View the documentAnnexes
close this folder18. Supplies and Transport
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View the documentOrganization of the Supply Chain
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View the documentTransport
View the documentReception of Goods
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View the documentStock Management
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close this folder19. Voluntary Repatriation
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View the documentUNHCR's Role in Voluntary Repatriation
View the documentConditions For a Voluntary Repatriation
View the documentOn Route
View the documentOn Arrival in Country of Origin
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close this folder20. Administration, Staffing and Finance
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentEmergency Staffing
View the documentBudget and Finance
View the documentNon-Expendable Property and Office Supplies
View the documentOffice Premises
View the documentOfficial Transport
View the documentOffice Organization
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View the documentAnnexes
close this folder21. Communications
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentCommunications Management
View the documentTelecommunications
View the documentUNHCR Telecommunications Network Field Preparations
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View the documentAnnexes
close this folder22. Coping with Stress
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentIdentifying Stress Symptoms
View the documentTechniques for dealing with Stress
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close this folder23. Staff Safety
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe UN Security System
View the documentEssential Plans
View the documentSecurity
View the documentSecurity Management
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close this folder24. Working with the Military
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentCategories of Military Forces
View the documentPossible Roles of Military Forces in Humanitarian Operations
View the documentCoordination Between Military Forces and Civilian Agencies
View the documentKey References
View the documentAppendix 1 - Catalogue of Emergency Response Resources
View the documentAppendix 2 - Toolbox
View the documentAppendix 3 - Memoranda
View the documentAppendix 4 - Glossary

Communications Management

2. With improved means of communications, even from very remote locations, the proper management of communications has assumed great importance. The structure and flow of communications should reflect that of the management of the operation, with communications being channelled in a properly structured manner.

At each level reports and information received should be analyzed and consolidated before being passed to the next level.

Raw information should not be routinely transmitted simultaneously through several levels of the management structure by copying reports widely, in addition to directing them to the person responsible for action. Distribution of information should be restricted to those who need it for the exercise of their functions and communications traffic in general should be restricted to that which is necessary.

3. Originators of communications should always ask themselves what the purpose of the message is, who will be receiving it, and whether the information contained is sufficient and appropriate for the purpose.

4. Under the pressures of an emergency there is sometimes a tendency to exchange incomplete information. If the information is insufficient for the purpose of the message, and if the matter cannot wait, then acknowledgement of gaps may save time and trouble. For example, "further information being obtained but meanwhile please react on points..."

5. The most appropriate means of transmission for the message should be considered in view of cost, urgency and bulk. For example, avoid using the telephone or fax when the message could be passed by electronic mail (e-mail). Similarly, large amounts of data, unless very urgent, should be sent via pouch or mail rather than bye-mail.

6. Using or developing standard forms can assist communications management, as they can act as a checklist for information usually transmitted in that form of communication (sitreps are an obvious example - see the annex to chapter 8 on implementing arrangements.)

7. An effective referencing system must be used - this is a major factor in ensuring good communications.

Use separate messages for clearly separate subjects.

Correct numbering and/or referencing will greatly help identify earlier communications. It will also provide a means to systematically track actions required and help maintain orderly and disciplined communication. See chapter 20 on administration for more information on a filing system. Annex 1 describes the official UNHCR message identification system which is used by the Telecommunications Unit.

8. The immediate requirement for communications may be satisfied by telephone, e-mail and fax. However, regular pouch, courier or mail services should be established as soon as possible. A checklist for communication needs which should be considered when setting up an office is contained in chapter 20 on administration. In addition, the Checklist for the Emergency Administrator contains guidance, forms and information for setting up different types of communications.