Disaster Response

For disaster response activities BRC relay on his Regional organizations, disaster response teams, psychological experts, volunteers and partners. In 2007 was created a monetary fund for assisting disasters and accidents victims.
The active work in methodological support to the BRC regional councils in the issue related to crises response is permanent activity during the year and focused on the constantly changing situation and conditions.

BRC participates in the National Plan for Disaster Protection and performs the following tasks:
  • creates the VDR Teams to assist the population in case of disasters;
  • establishes and maintains a reserve of assets, essential for the initial support of victims;
  • maintains central and regional warehouses with a reserve of assets of victims in case of disaster;
  • maintains radio - communication network (HF and VHF) for use in the country and connection with neighboring national societies and IFRC/RC;
  • performs coordination and cooperation with governmental and nongovernmental bodies involved in carrying out rescue work and support in case of disasters;
  • liaises and coordinates the activities with the IFRC/RC and others National societies to mobilize, receive and distribute international assistance and aid where it is necessary;
  • collect and distribute internal and international assistance and aid for population in affected areas.

In case of need, BRC can mobilize Water purification units (WatSan equipment) with the support of IFRC/RC Secretariat - Geneva, which have capacity to clean 100,000 liters per day. The organization has trained staff to work with for water purification equipment.

BRC is well prepared humanitarian organization with capacity, approaches and activities to realize its mission and role as an auxiliary partner to the state in case of need in emergency situations.

Rendered Assistance:

Assistance in the country to affected by disasters – including immediate assistance food and non- food items, psychological first aid and psychosocial support, refreshment stations and other (severe winter weather, fires, floods.). The organization assisted over 35 households affected by different disasters and more than 890 people in the whole country.

In 2013 Bulgarian Red Cross has taken immediate steps to support the efforts of state institutions to overcome the crisis situation and provide humanitarian assistance to refugee families, seeking protection in our country; Bulgarian Red Cross unblocked it’s disaster reserves in the early days of the crisis and helped 1 500 refugees; As a result of activation of the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the IFRC/RC, the Bulgarian Red Cross has received financial support from the amount of 172 725 CHF for immediate assistance. With the support of IFRC, BRC assisted over 2 500 refugees.

Severe winter conditions: January and February 2012 - state of emergency in many regions in Bulgaria due to heavy snow and storms. BRC volunteers and staff provide immediate support providing foot, water, hot drinks, blankets etc. to those affected.

Floods and flash Foods
In Stara Zagora region due to severe winter conditions and snowfall and melting snow after, serious floods occur - more than 250 houses were affected (about 1200 people). More than 5 000 lt. min. water, clothes, bed linen, blankets, food products etc. were distributed and a temporary shelter opened. Duration 1 month and program run by 15 volunteers and 5 staff persons from BRC - Stara Zagora.
As initiative of BRC a National campaign was organized to raise funds for the victims. Many events were held in support of the campaign, such as: opening a special bank account of the Red Cross; on-line donations through the website of the Red Cross; collective shopping sites; disclosure of a single short SMS number-1255; fixed phone of VIVACOM; organized charity concerts and theatrical productions; appearances in television and radio broadcasts; a number of initiatives at the regional level;
Donations from various institutions, organizations, groups, and individual donors from home and abroad have been distributed and submitted to the needy by the will of a large quantity of packaged food products, as well as agricultural equipment and equipment for rescue teams in crisis situations at the rate of 155 415 BGN.
At the request of the Government, BRC chaired the public Council for the construction of houses for the affected residents of the village of Bisser, with funds raised 1 055 012 BGN donation campaign of the BULGARIAN RED CROSS and partners from Bulgarian "donation campaign is with you" on NATIONAL TELEVISION and the Bulgarian charities aid "289 569.51 EUR and 1 000 000 BGN from a political party began construction of the first houses for victims of flooding in the village. Till the end of the year 32 houses were build..
Through the BRC, were received 96 dehumidifiers for wet premises from the German Red Cross, which were submitted to the stricken in Haskovo, Plovdiv and Stara Zagora – more than 300 households were supported.

Earthquake in May 2012
The earthquake in May in the Pernik region (5.8. Richter scale), associated with the destruction of public and residential buildings, has led to the necessity of rendering also psychological aid and Psychosocial support to the injured and frightened population.
For the period immediately after the earthquake, the RED CROSS PSS Teams (professional psychologists/ volunteers of BRC) provided assistance to more than 650 people from city of Pernik, Radomir and surrounding villages. With people seeking help has been worked solo and in groups on request by schools, home for the elderly and others.
At the request of the municipality of Pernik for the needs of the families left without shelter "Daily Centre for elderly people of BRC" was adapted to Temporary reception centre.
30 volunteers and staff from BRC Pernik and 10 PSS volunteers worked for the EQ Ops.
In the first hours after the earthquake the affected population in Radomir municipality receive assistance- BRC provide drinking water with the help of donors-Coca Cola "Helenik group" and “Kom", 30,000 liters of bottled mineral water were provided. Started in the end of the yare till the February these yare 17 houses will be constricted for the homeless families.

Ammunition explosions – June 2012
The regional branches of BRC in Sliven and Yambol provide aid to the injured population, even in the first hours after the incident, as a result of the blasts linked to human victims in June in a warehouse for ammunition near the village of Lozenets, municipality of Straldja. Assistance was provided from the regional branch of BRC – Sliven to 130 evacuated residents of Gorno Aleksandrovo village - submitted, blankets, pillows bed sheets and food packages. 10 volunteers and 5 staff take part
The regional branch of BRC – Yambol provided PSS to more than 60 people, including the families of the victims.
20 volunteers and 3 staff members take part in the operation.

Terrorist attack at Burgas Airport – July 2012
After the unprecedented terrorist act at Burgas airport against Israeli citizens was immediately convened the national operational headquarters of the Bulgarian RC informed Europe Zone of IFRC notify headquarters of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies for the incident and maintained continuous contact with the specialists of the Federation, with the Bulgarian authorities and with the representatives of the State leadership, Immediate contact was established with the leadership of MDA Magen David Adom of Israel/equivalent of the RED CROSS in Israel.
In the first hour after the attack BRC-Burgas formed a team of staff and volunteers of the local RC. The Branch voluntary team for disasters /BDRT was deployed also . The two teams worked continuous on both the shuttle and the hospital in Burgas. To the Israeli citizens has been provided water, food and medical care. Psychologists at BRC provide psycho-social support to over 200 citizens who were in the airport Sarafovo during the night.
To lend assistance to the injured Israeli citizens arrived representatives of MDA of Israel-paramedics and other specialists, to which the BRC provide logistic support. Assistance was rendered for their movement to the hospital in Burgas, where they joined the Bulgarian medical team, which was helping the victims.
At the Morning BRC-Burgas, with the support of the municipality opened two distribution points for refreshments drinks and food. In support of their colleagues from Burgas to the area of the accident additional teams from the regional branch of BRC in Yambol and Varna.

More then 60 volunteers and staff from BRC worked 24 hours to support the needed during the incident.

Contact person:
Jassen Slivensky
Head of Disaster Management
Tel.: +359 2 81 64 898
e-mail: dp@redcross.bg