Considerations when designing to mitigate disaster

  1. Save lives first, property last
  2. Make comprehensive plants with community
  3. Design to reduce the extent and impact of disaster
  4. Design to avoid the worst
  5. Design landscape to withstand the worst possible disaster
  6. Prepare for several types of disasters
  7. Prepare for duration, severity, frequency
  8. Utilize multiple zones
  9. Precautionary principle

Possible Disasters

Cyclones, storms, hurricanes
Volcanic eruptions
Global economics
Nuclear accidents
Climate change
Chemical spills
Land degradation - deforestation
Mass migration
Social collapse

Disaster Profile

A list of questions to ask when assessing the risk and forming a plan to mitigate specific disasters.
Your answers
Natural or man-made?

How often does it occur?

How long does it last?

Speed of onset
What’s the warning time?

Scope of impact
Concentrated or large areas?

Destructive potential
What’s the population density?

Does it follow a pattern?

Are people helpless?

Disaster checklist

Escape plan - Account for everyone and prioritize who goes first.
Water - Ensure enough clean water for the predicted duration.
Food - Ensure enough dry food for the duration. Include some food that does not require cooking, as well as a cooking pot for when you can.
Medical care - First aid kit and trained people.
Clothes - Plan for wet and cold weather. Include lightweight backpack and sturdy shoes.
Shelter and tools - Tarp, tent, ground pad, sleeping bag, blankets, rope, tools, spade, axe
Lighting and heating - Ensure light and heat such as kerosene, lamps, solar panels, wood.
Communications - Include a backup such as solar radio, phone, runner.
Waste disposal - Plan for how to safely dispose of human manure.
Money - Keep some hidden in a waterproof packet.
Documents - Ensure the safety of any papers that identify you, or are personally valuable.

Key Considerations for Community Preparedness

These should be made of materials and/or sited to withstand disaster. It is important to site a disaster refuge far from the likely center, path or height of the disaster.

Escape routes over hills, etc.
Draw up and give the community maps of creeks, fire trails and back roads

How will people leave and where are the means kept? Foot, bicycle, boat, car, animal or other?

Evacuation plan
Who needs to be evacuated when, by whom, and transported where? Where is the emergency meeting place?

Food and water security
Store seeds, food and water away from the likely center of disaster, such as a cave, underground room, small mud house, or an island or in a dam.
Ensure dry food supplies for the duration and # of people.
Place an emergency/famine garden a long way from the disaster center, and grow hardy vegetables.
Keep supplies of easy-to-grow seed stored in a safe place.
Allow a min. of 3 litres of water per person per day.

Cooking, heat, and light
Ensure alternative energy supplies such as firewood, batteries, solar panels, candles, matches, kerosene.
For warmth, store blankets, hot water bottles, coats, wind- water- and fire- proof clothes.
Prepare an adequate store of cooking pots.

First aid and medicines
Nominate 1-2 people to be responsible for first aid. Equip them.
Keep antiseptics and bandages as recommended.
Plan for human waste disposal.

Make sure tents, spades and saws are on hand.

Fast, clear communication is essential. Ensure there are adequate (including back-up) whistles, flags, two-way radios, mobile phones, batteries, and solar chargers. If these collapse, designate one person as a runner who carries messages.


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