Archive for the ‘Disaster Risk Reduction’ Category

2015 may seem a long time away for the majority, but in the developing and disaster risk reduction sectors it is a year that will come around all too quickly. It is a year of great promises, change and reflection.

So, why is 2015 such a landmark year? Well, it is the year when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) should be achieved; and the year when a new global consensus on climate change must be reached. It is also the year that marks the 10th anniversary of the voluntary disaster risk reduction (DRR) agreement, the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA).

2015 presents an opportunity like no other to revolutionise the way that humanitarian organisations, global decision makers and governments look at development, disasters and climate change. (more…)

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Statistics indicate that, unfortunately, ‘natural’ disasters are on the increase.  Irrespective of the uncertainty associated with predicting when and where they will occur, we must do more to prepare for future shocks. In 2010, 110 million people were affected by disasters. There is a pressing need for more pre-emptive policies i.e. actions taken before the disaster strikes. Only through these actions will it be possible to curtail unnecessary suffering and realign both poor and rich countries towards a greener more equitable development path.

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How can we perceive something that makes such a colossal sound as a silent phenomenon? Yes, light travels almost 900, 000 times the speed of sound. So when lightning strikes, we often don’t hear thunder until seconds later.  But this isn’t the kind of silence I am talking about. I am talking about the fact that lightning kills an estimated 24, 000 people and injures a further 240, 000 each year, yet it rarely features in our news headlines or as a significant topic in disaster studies.

Lightning never strikes twice?

Lightning never strikes twice?

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Thanks to the internet, communication between people has become easier than ever. We can now share information quickly and easily with a large global audience or a few specific people through ‘social media’. Examples of such ‘interactive dialogues’ include community-generated materials (e.g. Wikipedia), blogging sites and social networking sites.

So what has social media got to do with disasters? Well, social media is not always associated with disasters, however, we are beginning to see some innovative examples of its use. These include the incorporation of social media into the disaster arena to aid in disaster risk reduction (DRR), act as an early warning system, as well as its use to raise public awareness of ongoing disaster situations and even comfort family and friends.

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