Red Cross societies in Canada, Mexico and the United States to cooperate further during major disasters

تم النشر: 5 يوليه 2013 14:35 CET

The American Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross and Mexican Red Cross have established protocols for cooperation in order to streamline any additional humanitarian assistance that may be required during a major operation. The aim is to establish protocols for humanitarian assistance that are unified with the authorities in each country.

The three National Societies – together with the US government’s Federal office for emergencies and disasters and the Canadian government’s office for response and humanitarian assistance – met in Washington DC to define cooperation strategies to provide assistance during an emergency.

The representatives of the three National Societies agreed that, during a major emergency, each organization would mobilize 200 response team members to carry out activities with volunteers to assess damage, provide humanitarian assistance and logistics to open donation centres, assist people in shelters, as well as deploy response teams specialized in search and rescue.

As part of coordination training, a simulation exercise was carried out where Canada was struck by a severe earthquake. The Canadian Red Cross responded immediately, with the support of volunteers from the American Red Cross. During the simulation – and as specified in the support protocols – the Mexican Red Cross remained on alert in case of any impact on the United States. This was closely coordinated with the Canadian government.

Collaboration between the three sister National Societies is not new. The Mexican Red Cross has already worked with the American Red Cross during disasters affecting people in the United States. In 2012, volunteers from the Mexican Red Cross provided assistance following Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Sandy. The American Red Cross also received support during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Ike in 2008 and the California forest fires in 2009.

It has also been established that the Mexican Red Cross will provide pre-hospital care on the northern border of Mexico in case of an emergency, by providing ambulance services to the American Red Cross. Similarly, the American Red Cross shall remain on alert to help the Mexican Red Cross with volunteers and humanitarian aid in the event of a disaster in Mexico.