Disaster Action is a charity, founded in 1991 by survivors and bereaved people from UK and overseas disasters. Living all round the UK, our members have personal experience of 27 disasters, including rail, air and maritime as well as natural disasters and terrorist attacks in the UK and overseas. We came together to help create a health and safety culture in which disasters are less likely to occur, to offer guidance and support to others who find themselves similarly affected and to raise awareness of the needs of survivors and bereaved.
Leaflet on Disaster Victim Identification
We have just created a new leaflet in our series When Disaster Strikes, called Disaster Victim Identification: Relatives' Experiences. The leaflet is written in our members' own words and shows their experience of the identification of family members after disaster. We hope that it will help emergency responders involved in this difficult work to understand the impact on families of the seemingly impersonal processes and procedures, and inspire them to be as sensitive as possible when working with families.
Smolensk Air Crash
Members may be interested to watch the following video of a speech given by Marta Kochanowska at a recent conference about the 2010 air crash in which her father was killed. While each of the disasters our members have been affected by are unique, the issues raised by Marta will be sadly familiar to many people: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FwhwHxFyEA&feature=youtube_gdata_player
The Disaster Action submission (PDF) to the Leveson Inquiry into the Culture, Practice and Ethics of the Press is available to download (PDF). Lord Leveson will shortly be publishing his report on the inquiry.
Disaster Action member Edie Fassnidge wrote a letter to her mother and sister, which was published in the Guardian on the seventh anniversary of the South East Asian tsunami, which is available from the link A letter to … Mum and Alice, seven years after the tsunami
Tuesday 6 March 2012 saw the 25th anniversary of the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise off Zeebrugge, Belgium, with the loss of 193 lives. We remember them. We remember too the impact that the disaster has had on the lives of so many others, survivors and family and friends of those who died. Margaret de Rohan has written an article (PDF) with her personal reflections on the disaster, 25 years on.
We are grateful that in the face of his family’s tragedy, Maurice de Rohan brought into being our charity, Disaster Action.
A number of Disaster Action members were interviewed about their personal experience of disaster for an article on Disaster Action in the Sunday Telegraph on 23 October 2011. The article is available at Telegraph.co.uk.
Disaster Action marked its 20th anniversary with a reception at the Australian High Commission on 13th October. Speakers were Bill Muirhead, Agent General for South Australia, Iain Philpott, trustee and co chair of DA, Tessa Jowell MP, and Derbyshire Constabulary Deputy Chief Constable Alan Goodwin QPM. Guests included those in the statutory and voluntary services and many others who promote and support our work. Please see the press release for further information.
Have you Been Affected by a Disaster?
If you have been affected by a tragedy such as the recent air crash in Nepal, you may find our leaflet series When Disaster Strikes useful - see the links on the right. You can download and print these leaflets for free. We offer support and guidance to survivors, their families and to those bereaved in traumatic circumstances. Whether your experience is recent or from some time ago, you are welcome to get in touch. You can learn more about who we are from our Organisation pages.
Are you an Emergency Planner or Responder?
Please see the Guidance for Responders section of the website, where you will find leaflets and information relevant to your work. To learn more about Disaster Action and how we can help, please get in touch with Pamela Dix through our Contact page.
Disaster Funds: Lessons & Guidance on the Management & Distribution of Disaster Funds
Controversy surrounds many disaster funds, even decades after they were launched. Little guidance is available to
those who take on the responsibility of managing and distributing funds in accordance with the wishes of the donors.
Disaster Funds: Lessons & Guidance on the Management & Distribution of Disaster Funds, published by Disaster Action with
support from the DCMS and the British Red Cross, fills that gap. It is an essential resource for emergency planners, fund
trustees, administrators and managers. Specific lessons that emerged from the research can be found in a short leaflet, Guidance on the Management
and Distribution of Disaster Funds, in Guidance for Responders.
Spring/summer 2010 Newsletter
The past three years have seen the 20th anniversaries of most of the disasters that led to the foundation of Disaster Action. Our spring 2010 newsletter reflects on the experiences of those whose lives were changed by those terrible events, and what the passage of the years has meant for them. It also highlights the continuing focus of our work: giving a voice to those affected, whether by natural disaster, transport crashes or terrorist attack. This work is as relevant at the end of the first decade of the 21st century as it was in the past.
:: Disaster Action Spring 2010 newsletter [PDF]
About Disaster Action
Disaster Action is concerned with the general principles and issues relevant to any disaster, whatever its origin. We use our experience to offer support and information for bereaved and survivors from disasters. This work has included a series of leaflets entitled When Disaster Strikes. For the small number of survivors and bereaved who go on to develop conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder as a result of their experience, further help is available.
We raise awareness of the needs of those directly affected by disaster, acting as lay advisers to central and local government and the statutory and voluntary services on emergency planning and response guidance and policy. The charity is independent from the organisations to which it offers guidance and advice. Guidance leaflets for responders to disasters, and links to information to support their work, can be found in our guidance for responders page.
Much of our members' work is done on a volunteer basis. The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust was a long-term supporter of our corporate responsibility project and provided core funding from 2003 to 2008. The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation offered core funding from 2008-11 and we are grateful for their support. Disaster Action also receives occasional gratuities, as well as self-funding through fees for members' presentations at seminars and conferences, and from some consultation. DA was invited to apply for a grant under the Ministry of Justice peer support fund, in which we were successful.
As part of our aim to influence and improve health and safety culture and corporate governance, we are involved in ongoing work on corporate responsibility, though our corporate responsibility project.
We offer presentation services with members contributing to emergency management courses, seminars and conferences where the focus is on the human aspects of disaster. Further details about our organisation and its aims and where our members are drawn from are given in the organisation section.
Finally, our publications section provides details about Disaster Action's book, The Case for Corporate Responsibility. In it we argued the case for reform of the laws governing involuntary manslaughter (which finally saw a new Act of Parliament in 2007), setting out a number of specific proposals. This section also provides information on our report based on a survey into the reporting of health and safety by the FTSE 100 companies in their annual reports.