Applying the Disaster Risk Reduction Model for Health Systematically in the United States - A Panel Session at the 2016 Preparedness Summit
As the U.S. continues to suffer more frequent and unusual extreme weather events due to climate change, there are lessons that can be learned from across the globe on how to reduce risk and exposure to disasters instead of simply preparing to withstand and recover from them. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is the practice of addressing the causal factors of disaster through systems-wide analysis and action. DRR emphasizes a “culture of prevention” over the reactive “mitigate, prepare, respond, and recover” cycle (UNISDR). DRR is the nexus for public health, disaster management, environmental justice, and climate change adaptation (Keim). DRR is also the basis of the UN’s International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, as well as the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 and recently released Sendai Framework (2015-2030), but while these strategies are implemented throughout the global health sphere, within the U.S. the focus of investment is often more toward preparedness and response.
DRR strategies can reduce susceptibility while building resilience, and are often already applied at the local level through existing programs and planning in communities. Once environmental and other potential risks unique to communities are more holistically understood, community members can work to develop self-reliant strategies in order to reduce their vulnerability and potential reliance on federal assistance during a disaster. Encouraging the public health preparedness communities at the local level to work across other sectors and engage all partners can help to socialize the concept of DRR while also creating better awareness and synergy between ongoing efforts in practice by varying groups with similar goals. The widespread uptake of DRR at the community-level could have far-reaching effects, from more resilient communities, to innovative climate change adaptation efforts, to more robust local food systems. This workshop will introduce the concepts of DRR for health, facilitate conversations between participants about what DRR activities are already ongoing in their communities, and highlight opportunities for partnership and synergy between sectors to reduce the underlying factors that make communities vulnerable to disaster. Linking DRR concepts for health to sustainability can better prepare the nation for a coming century of extreme events.
- Describe emerging practices and theories that can be applied to improve community preparedness and community resilience at the local, state, tribal, and national levels;
- Understand the concept of DRR, its practical application, and the importance of a “culture of prevention” to better ensure healthy outcomes; and
- Identify DRR strategies that can be implemented at the local level in their own communities, through close collaboration with community members.
Registration to the 2016 Preparedness Summit is required to attend. http://preparednesssummit.org/2016-preparedness-summit/