Disaster response is a phase of the disaster management cycle. Its preceding cycles aim to reduce the need for a disaster response, or to avoid it altogether.
A disaster is defined by Dictionary.reference  as; Noun. A calamitous event, especially one occurring suddenly and causing great loss of life, damage or hardship such as a flood, air-plane crash or a business failure. Response is defined (in this context) as; Noun: An answer or reply, as in words or in some action.
The Business Dictionary  provide a more comprehensive definition for disaster response; Aggregate of decisions and measures to (1) contain or mitigate the effects of a disastrous event to prevent any further loss of life and/or property, (2) restore order in its immediate aftermath, and (3) re-establish normality through reconstruction and re-rehabilitation shortly thereafter. The first and immediate response is called emergency response.
A recent case study of a disaster response undertaken by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (ICRC) can be viewed here;
The level of disaster response depends on a number of factors and particular situation awareness. Studies undertaken by Son, Aziz and Pen ̃a-Mora (2007) shows that “initial work demand gradually spreads and increases based on a wide range of variables including scale of disaster, vulnerability of affected area which in turn is affected by population density, site-specific conditions (e.g. exposure to hazardous conditions) and effects of cascading disasters resulting from inter-dependence between elements of critical infrastructure”.
The organisation in the United Kingdom for the provision of communications disaster response is RAYNET. The UK organisation for the provision of disaster response by Off-road vehicles is 4x4 Response.
In the US, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) leads and coordinates response to major disasters, Among volunteers, the American Red Cross is chartered by Congress in 1900 to lead and coordinate non-profit efforts. They are supported by disaster relief organizations from many religious denominations and community service agencies. Licensed Amateur Radio operators support most volunteer organizations, and are often affiliated with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).
A great deal of assistance in the wake of any disaster comes from various charities, and non-governmental organisations. See:
- List of articles about charitable foundations
- Charity Guide
- Charity fraud
- Intelligent Giving
- American Red Cross
- Son, Jeongwook; Aziz, Zeeshan; Feniosky Peña-Mora. Structural Survey 26. 5 (2007): 411-425. Available from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0263-080X.
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