Disaster response preparedness by communities



Introduction. 1

Research Objectives. 1

Background Information. 2

Methodology. 2

Conclusions and Recommendations. 3




A strategy of community disaster preparedness and local capacity building provides individuals in the community with with the basic technical knowledge required to respond, survive, and recover from disasters.  This requires a focus on humanitarian assistance, prevention, mitigation, and preparedness. An integrated response to disasters needs continuous training to help the communities to be more resilient when disasters happen. Natural disasters can have very devastating effects on communities, taking lives, and wiping out the hard earned assets of poor people in a matter of minutes. This kind of lose could be compounded by destruction of vital buildings, including health centres which are vital for the recovery , which are often as vulnerable as other types of infrastructure (Quarentelli, 2004).

The strategies involved in disaster management include: response preparation where individuals are prepared to respond to emergencies and disasters, sustaining infrastructure for community responders is where community based organisations have the necessary infrastructure in place to respond to emergencies and disasters, response to emergency and disaster is when people who experience an individual emergency or disaster have their immediate needs met, and response to emergency or disaster for special populations (Alexander, 2002).

Research Objectives

The study hopes to fulfil the following objectives:

  1. To ascertain the help communities require to effectively respond to disasters
  2. To address the issues of training the stakeholders
  3. To impart knowledge to the communities, volunteers, individuals, families, and the general public on how to respond to disasters.

Background Information

According to Buchanan, (2000), the aim of making the community prepared for disaster is very necessary in sustaining the communities’ wellbeing in case of an emergency need. There are many types of disasters that may inflict communities such as hurricanes, flash floods, fire outbreak, and environmental threats. Concern over disasters is increasingly becoming very relevant, as population continuous to rise, populations shift, and people tend to live in high risk areas. High risk areas are prone to earthquakes, unstable hillsides, areas adjacent to hazardous waste, airports, and nuclear power plants. The list of risk of a disaster occurring is increasing as long as human lives, and it is upon the communities to be educated so as to be able to respond to disasters appropriately(Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 2011).


The research will draw its sample from the established target groups such as civic education groups, voluntary groups, and community based organisations. A random sample of subjects will be drawn from these target groups. The total simple random sample size will be 100 people from diverse demographic, occupation, ethnic, racial, and educational levels. Data collection tools will mainly be through questionnaires which will be emailed to the proposed respondents. Interview method will also be employed where it is not feasible to use questionnaires. Once the data is collected it will be coded and made ready for analysis.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The primary intent of disaster preparedness and readiness is to avert losses, such as loss of lives, disability, and loss of income, social dislocation, and destructive consequences. The members of the community should be imparted with the necessary skills in life saving, and all members of the community, individuals, and families to be in a better position to prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters. Emergency response is needed as it is cost effective.



Buchanan, S. (2000). “Emergency preparedness.” from Paul Banks and Roberta Pilette.     Preservation Issues and Planning. Chicago: American Library Association, 159–165

Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. (2011). Germany: DE GRUYTER.   Retrieved 15 Apr. 2012, from http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jhsem

Quarentelli, EL. (2004). “Emergencies, Disasters, and Catastrophes are Different Phenomena“.    Preliminary Papers. University of Delaware Disaster Research Center

Alexander, D. (2002). Principles of Emergency planning and Management. Harpenden: Terra       Publishing

Haddow, George D.; Jane A Bullock (2003). Introduction to emergency management. Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann

Cuny, Fred C. (1983). Disasters and Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

John Harrald in Agility and Discipline: Critical Success Factors for Disaster Response, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 2006; 604; 256

Buchanan, Sally. “Emergency preparedness.” from Paul Banks and Roberta Pilette. Preservation Issues and Planning. Chicago: American Library Association, 2000. 159–165.



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