This week, we discussed what inclusive disaster risk reduction and inclusive disaster risk management are. In this post, I will elaborate on what those are, who are the actors and stakeholders involved in it, and the major frameworks surrounding it. I will also mention inclusive emergency preparedness in Washington, D.C.
According to Inclusive Community Resilience for Sustainable Disaster Risk Management (INCRISD), an action research, capacity building, and policy advocacy project, inclusive disaster risk management (DRM) aims to address these underlying vulnerabilities. Inclusive DRM promotes equal rights and opportunities and the dignity of the individual. It acknowledges diversity and contributes to everyone’s resilience, which means not leaving members of a community out because of their age, gender, disability or other factors. Inclusive DRR and inclusive DRM still focus on prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery, but adding a more inclusive approach to it by engaging with more diverse actors, promoting equal access to resources and emergency services, and considering how certain individuals (persons with disabilities, for example) will be affected by disasters differently than others.
According to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, there is a need for action within and across sectors by States at local, national, regional and global levels in the following four priority areas:
- Priority 1: Understanding disaster risk.
- Priority 2: Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk.
- Priority 3: Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience.
- Priority 4: Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Over time, approaches to DRR evolved by making the way we approach it broader and more people-centered. Now, it’s believed that approaches must be mutisectoral, inclusive, and accessible. Governments are beginning to engage with more stakeholders, such as women, children, and persons with disabilities, to design and implement policies and strategies. Also, public, private, and civil society actors are also collaborating in order to make DRR more comprehensive.
Furthermore, inclusive DRR and DRM aim to raise awareness about inclusive policies, practices, and disaster risk reduction strategies that address the accessibility of communication, shelter, transportation and early warning systems to vulnerable populations, such as persons with disabilities or the elderly.
Here in DC, under the Department of Health, the Emergency Preparedness and Response team has resources and plans specifically for ‘individuals with special needs.’ It goes into more depth on additional steps people with disabilities, such as visually impaired or mobility impaired, should take in the case of an emergency. However, it doesn’t give much guidance or assistance with what they recommend; for example, for hearing-impaired individuals, it says “you or the individual may need to make special arrangements to receive warnings.” DC should be more specific and provide additional information to guide people.