The Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) began its response to the earthquake from the very onset, through distributing in-country disaster preparedness stocks to immediately reach the most vulnerable with much-needed relief assistance. Within two days of the disaster, an International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) field assessment and coordination team (FACT) arrived in country to assess the on-ground needs, while emergency response units (ERUs) and regional disaster response teams (RDRT) were also being mobilized. At the same time, teams of experts and relief shipments from different partner national societies started arriving in country.
The affected areas in the northern provinces of Pakistan presented a difficult logistical challenge due to remote mountainous terrains and vast road inaccessibility. PRCS/IFRC employed the use of helicopters and heavy duty trucks to implement its relief distributions, along with a massive workforce of several hundred PRCS staff and volunteers working round the clock. This operation proved to be the largest mobilization of Red Cross Red Crescent of its time in the country, leading to the expansion of the PRCS’s structures and capacity and signaling the first of many involvements in national humanitarian response to major disasters in Pakistan over the next six years.
To support the extensive operations in far flung areas of district Mansehra and Battagram, IFRC set up base camps in Balakot (district Mansehra) and Allai valley (district Battagram). Besides that, a field office was set up in Mansehra with a radio room to facilitate field activities.