Towards a culture of disaster preparedness worldwide Veronica De Majo Falun, 14-03-19

Towards a culture of disaster
preparedness worldwide
Veronica De Majo
Falun, 14-03-19
Tsunami, Phuket Island
Thailand 2004
Earthquake, Port-au-Prince
Haiti 2010
Picture: Deddeda Stemler
Tsunami, Natori
Japan 2011
Hurricane Sandy, Long Beach Island
USA 2012
Picture: Newscom/Kyodo/
Picture: Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger/Corbis
No community is “immune” to natural
disasters; (many) risks are difficult to avoid
or even prevent.
Communities have different hazard profiles,
social, cultural and economic
characteristics… The impact of hazards is
Key concepts in DRR
Disasters, sudden events which overwhelm
local capacity and lead to a serious
disruption of its functioning, causing human
and material losses, necessitating a request
to a national or international level for
external assistance.
Disaster risk represents potential disaster
losses, in lives, health status, livelihoods,
assets and services, which could occur to a
particular community or a society over some
specified future time period.
Equation: hazard (frequency and severity) +
vulnerability (exposure/capacity)
Disaster risk reduction, is defined as the
concept and practice of reducing disaster
risks through systematic efforts to analyze
and manage the causal factors of disasters
(reduced exposure to hazards, lessened
vulnerability of people and property, wise
management of land and the environment,
and improved preparedness) (UNISDR
Disaster management phases and
incident time-line
• Postincident
• Preincident
• Transincident
My contribution
Overarching aim of the research project,
To explore and have a better understanding
of the development of a culture of
preparedness in disaster reduction and
how it has been (and can be)
strengthened through international
cooperation, ICT and learning.
1990:s, shift from a ”culture of reaction” to a
”culture of preparedness”.
Still much to do! Need for integral and
systematic approaches that focus on disaster
risk reduction with emphasis in all the
International cooperation, ICT and learning in
Culture of disaster preparedness
In nuclear energy safety: the personal dedication and
accountability of all individuals engaged in any activity
which has to do with safety.
In patient safety: effective systems and teamwork to
accomplish the mutual goal of safe.
In corporate safety: members’ attitudes, values and beliefs in
relation to safety.
Strategies aiming to improve communities’ capacity to
cope with natural disasters.
*Values, attitudes, beliefs & roles.
1) International cooperation
Increase communities’ capacity to cope with
natural disasters, especially in developing
Multiplicity of actors interacting in different
arenas and through different channels at
local, national, regional and global level.
Emergent network system in DRR
2) Public awareness
Common knowledge about disaster risks
(causes and actions that can be taken).
Public information, education, dissemination of
routines, community and participation
actions, radio or television broadcasts, use
of printed media and internet (nowadays
strongly associated to social media).
Enhance individuals’ awareness
3) ICT
Internet, wireless technology (including GPS),
remote sensing, emergency management
decision support systems, hazard analysis
and modelling (simulation), and early
warning systems, among others.
“Two-way communication” .
Training and education &
spreading knowledge
New challenges for disaster risk reduction
(especially implementation):
Lack of resources, technology seen as an ‘end’
rather than a ‘mean’; internet systems not
that robust; information overload and
diffusion of inappropriate information (which
does it less efficient); information security;
and the dilemma regarding high costs of
technology vs. uncertainty of disasters.
Swedish Civil Contingencies
In sum,
 A ”growing” culture of
 Benefits of international
cooperation, ICT and learning.
 Challenges, still much to do.
Thank you!
Veronica De Majo