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GP-DRR Parallel Meeting Disaster Preparedness M C. Oxley 4 th June 2007 Purpose: To stimulate substantive discussion on disaster preparedness in support of reaching shared understanding of issues / messages to be conveyed during GP-DRR
Works on the assumption that disasters will happen Projected rise in Vulnerability and Hazards means increase in disasters is inevitable Measures can be taken by GO, NGO, communities and individuals to anticipate, resist, respond to and recover from disasters At-risk people and local organisations (GO / CBO) are active and are the first responders in times of crisis Involves supporting at-risk communities to safeguard lives and protect essential assets - before / during / after disaster events Primary strategy to reduce vulnerability is to reinforce or create local strengths (capacities)
Disaster Preparedness – Some Examples Early warning systems Public awareness & education campaigns Response and contingency plans Simulation exercises and evacuation drills Building cyclone or flood shelters Protection of essential assets Strengthening emergency response capabilities First aid training Learning to swim Emergency funds
HFA: Substantial reduction of disaster losses, in lives, and in the social, environmental assets of communities and countries Some relevant sections……… Strategic Goal: Incorporation of risk reduction approaches into the implementation of disaster preparedness, response and recovery programmes Priorities for Action: –Risk Assessment –Knowledge and Education –Early Warning Systems –Disaster Preparedness for effective response – all levels Progress towards implementation measured in terms of:- Reduction in number of lives lost Reduction in number of injuries Reduction in number of people affected Reduction in economic and environmental losses
Opportunities, Gaps and Challenges 1.Risk Assessment – A starting point….. Participatory risk assessments (community level) –> raise awareness & understanding of hazards, vulnerabilities, capacities and coping strategies 2.Early Warning Systems Integral component of risk reduction Requires an accurate assessment of risk Should be built on local capacities and traditional knowledge Four Elements – ISDR PPEW 1. Risk Knowledge 2. Monitoring and Warning Services 3. Dissemination and Communications 4. Public Awareness and Preparedness to act A weakness or failure in any one part could result in failure of the whole system !
Opportunities, Gaps and Challenges Early Warning Systems: Risk assessment historically concerned with appraising hazards as opposed to vulnerabilities and capacities Lack of awareness and response capabilities amongst vulnerable communities (element 4) remains the weakest link Strengthened response capabilities (last mile) can function independently of the other elements of the system –Example: Shake, drop, run ……… Should not better preparedness to act at the local level be the basis of the system (i.e. the first mile) until the other elements are in place?
Opportunities, Gaps and Challenges Knowledge and Education: People are better prepared to respond to disasters when they have been educated and understand the hazards and vulnerabilities Public education in schools and awareness-raising campaigns can save lives and reduce in injuries in the near term –Kashmir schools example…… Can national governments set targets……..
Opportunities, Gaps and Challenges Preparedness for Effective Response General approach to disaster Management remains primarily reactive…….. –European Union: 2005-6 Euro 3.5 billion disaster-related support….. of which 3 percent went on disaster preparedness –Donor support to humanitarian assistance – US$ 18 billion Opportunity in crisis –Utilise the effects of a disaster to inform, empower and motivate efforts to address proximate & underlying causes –Existing Humanitarian codes and standards incorporate DRR (Red Cross Code) Strive to reduce future vulnerabilities…. Attempt to build response on local capacities –Recent evaluations state this is not happening (South Asia)
Preparedness for Effective Response Realising these principles will require closer linkages between emergency response / recovery and DRR Possible actions could include:- –Emergency response based on analysis of basic needs in relation to capacities and vulnerabilities –Incorporate disaster preparedness as a component of exit strategy –Post-disaster learning reviews to inform disaster preparedness planning. Understanding of relationships can help determine entry points…. Participatory risk assessment > increased awareness & knowledge > increased preparedness > more effective response
Preparedness for Effective Response Some Constraints Human Resources –Lack of DRR knowledge and practical skills amongst key staff responsible for emergency response / recovery programmes –Lack of supporting tools and methodologies Funding –Disaster preparedness cannot be undertake in white-hot heat of an emergency –Requires longer term predictable funding focused on high risk groups in most disaster-prone regions
Disaster Preparedness Conclusion One of the most cost-effective way to make a contribution towards the HFA goal (saves lives, reduce injuries, protects assets) in the near term Effects to address causes (political will) Recommendations. To discuss…
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