Large scale disasters – be they natural, deliberate or accidental – are inevitable. They do not respect borders, a large number of people will die and the long term consequences from economic to mental health can for years devastate the affected population. People, not tools, are the most important asset. Healthcare practitioners and services respond to emergency situations but they are sometimes overwhelmed often requiring rapid decision-making. Decisions in the allocation of strained resources, prioritising casualties, while simultaneously trying to contain the level of impact are challenging.

Between 70% and 80% of disaster losses are secondary to indirect deaths that would not have occurred without the breakdown of social and health services and the information systems. Therefore, preparedness and response capabilities of Health Services will directly impact society’s ability to ‘bounce back’ to become more resilient to such devastating shocks.

The central aim of S-HELP "Securing Health.Emergency.Learning.Planning - Development of Decision Support Tools for Improving Preparedness and Response of Health Services Involved in Emergency Situations" project is to develop and deliver a holistic framed approach to healthcare preparedness, response and recovery. S-HELP is a people, process and technological solution to emergency situations.