Notes to broadcasters
Local, community or municipal leadership is a key factor in recovery from disasters. It is often more effective than national or centrally-planned prevention and recovery strategies. The purpose of this script is to encourage local groups to recognize the skills they have that will be useful in disasters. This script uses a women’s radio listening club as an example. We suggest that you use an example, such as a local organization, that is familiar to your audience.
The women in this group use their organizational skills to prepare for a flood. Even with short notice, community groups can combine their skills,knowledge and resources to reduce the effects of disaster. For example, the Petersfield Sports and Community Club in Jamaica was able to prepare the community in just two days before Hurricane Gilbert struck. Many kinds of groups have the potential to help out – sports groups, women’s groups, social clubs, day care centres, farmers’ groups, and radio listening clubs, such as the one in this story. Community groups can:
- Form a disaster committee to coordinate disaster relief activities.
- Develop a simple early warning system that everyone can understand.
- Investigate indigenous strategies. For example, collect and record information about traditional ways to conserve and store clean water, save and store seeds, select drought or flood-tolerant crops, and construct housing to withstand disasters. Pass these ideas around.
- Provide information on community seed banks and insurance policies.
- Distribute emergency food and other supplies.
- Educate the population about the importance of proper sanitation to reduce the spread of diseases at times of disaster.
INTRODUCE THEME MUSIC AND FADE OUT (10 SECONDS).
- Learn about indigenous methods of seed storage, and ways to protect crops and livestock. Then, pass the good ideas around.
- Make a list of the most vulnerable people in your community. Develop a system to respond to them first when disaster strikes.
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- Contributed by Belinda Bruce, Vancouver, Canada.
- “On Your Marks! Understanding Disasters and Disaster-Talk” in Community Toolbox Citizenry-Based & Development-Oriented Disaster Response by Annelies Heijmans and Lorna P. Victoria. Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, PO Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani, 12120, Thailand. Tel: (66-2) 524-5354, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Citizens Participation Towards Safer Communities by Zenaida G. Delica, and Disaster Risk Management and Vulnerability Reduction: Protecting the Poor by Suvid Yodmani. Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (see address above).
- Radio Listening Clubs, Panos Southern Africa. URL: http://www.panos.org.zm/radio. Contact: Fackson Banda, Director, PO Box 391663, Lusaka. Tel: +2601 290037, E-mail: email@example.com