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

Gordon Campbell:
On The Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news