Actions taken directly before, during or immediately after a disaster in order to save lives, reduce health impacts, ensure public safety and meet the basic subsistence needs of the people affected.
Annotation: Disaster response is predominantly focused on immediate and short-term needs and is sometimes called disaster relief. Effective, efficient and timely response relies on disaster risk-informed preparedness measures, including the development of the response capacities of individuals, communities, organizations, countries and the international community.
The institutional elements of response often include the provision of emergency services and public assistance by public and private sectors and community sectors, as well as community and volunteer participation. “Emergency services” are a critical set of specialized agencies that have specific responsibilities in serving and protecting people and property in emergency and disaster situations. They include civil protection authorities and police and fire services, among many others. The division between the response stage and the subsequent recovery stage is not clear-cut. Some response actions, such as the supply of temporary housing and water supplies, may extend well into the recovery stage.