Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
Making development sustainable: The future of disaster risk management

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Part II - Chapter 8
expected and of local disaster risk management strategies. As described in Chapter 1, the fact that evacuation plans for New Orleans assumed car ownership negated the effectiveness of the early warning about Hurricane Katrina for part of the population at risk. In order to be effective, early warning systems need to embrace an understanding of how hazard-exposed households and communities manage risks as well as their vulnerabilities and resilience. This in turn depends on local governments or local disaster management agencies having both the skills and the willingness to engage with what are often low-income households and communities.
Lack of progress in these two of the original four early warning sub-systems means that timely and accurate early warnings that reach those at risk may fail to trigger effective action, particularly in the context of slow-onset hazards and where poverty is infused with everyday and extensive risk. Early warning information empowers only to the extent that households and communities are able to act on that information.
8.2 Preparedness for response
Priority for Action 5 has been the area of the HFA where most progress appears to have been made. Many successes of the HFA are associated with improvements in preparedness, often combined with more effective early warning. There have been real improvements in disaster preparedness and major investments in the necessary capacities.
While effective preparedness can be achieved with the governance arrangements that evolved from emergency management, local capacity and resource constraints still hamper progress in a number of countries. Preparedness for slowonset and extensive risks, in particular, remains a challenge.
The main focus of the disaster risk management sector
Preparedness has been defined as “the capacities and knowledge developed by governments, professional response organizations, communities and individuals to anticipate and respond effectively to the impact of likely, imminent or current hazards or conditions” (UNISDR, 2009b

UNISDR. 2009b,UNISDR Terminology on Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva, Switzerland: UNISDR.. .
Preparedness activities are a critical part of corrective disaster risk management in that certain risks, particularly those associated with mortality and morbidity, can be reduced through anticipation and response. Put simply, if a prepared population is able to evacuate an area before a major flood, lives will be saved and mortality and morbidity risk will therefore be lower. At the same time, preparedness is part of compensatory risk management and helps strengthen resilience. Well-organized emergency assistance based on contingency plans can help households and communities to buffer disaster losses, recover more quickly and avoid the translation of loss into broader impacts, such as increased poverty or deteriorating health, nutrition or education.
By the 1980s it had been recognized that preparedness was a core principle of effective emergency management. At the international level, UN General Assembly resolution 46/182 of 1991 reflected the need to prepare for response and created mechanisms such as the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), and the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) as coordination mechanisms to support the ERC. This period also saw the creation of the UN Disaster Management Training Programme (UNDMTP)8 in 1990, the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) in 1991, and the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) mechanism in 1993 (GAR 13 paperIASC-WFP, 2014

GAR13 Reference IASC-WFP (Inter-Agency Standing Committee and World Food Programme). 2014,Preparedness action in present and future context, lessons learned and to be learned, Background Paper prepared for the 2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. Geneva, Switzerland: UNISDR..
Click here to view this GAR paper.
Similarly, preparedness has been central to all the international frameworks for disaster risk
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