CITIZENS, PUBLIC ADMINISTRATORS & SCIENTISTS MITIGATE NATURAL DISASTERS FOR SUSTAINABLE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT


 

When citizens, administrators and scientists share perspectives with each other, they establish a basis for taking joint action and create action networks throughout their communities. Intensified action enhances not only self-reliance, well being and orientation to the future, but also community survival and development.

 

Unaware / little or no participation

Educated / moderate level of participation

Aware and alert / high level of participation

Citizens It will not happen here and not to me, my family and my community; citizens ignore disaster warnings, or they panic It might happen; but when it does, someone else will take care of necessary preparations / relief Citizens accept possibility of natural disaster occurrences; citizens educate themselves and prepare community-based plans; citizens organize regular drills; circulate posters, pamphlets, school materials, videos, etc.; citizens participate in lay monitoring of disaster precursors; school children participate in lay monitoring as part of science curriculum and community work . Citizens become aware of their immediate natural environment & its subtle shifts
Public Administrators Do just enough work to hold the job; too busy with immediate priorities every day to consider the likelihood of natural disasters Gather and catalog information; develop natural disaster management plans; gather statistics on the community, its vulnerabilities and its disaster relief needs; lack standards for evaluating accuracy of predictions; who can take responsibility for deciding accuracy or usefulness of predictions Organize practice drills; establish real-time information sharing; promote disaster-related public education; involve mass media in dissemination of disaster-related information; reach out to community groups, private sector, NGOs, etc. for integrated public education, disaster preparedness and response

Public administrators understand some basic dynamics of the Earth

Scientists Study phenomena without considering their possible relationship to natural disasters and people Scientists can notice and record correlation between natural phenomena and disasters; scientists could produce predictions with a degree of probability, but administrators and the public usually demand absolute accuracy Scientists share and discuss recorded precursor signals with scientists of other disciplines, among lay persons and citizens, and especially among public administrators, who can translate scientific observations into programmes and actions likely to protect communities from natural disasters

Scientists share their observations in ways that are comprehensible to administrators and the public

Natural Disaster Outcomes Total tragedy Tragedy; massive relief; major impact on social and economic development Early warning success; evacuations of communities where necessary; safeguarding lives and property; minimize deaths and relief costs; more resources still available for sustainable human development