The IFRC and Disaster Preparedness
Today, in conjunction with our Impacts unit, we were fortunate enough to have a Mr. Patrick Fuller, IFRC Asia-Pacific Communication Manager, speak to us about the work the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is doing in the region. I was stunned to learn that 40% of the world's natural hazards occur in Asia each year. Some of the more common hazards impacting this region include: typhoons, floods, and tidal surges. Less common but often more deadly hazards include: earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
With regards to disaster preparedness, I think that one of the most important messages Mr. Fuller shared with us today revolved around need for community empowerment. Specifically, he spoke to us about how the IFRC helps communities to evaluate their capacity vs. vulnerability. Capacity involves assessing the resources available to a community in terms of sustaining their economic, societal and environmental needs. Vulnerability involves assessing the risks posing a threat to the community's sustainability in the event of a natural hazard. The IFRC further supports communities to create and implement action plans to improve their resilience. Some such action plans include: creating evacuation routes, implementing early warning systems, building infrastructure like bridges and sea walls, and planting mangroves along coastal shorelines. By supporting local communities, the IFRC is encouraging people to find effective solutions to mitigate their risks for natural disasters.
Please view the video above to gain a deeper understanding of the IFRC's work in Asia Pacific. Thank you to Mr. Fuller for sharing it with us!
Video - A Time for Action