Innovative Communications Can Prevent Disaster Devastation and Speed Relief Efforts.

When disaster strikes, informal networks can succeed where official warnings fail, says the World Disaster Report 2005, an annual publication from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The report details case studies from around the world:

  • An Indian man living in Singapore heard about the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and successfully alerted his parents on the Eastern coast of India, where they then evacuated neighbors to safety.
  • In Cuba, disaster awareness drills are taught in schools to help prepare residents before each hurricane season.
  • Red Cross volunteers working in Aceh, Indonesia used satellite phones to help tsunami survivors relocate family members.
  • Shipment of unneeded and inappropriate clothes to South Asia pointed to the need for assessment and communication with international aid agencies.
  • Local journalists and media stations have used creative techniques to reach people suffering the effects of war in Afghanistan and HIV/AIDS in Madagascar.

Related Links:

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, World Disasters Report 2005.
http://www.ifrc.org/publicat/wdr2005/index.asp.