|Disaster Preparedness - 2nd Edition (DHA/UNDRO - DMTP - UNDP, 1994, 66 p.)|
|PART 3 - Implementing disaster preparedness plans|
When introducing disaster preparedness strategies or plans to government officials it is important to sensitize officials to the virtues of disaster preparedness: that an effective disaster preparedness plan will protect development, introduce disaster mitigation, strengthen local infrastructures and exert pressure on traditional aid donors.
It is important to establish a reliable information base in order to prepare an effective disaster preparedness plan. The following information systems are highly recommended: vulnerability assessments; joint information programs (between UN and government representatives); cross-checking mechanisms in order to sort out conflicting data that may emerge; and joint-assessment processes (with government, UN, NGOs and local networks) in order to reduce duplication of efforts, promote a degree of consensus about damage and needs, and ensure joint endorsement of any aid appeals.
It is also essential to define appropriate institutional structures that will be responsible for plan design, rehearsal, implementation and evaluation. The roles and functions of responsible officials must be identified. Plans to coordinate the efforts of all designated ministries and procedures to include NGOs are needed. Mechanisms to determine the amount and type of assistance to be provided should be established. It is important that regional and local involvement be incorporated into the disaster preparedness planning process at all stages. This requires variations and flexibility in planning strategies in order to meet the specific conditions of particular areas.
Pulling it all together
This module has reviewed the breadth and scope of disaster preparedness. Annex 1 can be used as a tool to not only review the subject but also to help structure what is in a disaster preparedness plan. A useful exercise is to review each item on the checklist to determine if the information exists in your country and where to obtain it. If the information is unavailable or doesnt exist, filling that gap will be an important step in implementing disaster preparedness.