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Responding to urban disasters


About this resource

Resource type:Lessons papers
Keywords:Development & humanitarian aid, Disaster preparedness, resilience and risk reduction, Protection, human rights & security, Urban
Countries:Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Haiti, India, Iran, Japan, United States of America
Agency:ALNAP, ProVention Consortium
Author(s):O'Donnell, I. and Smart, K. with Ramalingam, B.
Date published:2009

Disaster response in an urban environment presents a wide variety of challenges.  Humanitarian organisations often have more experience of disaster response in rural
settings, and local authorities and community organisations may have little experience of planning and executing large-scale activities in response and recovery.

This paper draws on experience from the responses to number of urban disasters, including earthquake responses in Bam (Iran); Bhuj (India), Izmit (Turkey), and Kobe (Japan); storm and hurricane in Gonaives (Haiti) and New Orleans (United States), and conflict responses in
Angola and Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina). The paper highlights key lessons to guide local authorities, national governments, international agencies, the private sector, learning centres and community organisations in approaching the specific challenges of addressing and
responding to disaster risks in urban environments.


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Lessons papers


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