In September 2017, hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Barbuda, St. Maarten, Dominica, Puerto Rico, and other parts of the north-eastern Caribbean. It left people without electricity and water, destroyed homes and health clinics, and isolated communities on these islands. Recovery and rebuilding will require the technical guidance of UN and other disaster management experts, and collaboration among support organisations.
Disasters like these and others across the globe, cause death, injury, ill-health, loss of livelihood, displacement, and lack of access to basic services. Especially vulnerable are children, people living with disabilities, and older persons. To promote risk-awareness among all people and mitigate the impact of disasters, the United Nations, governments, civil society organisations and other emergency support groups, educate on best practices at all levels - international, regional and national.
Their work is critical to reduce exposure, protect communities and lower the numbers of people displaced by disasters. This year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction (13 October) focuses on these best practices, and related actions and policies that can save homes and livelihoods.