Evidence from recent disasters in other locations, shows that initial support, and a very significant portion of the total support provided, comes from the local community. With this in mind, in 2001 the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society (SARCS) began a community based approach with an integrated disaster preparedness and health training programme for local volunteers with input and involvement from government agencies such as the Civil Defence and the Ministry of Health. The National Society was able to test their approach in 2002 during the Zaizon Dam disaster response. After the disaster response phase, a post disaster review and risk reduction meeting was held with the community and volunteers. The outcomes helped to inform the National Society about its Disaster Management planning needs in 2003-2004. Published in 2003.