Disaster prevention: A shared responsibility / Columns / The Foreigner

Disaster prevention: A shared responsibility. Everyone can contribute to tackling disasters. The measures are often simple and cheap, yet effective. Look at your street. If the sewers are blocked with leaves or rubbish, clear that out. It helps drain the water during intense rainfall. Branches can snap the wires if brought down by high winds or by the weight of ice where power lines run through trees. Ask your local authority to take a look and see if both the tree and the power lines can be protected.

norwayclimatechange, emergencymeasuresnorway



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Disaster prevention: A shared responsibility

Published on Friday, 19th October, 2012 at 09:09 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.

Everyone can contribute to tackling disasters. The measures are often simple and cheap, yet effective.

Flooding near Oslo
Flooding near Oslo
Photo: Ilan Kelman


Look at your street. If the sewers are blocked with leaves or rubbish, clear that out. It helps drain the water during intense rainfall.

Branches can snap the wires if brought down by high winds or by the weight of ice where power lines run through trees. Ask your local authority to take a look and see if both the tree and the power lines can be protected.

How well maintained is your roof? Loose or broken tiles can be swept off in a storm, hitting people or damaging property.

When it comes to people rather than infrastructure, elderly folk living alone can particularly suffer from hot and cold weather. It does not take long to check how well elderly family, friends, and neighbours are coping during temperature extremes.

Our own decisions can make a big difference to disaster-related safety. Take a first aid course. That will give you the confidence to take control of emergency situations without putting yourself or others in danger. You might even save a life by stopping bleeding or giving CPR--or someone else might save yours.

Never go through floodwater on foot, on a bike, or otherwise. It might be contaminated, have surprising speed that can even sweep away cars, or obscure other dangers such as a washed-out roadway or a missing maintenance hole cover. And keep emergency supplies, such as water and non-perishable food, in safe, accessible places at home.

That does not mean that we can deal with everything as individuals. We still need the professional disaster prevention officers and emergency responders. We should not absolve the government and private sector of responsibility to reduce the risk of disasters and to respond swiftly and competently.

But we all have a role to play. We have a duty to do what we can for avoiding and dealing with disasters ourselves--and for holding others accountable. It not only helps others, but also ourselves.

Dr. Ilan Kelman is aSenior Research Fellowat the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo (CICERO).

Published on Friday, 19th October, 2012 at 09:09 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.

This post has the following tags: norwayclimatechange, emergencymeasuresnorway.





  
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