Disaster risk reduction
The best way to protect your community from disaster is to plan carefully. You can build ways to reduce risks into all your planning for your community. This is called "disaster risk reduction" and will help prevent loss of life and property in emergencies. Anglican agencies are in the forefront of helping to reduce risks to vulnerable communities. Here are some key steps in disaster risk reduction:
Understanding the risks
- What is the link between poverty and the disasters that affect your community?
- What risks are caused by people like lack of infrastructure, conflict or bad governance?
- What risks to your community are caused by nature?
- Are you affected by climate change, and can you adapt to it?
Planning your Church's action
- Deciding how your Church can provide leadership
- Providing training for Church members in Disaster Risk Reduction
- Establishing early warning systems
- Working with local authorities and other organisations
Mobilising the community
- Using local expertise and knowledge
- Acknowledging physical and human resources in the community
- Including everyone in the process: women, the elderly, people with disabilities and minorities.
- Learning the lessons from the past.
Disaster risk reduction helps protect vulnerable communities from poverty and conflict.
Globally we are working with our partner Anglican aid agencies Episcopal Relief and Development and the Anglican Board of Mission on a toolkit for Anglican communities to use for disaster risk reduction. At local level, the Alliance is working to develop user-friendly resources to help churches prepare before disaster strikes. You can see a report on the Alliance relief visit to Hyderabad Diocese in the Kunri area, Sindh province of Pakistan.
Disaster risk reduction is a key concept in relief work. It is based on an understanding of the risks facing a community - the interaction between a local hazard, exposure to the hazard and vulnerability to harm. A community is at risk if:
- There is a local hazard, for example a river prone to flooding,
- The community is exposed to the hazard, for example there are no flood defences
- It is vulnerable, for example because there are houses in the flood plain where very poor poeple live who cannot escape.
There's a lot of technical information about disaster risk reduction, which you can read by following these links.