Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Addressing the disaster readiness gap

Addressing the disaster readiness gap beyond preparedness for survival

June 3, 2014

A University of Canterbury-led survey of people in Wellington on their evacuation preparedness for earthquake and tsunami disaster showed that most people focused their preparedness on surviving by gathering home supplies and materials and not other essential items.

People largely overlooked key needs to make evacuation plans and getaway kits, and misunderstood their resources for resilience, Canterbury health sciences researcher Professor Ray Kirk says. His colleague and former Canterbury PhD student Dr Monica Gowan has just completed a section of her health research about building resilience before disaster strikes, to enhance intermediate and long term recovery. They collaborated with researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the United States.

``Our results of the recent Wellington survey indicated a role for protecting people’s health, leveraging strengths and resources to transcend their vulnerabilities throughout their lifetimes. A survey was posted to 695 people in randomly selected households in the eastern suburbs of Wellington.

``Ignoring the readiness gap has significant implications for expectation management during and after crisis. We must go beyond the scope of current practices for survival and economic agency recovery to a broader horizon of preventive practice and promoting readiness.

``This requires risk awareness and clear meaningful choices for individual well-being and readiness that lead to resiliency. When people and communities use their resources to confront natural forces and external challenges and move forward positively, a stronger foundation for becoming disaster-transcendent should arise.

``After effects endure for survivors of the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. A window of opportunity is open for health professionals to intercede now with comprehensive readiness programmes. Christchurch is entering the medium term phase following the first 2010 earthquake and next year would be timely for us to survey Christchurch residents to see how they are coping.’’

Preparedness for a disaster’s immediate aftermath is paramount for many professions – emergency management, health and safety, infrastructure and asset protection, service delivery, continuity planning, forecasting, and security, Professor Kirk says.

The focus on the immediate aftermath can produce gaps in meeting intermediate and long-term needs, creating a problem which is, what people are preparing for.

``Our research found bridging the readiness gap prevents situations where people, communities, and systems survive the initial impact, but their resilience trajectories are vulnerable to the trials of long-haul recovery.

``The 8.2 Chilean earthquake in April accentuated many overlooked dimensions of readiness and highlighted the realities. No person, place or thing is invulnerable to disaster; disaster preparedness is more than preparing to survive and keeping services and economies functioning; disasters frequently displace people suddenly from home and workplaces, and profoundly change lives and livelihoods; and personal costs of recovery are often unthinkable and difficult to anticipate at best.

``In Chile, only six people perished, but nearly one million people were evacuated from both poor and wealthy neighbourhoods, experiencing extreme circumstances and personal distress.

``The Washington state landslide in March buried an entire rural neighbourhood of 49 homes; 44 people were lost. The landslide dammed a river, caused upstream flooding, closed the primary road access to the town of Darrington and sparked a mandatory downstream evacuation.

``Future landslides, flooding, earthquakes, tsunami, typhoons, wildfire and volcanic disasters are expected throughout the Pacific region. Evidence-based recommendations for promoting preventive action to minimise disaster are essential,’’ says Professor Kirk, who is currently in the United Kingdom to deliver a paper at Oxford University’s department of primary care health sciences.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries:
Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

If you’re not enrolled now, you need to hurry or you won’t be able to vote in this Saturday’s general election.

“Election day is almost here, and it’s your last chance to enrol,” says Murray Wicks, National Manager, Enrolment Services. “It’s not too late, but you need to do it right now.”

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news