Preparedness

The knowledge and capacities developed by governments, professional response and recovery organizations, communities and individuals to effectively anticipate, respond to, and recover from, the impacts of likely, imminent or current hazard events or conditions.

Comment: Preparedness action is carried out within the context of disaster risk management and aims to build the capacities needed to efficiently manage all types of emergencies and achieve orderly transitions from response through to sustained recovery. Preparedness is based on a sound analysis of disaster risks and good linkages with early warning systems, and includes such activities as contingency planning, stockpiling of equipment and supplies, the development of arrangements for coordination, evacuation and public information, and associated training and field exercises. These must be supported by formal institutional, legal and budgetary capacities. The related term “readiness” describes the ability to quickly and appropriately respond when required.

Early Warning/Early Warning Systems

The set of capacities needed to generate and disseminate timely and meaningful warning information to enable individuals, communities and organizations threatened by a hazard to prepare and to act appropriately and in sufficient time to reduce the possibility of harm or loss.
Comment: This definition encompasses the range of factors necessary to achieve effective responses to warnings. A people-centred early warning system necessarily comprises four key elements: knowledge of the risks; monitoring, analysis and forecasting of the hazards; communication or dissemination of alerts and warnings; and local capabilities to respond to the warnings received. The expression “end-to-end warning system” is also used to emphasize that warning systems need to span all steps from hazard detection through to community response.

Recovery

The restoration, and improvement where appropriate, of facilities, livelihoods and living conditions of disaster-affected communities, including efforts to reduce disaster risk factors.

Comment: The recovery task of rehabilitation and reconstruction begins soon after the emergency phase has ended, and should be based on pre-existing strategies and policies that facilitate clear institutional responsibilities for recovery action and enable public participation. Recovery programmes, coupled with the heightened public awareness and engagement after a disaster, afford a valuable opportunity to develop and implement disaster risk reduction measures and to apply the “build back better” principle.

Response

The provision of emergency services and public assistance during or immediately after a disaster in order to save lives, reduce health impacts, ensure public safety and meet the basic subsistence needs of the people affected.

Comment: Disaster response is predominantly focused on immediate and short-term needs and is sometimes called “disaster relief”. The division between this response stage and the subsequent recovery stage is not clear-cut. Some response actions, such as the supply of temporary housing and water supplies, may extend well into the recovery stage.

Disaster Mitigation

The lessening or limitation of the adverse impacts of hazards and related disasters.

Comment: The adverse impacts of hazards often cannot be prevented fully, but their scale or severity can be substantially lessened by various strategies and actions. Mitigation measures encompass engineering techniques and hazard-resistant construction as well as improved environmental policies and public awareness. It should be noted that in climate change policy, “mitigation” is defined differently, being the term used for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that are the source of climate change.

Transition

Transitions can take place in two directions:

  • From emergency into development
  • From what appears to be a thriving, well-developed community moving into steady, decline until emergency responses are required.

In the transition from emergency to development programming provision of resources should be made as an investment towards community recovery and resilience. Transition planning must be carefully balanced to ensure that recovery is complete and welfare is not prolonged. Welfare is not an acceptable end state. Rather, the community must be able to recover, to “build back better”.

Investing in planning on transition early in the response phase pays big dividends in terms of resources that are available for transition interventions near the end of the program.

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Field Guide

Pocket guide that brings together key elements of all of the modules

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Girls and Boys

Ages 9-11

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Adolescents

Ages 12 to 17

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Youth

Ages 18 to 21

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Women and Men

Age 22+

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Local Government

Local government and community representatives

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National Level

National level staff of NGOs and INGOs

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Social Hazards

For adolescents, youth and adults, community or NGO leaders

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Crosscutting Themes Module

Gender, Child Protection, Disabilities, HIV/AIDS/Health and Environment

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Early Childhood

Addresses issues regarding Early Childhood Development (ECD)

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Formal Education & DRR

Guidelines to address DRR issues in the context of formal education

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Christian Commitment and Volunteerism

Christian Commitment and Volunteerism

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