Benelux Emergency Response Unit

After a disaster, it is important that victims receive assistance quickly. The Red Cross therefore sends out Emergency Response Units (ERUs), teams of technical specialists who use sets of standardized equipment. ERUs can be deployed anywhere in the world within 48 hours of a major disaster.

Belgian Red Cross-Flanders, together with its counterparts in Wallonia, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, maintains a Relief ERU which supports the Red Cross of affected countries in selecting beneficiaries and distributing emergency relief items.

From Sunday, August 12 to Friday, August 17, 2012, we and our Benelux partners held a training course in Heverlee.  Twenty-five candidates were trained and are now on standby for the next deployment of the Relief ERU during large-scale international relief operations. This was the fifth such training event since the ERU was established in 2007.

The trainees were able to put their acquired knowledge and understanding to the test in a practical scenario and so hone their preparedness. During a simulation exercise, they were able to practice relief assessment, beneficiary selection, relief distribution and crowd management techniques. Over 60 volunteers came to Heverlee for the exercise to act as victims of a flood.

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