In general, the AHA Centre classifies its activities into Disaster Monitoring, Preparedness and Response, and Capacity Building. Specifically, the roles of the AHA Centre are further specified in the AADMER Work Programme 2016-2020 as well as the AHA Centre Work Plan 2020. The AHA Centre’s office also houses the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), which serves as the central location in monitoring disasters and coordinating ASEAN’s collective response to disasters.

To facilitate coordination and exchange of information among the Member States during emergency response, the AHA Centre provides an online-based platform called the Web Emergency Operations Centre (WebEOC). Using the WebEOC, Member States can monitor situation on the ground live, based on the information fed by the NDMO of the affected country as well as the AHA Centre field teams, including the Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT). The other ASEAN Member States can post offer of assistance to the affected country. Similarly, the affected country can post request for assistance in the WebEOC, which other Member States can immediately respond. The WebEOC will only be activated when a disaster happens.

1. Disaster Monitoring

One of the core strategies and pillars that translate the spirit of One ASEAN, One Response into concrete actions is to perform Risk Identification, Early Warning and Monitoring. Through these activities, the AHA Centre aims to reduce loss of life and damage to property from natural disasters through the identification of hazards and risks prior to impacts and by increasing warning time.

The AHA Centre works closely with the National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMOs) of all ten ASEAN Member States in monitoring and sharing information about hazards and disasters in the region. Additionally, the AHA Centre also closely monitor the hazards and earth observation as well as early warning releases by hydro-meteorological and geological agencies of ASEAN Member States. Information management and information dissemination may help strengthen the coordination efforts of assisting Parties when responding to potential as well as actual disasters. The AHA Centre believes that accurate information, shared in a timely manner, might help save lives during critical time. Furthermore, early identification of hazards and risks can help accelerate the activation of early warning alerts to reduce potential losses in the face of disasters. Thereby, the AHA Centre regularly monitor and updates the situation through various platforms and tools.

Preparedness and Response

2. Preparedness & Response

As part of its preparedness and response efforts, the AHA Centre develops various tools and guidance to accelerate the mobilisation of resources between ASEAN Member States and its partners in times of disasters. Some of the available resources include stockpiled relief items and ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT). The followings are tools and mechanisms used for preparedness and response:

  • Standard Operating Procedure for Regional Standby Arrangements and Coordination of Joint Disaster Relief and Emergency Response Operations (SASOP)
  • ASEAN Joint Disaster Response Plan (AJDRP)
  • Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA)
  • Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT)
  • ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise (ARDEX)

3. Capacity Building

To build a disaster-resilient region, the AHA Centre supports the National Disaster Management Organisations across ASEAN Member States through capacity building. There are two signature courses in the ASEAN region, which are ASEAN-ERAT and the ACE Programme.