Emergency Response Units (ERUs)

An Emergency Response Unit (ERU) is a team of trained technical specialists, ready to be deployed at short notice, which uses pre-packed sets of standardized equipment. ERUs are designed to be self-sufficient for one month and can operate for up to four months. The ERUs are vital in the IFRC's disaster response tools system.

ERUs were created in 1994 to give immediate support to National Societies in disaster-affected countries. They provide specific support or direct services when local facilities are either destroyed, overwhelmed by need, or do not exist. ERUs work with Field Assessment Coordination Teams (FACT).

The need for assistance may continue beyond an ERU’s four-month operational period. If so, the service can be managed by the IFRC’s ongoing operation, the host National Society, the local government or other organisations.

Types of ERU

Emergency Response Units (ERUs): Types

An ERU is a standardised package of trained personnel and modules of equipment, ready to be deployed at short notice. The units are fully self-sufficient for one month and can be deployed for up to four months.

ERUs Equipment

Emergency Response Units: Equipment

Most ERU equipment is standardized. Any changes to equipment, as a result of practical experience or technological developments, need approval from the technical departments.

ERUs personnel

Emergency Response Units personnel

An ERU is made up of between three to 20 professionals who have received additional training from one of the sponsoring National Societies.

ERUs deployment

Emergency Response Units: deployment

Once the sponsoring National Society receives a deployment order, all material and equipment should be ready for dispatch within 48 hours. The ERU is operational in the field within a week.


Emergency Response Units (ERUs): Frequently asked questions

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about ERU.