Enhancing Community Resilience to Disasters

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Enhancing Community Resilience to Disasters. Caroline Westerlund. Justification for the need for community resilience : . In the last ten years, Disasters affected more than 3 billion people K illed over 750,000 people C ost more than US$600 billion in reconstruction and - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Enhancing Community Resilience to Disasters

Enhancing Community Resilience to DisastersCaroline WesterlundJustification for the need for community resilience: In the last ten years, Disasters affected more than 3 billion peopleKilled over 750,000 peopleCost more than US$600 billion in reconstruction andrecovery (Birkmann,2006).

This trend of loss of human lives and property damage suggests that ourcommunities are not resilient enough to natural disasters. Over the pastdecade, many authors have underscored the need to accommodate the concept of resilience in research, policy, and disaster risk reduction arenas. And most recently, the concept of disaster resilience has gained a wide interest and has become more popular especially after the adoption of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters.Define Community ResilienceRESILIENCEIt is the property of an object that allows it to return to its original shape if it has been deformed. It represents a memory of an original state of being. It is the ability to return to what is normal.COMMUNITYIs a grouping together of similar objects. In a human sense, community can be represented as a geographic area, shared interest, or common experience, whether that be individually or organisationally.Geographic area: The street you live in; Your suburb.Shared interest: Rugby club; Scouts or Guides; FreemasonsCommon experience: Seniors; Parents; People with a disabilityCommunity Resilience DefinitionThe ability of that group of people to bounce-back from an adverse experience. In the context of an adverse experience might be both man made and nature made:

A group of young children killed on a pedestrian crossing A large local employer closing down A spate of teen suicides Major earthquake or other disaster Tsunami hitsCyclones damage a city A place of signifcance burns down The loss of a major service (such as the only bank) Serial arson in the areaOther terms for community resilienceIs a western concept

Samoa - galuega toe fuataina - to do it again to re-do, rebuildThe components of community resilience in a disaster are about families. About family connections and relationships within families and the ability for families to easily connect.

When families are not necessarily connected it makes their ability to recover really difficult.

5Where Do You Find Resilience?

Resilience is an emergent property. In other words:

1. there are things that create it; and,2. there are situations that call for it; and,3. it is the outcome of an environment; but,4. it cannot be isolated or measured before an adverse event.

A focus on resilience means putting greater emphasis on what communities can do for themselves and how to strengthen their capacities, rather than concentrating on their vulnerability to disaster or environmental shocks and stresses, or their needs in an emergency.Attributes Of Resilience?

strong and clear communication between many groups a feeling of safety and security respect for one-another, and for ones environment neighbours trusting neighbours no petty crime, and no tolerance of petty crime a large degree of self-awareness self-reliance; a willingness to develop and draw-on resources within the community confidence the ability to react rationally to adversity (orderly, no panic, no hysterics) pride and a sense of place active participants in democracy a well-understood common vision

These attributes dont define resilience: they contribute to its development.

Process of Community ResilienceBecome familiar with your own communityBecome familiar with local organisations and buildingsEducating communitys about possible disasters and how to prepare for this.Encourage families to prepare disaster safe kits Include communities in discussions that contribute to policy making both at local and national government levels.Public communication be made available to affected area via radio, tv, phones, newspaperCreate opportunities for people to become confident community drills, learn from past experiences

Process of community resilience?Use What You Have involve all community organisationsIn the Greater Newlands Area (for example) there already exist a number of assets that, if utilised and guided well, will create Attributes of Resilience. These include:- Schools- Churches- Volunteer fire brigade- Businesses- Service groups- Community college- Sub-communities (e.g. ethnic communities)- Early childhood education centres- Civil defence- Youth groups- Neighbourhood support- Community patrol- Residents groupsBecome familiar with Agents Of Change?Outside of the community there are agencies that have the potential to either help or harm the development of resilience. These agents when working in a co-ordinated manner with the mandate of the community can have a positive impact on developing Attributes of Resilience, because they can affect the communitys environment. Some of these External Agents include:

- Local Councils- Regional Councils- Police- Politicians- District Health Boards- Other Government agencies- Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)Benefits of community resilience?Readiness, Response, and Recovery

Promoting Community Resilience in Disasters is specifically geared toward assisting those who work in school or community settings including school psychologists and counselors, emergency managers and planners, and all mental health professionals not only to increase resilience after a disaster, but to respond and intervene as quickly as possible when catastrophe strikes.

It will assist those charged with the responsibility for helping others respond to and rebound from major traumas, especially clinicians and other professionals who work with children and their family members.Models of Community resilience?Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters. Since the adoption of the Hyogo Framework, the main goal of hazard planning and disaster risk reduction has slightly shifted to focusing more on building community resilience rather than only reducing vulnerability.

Community/grasssroots Gives stability and foundationSocial and Cultural infrastructuresGovernment

Local Government

Agents of ChangeThree Legs Stool ApproachCommunity resilience is to be supported by its three legs.

First leg of the leg is the existence of strong norms and values, as the common spiritual ground and forces which encourage people from a certain locality to adopt certain behaviors.

Second leg at the bottom is the community institutions, traditions, customs and habits which are living and have been practiced by the people from generation to generation.

Third leg at the bottom is the existing social cultural infrastructures which are the organizational means for people at the locality to organize their day to day livelihoods and social activities.

The promotion of community resilience has to cover all the three legs all together.

Indicators of a country with community resilience?The ability of a community to provide protection to its vulnerable population and to those experiencing social problems; The level of community participation in social organizations; The ability of community members to prevent, manage and/or control social conflict and acts of violence; and The ability of a community to preserve local wisdom and to manage natural and social resources.Indicators of Community Resilience Engagement at the community level, including a sense of cohesiveness and neighborhood involvement or integration Partnership among organizations, including integrated pre-event planning, exercises, and agreements Sustained local leadership supported by partnership with state and federal government Effective and culturally relevant education about risks Optimal community health and access to quality health services Integration of preparedness and wellness Rapid restoration of services and social networks Individual-level preparedness and self-sufficiency Targeted strategies that empower and engage vulnerable populations Financial resiliency of families and businesses, and efficient leveraging of resources for recovery.

Health sector contextBarriers to Community ResilienceNo single group or organization can address every aspect of Disaster Risk Reduction

When community is not part of the process, it needs to be a participatory process with the community.

When there is no respect and understand of the process of participation from both the community, local government and government levels.

How to rebuild community resilience?

Factors that enhance community resilienceCohesiveness of the communityViable and sustainable livelihoods from both an individual and community perspective. The higher the quality of life, the lesser the vulnerability of the people. Beliefs; behaviours; and environments. For resilience to exist there must be the right environment, plus there must be the tools in place to help create it, the behaviours have to be right, and all of this has to work in synchronicity.The pacific diaspora Self-reliance and sustainability

Self and community awareness abilities of local organisations to make themselves awareCommunity empowerment as a strategy to enhance resilience requires an emphasis on personal and collective responsibility, citizenship and participation. This does not remove the need for institutions and programmes, but it changes the focus of their mission. Institutions can ensure participation of members of the community by focusing on their strengths. This will not happen without major changes on the part of the receivers as well as the provide