Press Release

Awareness needed to help communities prepare for natural disasters

11/08/2018

Experts in the APEC region meet to address the matter of self-awareness in getting prepared before disaster strikes.

Photo Caption: Meroy of Kitava weaving Coconut fronds to use as shelter.

Experts in the APEC region meet to address the matter of self-awareness in getting prepared before disaster strikes.

Co-Chair of the Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) Dr Wei- Sen Li, said the purpose of this 14th EPWG meeting would be to address the matter of “ignorance”, by the general public in disaster prone areas towards disaster preparedness.

Dr Li said the presentations and discussions will be to help communities better prepare for disasters and be the first point of assistance.

He added that bridging the communication gap, will be the essence of the EPWG meeting and to find ways to effectively inform the general public on basic disaster preparedness, (attending to the affected people).

He said disaster preparedness has lacked over time, maybe due to generational change in information gathering and sharing, or basically plain ignorance.

“First of all they have (as adults), stopped taking in new knowledge on Natural Disasters, and basically today it is not about disaster reduction but more about education, how our adults will get up to date information on disaster reduction”.

“These unprecedented events are occurring constantly in recent times unlike before, and the question is why is it happening,” Dr Li asked.

He urged the participating economies to share ideas in order to effectively address the information gap and to find solutions to prepare communities on disaster management at the community level.

The Co-Chair said Papua New Guinea has highlighted for this to be discussed at the senior level emergency preparedness meeting this September in Kokopo.