The INSARAG Technical Guidance Notes provide non-binding guidance to USAR teams beyond what is specified as minimum requirements by the INSARAG Guidelines. These Technical Guidance Notes are prepared by the INSARAG working groups and then endorsed by the INSARAG Steering Group. Please note that these Technical Guidance Notes are not parts of the INSARAG Guidelines, they are only good practices and recommendations. They are not the expectations from INSARAG member USAR teams or those USAR teams that undergo the INSARAG External Classification (IEC) process.

The following Technical Guidance Notes have been endorsed so far:

Medical Guidance Notes:

1. Amputations and Dismemberment (endorsed in 2011)
2. Identification of USAR Medical Personnel (endorsed in 2011)
3. Post Mission Medical Reporting (endorsed in 2011)
4. Provision of Medical Care in an Austere Environment Specifically in a Confined Space (endorsed in 2011)
5. Recovery of Deceased During USAR Operations (endorsed in 2011)
6. The Donation of Medical Supplies and Equipment Prior to Demobilisation (endorsed in 2011)
7. The Medical Management of the Entrapped Patient with Crush Syndrome  (endorsed in 2012)
8. Patient Treatment Record  (endorsed in 2012)
9. Urban Search and Rescue in Extreme Environmental Conditions  (endorsed in 2014)

Recommended USAR Operations Guidance Notes by the Training Working Group:   

1. Generic Risk Assessments - Rescues From Confined Spaces and Collapsed Structures (Source: UK) (uploaded June 2013) 
2. Manual for cold conditions (Source CMCFinland) (Upload October 2013).
3. USAR dogs and cold conditions (Source CMCFinland) (Upload October 2013).
4. Medical Guidance Note - Defining Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Medicine


The INSARAG Steering Group unanimously endorsed the new INSARAG Guidelines 2015, and the new Guidelines is put into effect as of 11 February 2015.

The Guidelines consists of three volumes: (Volume I: Policy, Volume II: Preparedness and Response, Manual A: Capacity Building, Manual B: Operations, and Manual C: IEC/Rs Guide, and Volume III: Operational Field Guide).

Kindly Note that IEC/Rs taking place after from 1st February 2019 will be based on the IEC/R Checklist 2019  found in Volume II, Manual C - IEC/R Process.

Member States welcomed the new Guidelines and will take full Ownership. They expressed their interest in translating the Guidelines into other languages such as Arabic (UAE), Chinese (China), French (France), German (Germany), Hebrew (Israel), Hungarian (Hungary), Japanese (Japan), Spanish (Peru), and Turkish (Turkey).

INSARAG Guidelines 2015:  (English)(Spanish)(Korean)(Chinese)(Japanese)(Arabic)(Turkish)(Hungarian), (Farsi) 

The INSARAG Secretariat welcomes the Member States and donors to professionally translate the guidelines into as many languages as possible, for wider outreach.

In the interim, you can find some of the translated INSARAG Guidelines of the earlier version in our archive in this link

Below the latest version of the OSOCC Guidelines and UNDAC Handbook:

images OSOCC Guidelines version

imagesOSOCC Guidelines Chinese version

imagesUNDAC Handbook


The methodology of INSARAG is described at its Guidelines. The INSARAG Guidelines address international USAR response in a cycle that includes the following phases: Preparedness, Mobilization, Operations, Demobilization and Post-Mission. For each of these phases the INSARAG methodology as defined by the INSARAG Guidelines and the INSARAG Technical Guidance Notes describe what is expected of international USAR teams as they respond to an earthquake affected country. It also describes how coordination between USAR teams should take place and what is expected of the affected country.