Grays Harbor County Logo
Grays Harbor County Departments Internet Links Contact Us
Emergency Management
  DEM Home    News    Calendar 

Department of Emergency Management


Press Release Detail

Sunday, January 25, 2015  04:12

Issued: Tuesday, October 12, 2010  00:00

International Day for Disaster Reduction


International Day for Disaster Reduction
13 October
“City planners must ... tackle the principal sources of risk in urban areas – poor governance, planning and enforcement.  Decision-making should be inclusive and participatory and the principles of sustainable urbanization must be embraced and upheld, especially for the benefit of people living in slums and informal settlements. Reducing disaster risk is everybody's business, and needs everyone's participation and investment – civil society, professional networks as well as municipal and national governments.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the International Day for Disaster Reduction
13 October 2010
World Disaster Reduction Campaign (2010–2011)
The World Disaster Reduction Campaign 2010-2011 "Making Cities Resilient" aims at getting Mayors, local governments and national authorities to take action towards making cities resilient as part of sustainable urbanization.

More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities or urban centres. Urban settlements are the lifelines of society. They serve as nations’ economic engines, they are centres of technology and innovation and they are living evidence of our cultural heritage. But cities can also become generators of new risks: failed infrastructure and services, environmental urban degradation, increasing informal settlements and almost a billion slum dwellers around the world. This makes many urban citizens more vulnerable to natural hazards.

Urban risk reduction delivers many benefits. When successfully applied as part of sustainable urbanization, resilient cities help reduce poverty, provide for growth and employment, and deliver greater social equity, fresh business opportunities, more balanced ecosystems, better health and improved education.

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction is working with its partners to raise awareness and commitment for sustainable development practices that will reduce disaster risk and increase the wellbeing and safety of citizens - to invest today for a better tomorrow. Building on previous campaigns focusing on education and the safety of schools and hospitals, ISDR partners are launching a new campaign in 2010: Making Cities Resilient. The campaign will seek to convince city leaders and local governments to commit to a checklist of Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient and to work alongside local activists, grassroots networks and national authorities.
The campaign proposes a checklist of Ten Essentials for Making Cities Resilient that can beimplemented by mayors and local governments. The checklist derives from the five priorities of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communitiesto Disasters, a key instrument for implementing disaster risk reduction. Achieving all, or even some, of these ten essentials will help cities to become more resilient. Have your City Council and local government sign up to this!
1)     Put in place organization and coordination to understand and reduce disaster risk, based on participation of citizen groups and civil society. Build local alliances. Ensure that all departments understand their role in disaster risk reduction and preparedness.
2)     Assign a budget for disaster risk reduction and provide incentives for homeowners, low-income families, communities, businesses and the public sector to invest in reducing the risks they face.
3)     Maintain up-to-date data on hazards and vulnerabilities, prepare risk assessments and use these as the basis for urban development plans and decisions. Ensure that this information and the plans for your city’s resilience are readily available to the public and fully discussed with them.
4)     Invest in and maintain critical infrastructure that reduces risk, such as flood drainage, adjusted where needed to cope with climate change.
5)     Assess the safety of all schools and health facilities and upgrade them as necessary.
6)     Apply and enforce realistic, risk-compliant building regulations and land-use planning principles. Identify safe land for low-income citizens and develop upgrading of informal settlements, wherever feasible.
7)     Ensure that education programmes and training on disaster risk reduction are in place in schools and local communities.
8)     Protect ecosystems and natural buffers to mitigate floods, storm surges and other hazards to which your city may be vulnerable. Adapt to climate change by building on good risk reduction practices.
9)     Install early warning systems and emergency management capacities in your city and hold regular public preparedness drills.
10) After any disaster, ensure that the needs of the survivors are placed at the
centre of reconstruction with support for them and their community organizations to design and help implement responses, including rebuilding homes and livelihoods.