Undertaking pre-disaster planning

Planning for emergencies
Protecting against man-made disasters
Preparing for catastrophes
Disaster management
Avoiding catastrophe
Developing a culture of safety
Researching disaster management
Preparing for emergencies
Emergency preparedness
Improving emergency preparedness
Risk management
Improving disaster response
Evaluating emergency responses
Preparing for disaster
Assessing emergency requirements
Planning for disasters

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends complete national and local studies on the nature and occurrence of natural disasters, their impact on people and economic activities, the effects of inadequate construction and land use in hazard-prone areas, and the social and economic advantages of adequate pre-disaster planning.

Many organizations frequently organizes workshops and conferences, publish literature and use other media forms to facilitate users to improve their emergency response and management. In their activities, many organizations continue to work closely with other organizations (such as the cooperation between the various UN agencies and their international and local partners), and are strengthening or creating new links, as part of a cross-sectoral strategy to launch more coordinated and effective humanitarian responses. For example, the World Food Programme (WFP) is strengthening its collaboration with other UN organization and NGOs, including implementing all refugee operations jointly with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), while NGOs are key partners in nearly all major WFP activities.

UNESCO is concerned with increasing the capacity of governments to reduce loss of life and property as a result of natural disasters. This includes precise identification of zones subject to natural disasters, refinement of risk assessment methods, development of accurate reliable monitoring and warning systems, and introduction or further development of preventive construction techniques and urban design.

Because of the increase in emergencies in West and Central Africa, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has been focusing on establishing early warning systems, emergency preparedness activities, emergency training and improving emergency communication systems in that region, in order to respond more effectively to emergencies.

To respond more effectively to emergencies, the World Health Organization (WHO) restructured itself in 1993, in the areas of emergency management, relief and rehabilitation assistance in conflicting situations, and provision of humanitarian assistance in cases of natural disasters. It now has a unit of Emergency Preparedness Planning (EPP).

In 1993, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies spent 386,773 Swiss francs on improving the preparedness of all National Societies, and particularly those in disaster-prone countries, to respond to disasters (including civil disturbances) both within their countries and internationally. The Society strengthened regional disaster preparedness activities in the Balkans, Eastern and Southern Africa, and Asia, at the same time devising and applying methods for ensuring the involvement of the affected population in the planning and implementation of disaster response.

The Commission on Humanitarian Affairs of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies has as a programme priority to focus on seeking collective responses and solutions to major humanitarian crises and challenges, including prevention, early warning and response.


It is often discussion of scientific uncertainty that can have the most paralyzing effect on decision making in relation to risks and hazards. This can be due to the failure of the scientific community to adequately formulate its advice in such terms of risk management which is a more familiar concept to policy experts than that of uncertainty.

Type Classification:
F: Exceptional strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal