Stay connected with emergency preparedness and support activities

Preparedness and caring is everyone’s business, and your awareness of up-to-date information and readiness to act is essential. Here you will find activities to prepare the United Nations family for emergencies, such as learning events, communities of practice, emergency preparedness and planning resources, and links to important emergency preparedness and planning resources within the UN and externally.


Emergency Preparedness and Support Team (EPST) training

Training and information sessions hosted are described below. All events are advertised on iSeek. Interested staff who meet the criteria for the training offered are invited to write to

Soft Skills in Crises Management for Responders

This one-day programme is mandatory for members of the Crisis Operation Group (COG), Security Management Teams (SMT), Security personnel (DSS), and Human Resources practitioners as well as Administrators, Managers and Supervisors who are required to interact directly with persons (staff and family members) facing distress and critical incidents.

The learning includes:

  • A common understanding among responders on the Organization's protocols for providing initial assistance to staff, including the role of the responder, calling for assistance, internal working partners, and where/how to readily access information.
  • Ability to effectively respond to colleagues in need of immediate initial psychological support.
  • Development/enhancement of basic skills for staff whose functions place them on the ‘front line’ of assisting staff members and family members of colleagues who are faced with crisis and need immediate support.

Participant requirements

  • Staff members performing security and safety, human resources and medical services, who, by functional responsibility, are required to interact directly with persons (staff and family members) facing distress.
  • Participants must be recommended by their supervisor for this programme.
  • It would be helpful if participants they have completed a course in basic effective communication skills and Psychological First Aid.

Family Focal Point and Call Centre Volunteer Training

The Emergency Preparedness and Support Team (EPST) is mandated to enhance preparedness mechanisms for responding to mass casualty incidents in a consistent manner. EPST has a comprehensive training program to empower staff to assist in an emergency in the roles of family focal point (FFP) and call centre volunteers (CCV).

The training module is 3.5 days and is conducted jointly by a HR specialist and a mental health professional. Learning includes the roles, responsibilities, and the practical operational issues relating to family focal points and call center volunteers, what happens in mass casualties, management of call centers, activation, and logistics. Participants will develop inter-personal skills required to be successful in their volunteer roles. The methodologies used include presentation, discussion, videos, exercises, role play and simulation. Selected participants must complete the entire programme to be considered part of a cadre of “specially trained volunteers” ready for activation when there is a crisis situation.

Trained FFPs/CCVs are added to the global database maintained by EPST/OHRM. Local heads of HR offices are required to establish and manage the volunteer programme and will be responsible for activating FFPs and CCVs when their services are required.


Networks and communities

Communities have formed on Unite Connections, the United Nations corporate social media platform, for access to and sharing of information among staff members with common needs and for those who help the Organization respond to those needs. Access to Unite Connections is limited to those who have signed up and have joined the communities. Participation in the ‘dedicated’ communities is granted based on the invitation of EPST.

United Nations Emergency Preparedness and Support Community
This Community is a virtual gathering place for all United Nations personnel who wish to be informed on general emergency preparedness and related issues, engage in discussions with others who have a shared interest, exchange information and ideas, and answer questions. Information on related upcoming events and other emergency resources and training events will also be shared periodically. Join us today.

Survivors and Families Support Network
EPST invites those who have lost a loved one in the line of duty and injured staff who survived mass casualty incidents, malicious acts and natural disasters to become members.

EPST Alumni
Staff who have benefitted from training delivered by EPST have access to learning materials and a forum for sharing of experiences, questions and best practices among colleagues and internal partners in support of institutional needs.

HR Specialists
This community is for Human Resources staff who are involved in helping affected UN staff and their families in the aftermath of a malicious incident or natural disaster.

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