By Giriraj Amarnath
Countries in south Asia are bracing themselves for an onslaught of climate disasters, as if managing the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is not enough.
Here are the recommendations for managing climate disasters concurrently with COVID-19:
- Integrate multiple hazard and COVID-19 hotspots to inform disaster preparedness and response strategies for monsoon planning
- Revise standard operating procedures (SOPs) for managing cyclone shelters, with the participation of communities. Incorporate social distancing and provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) in these SOPs
- Strengthen capacities and resources for preparing for other hazards. For example, explore the possibility of using schools and colleges (with social distancing) as temporary shelters
- Establish capability for rapid response mapping, incorporating GIS data for hospital and health center locations, connectivity, schools and colleges, and other community facilities. This can include supporting the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team
- Form multiple-hazard response teams with wide-ranging expertise and the capacity to respond rapidly to both, COVID-19 and natural disasters