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Disaster preparedness and resilience at household level in Yangon, Myanmar
This study presents the results of a survey into individual and household level preparedness to disaster events in Yangon, Myanmar, which is prone to natural disasters such as tropical cyclones, flooding, and earthquakes. Resilience has become important in disaster preparedness and response. Unfortunately, little is known about resilience at the household level. The study aimed to understand societal resilience and to provide information that could be used to develop a holistic framework. In four different Yangon townships, 440 households were interviewed.
The results of the survey indicate how risk preparedness could be improved by specific measures related to the following five factors: (1) increasing the general public’s knowledge of first aid and its role in preparedness; (2) improving mobile phone infrastructure and capacity building in its usage so that it can be used for communication during disasters, along with building up a redundant communication structure; (3) better use and organisation of volunteer potential; (4) more specific involvement of religious and public buildings for disaster response; and (5) developing specific measures for improving preparedness in urban areas, where the population often has reduced capacities for coping with food supply insufficiencies due to the high and immediate availability of food, shops and goods in regular times. The findings of this survey have led to specific recommendations for Yangon. The identified measures represent a first step in developing a more general framework. Future research could investigate the transferability of these measures to other areas and thus their suitability as a basis for a framework.