The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) in Pakistan, which pioneered disaster management and response in the region, has trained over 50,000 community volunteers, including women and youth. With AKAH's support, not only are these volunteers equipped with life-saving trainings, but they have access to community stockpiles to provide immediate relief when disasters strike. Volunteers include Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), who are often the first responders in emergencies including floods, snow avalanches, rock falls and earthquakes. They also include AKAH's internationally certified Search and Rescue Teams (SART), which serve communities affected by natural and man-made disasters.
Volunteers across 53 vulnerable villages in Gilgit and Chitral help AKAH collect daily weather data, develop weather alerts and create warnings for safe evacuation. They install fencing and other measures in avalanche zones and regularly assess and monitor the incidence of glacier surges. AKAH has also trained a large number of school children to provide first aid in school-level emergencies.