Belarus: Floods Preparedness DREF operation n° MDRBY003

CHF 88,166 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Belarus Red Cross Society in strengthening disaster response preparedness for delivering immediate assistance to some 10,000 people affected by the upcoming spring floods throughout Belarus. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

Summary: In January-February 2013 Belarus saw immense snowfalls with freezing temperatures. The ground now begins to thaw, and the snow is melting. Based on previous experiences, national experts[1] expect the beginning of extreme increase of water levels in the first half of March. In case of a sudden rise in temperatures during the beginning of March, the spring floods will be the heaviest to affect Belarus for the past decades.

The Ministry of Emergencies has officially requested Belarus Red Cross to play a support role in providing immediate assistance to the flooded communities. Belarus Red Cross has already started preparations to the forthcoming floods. Red Cross volunteer emergency response teams (a total of 356 people) are prepared to be deployed to the affected regions to implement relief distributions, namely blankets, food and hygiene items, to pump out water from flooded houses, and to help in evacuating people and their property. The items to be distributed will be procured in advance and prepositioned near the potentially affected areas. Support from Belarus Red Cross in water search and rescue activities will also be needed during the floods operation. In 2012 four missing people died in the flooded regions because they were found only too late.

This operation is expected to be implemented over three months, and will therefore be completed by 4th June 2013; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 4th September 2013).