Population growth, environmental and climate change are giving rise to ever greater risks. The devastating tornado in Oklahoma on 21 May 2013 provided vivid evidence of how destructive the forces of nature can be. Disaster risk management and reduction play crucial roles now and always will. In many cases, they are the key factors in sustainable and long-term development. Disasters will continue to occur despite our best efforts. The series of devastating tornados which hit Oklahoma clearly demonstrated a gap in the existing prevention measures, resulting in insufficient emergency options. Having already been hit by tornadoes several times, people there were aware that they were living in a high-risk, extremely dangerous tornado alley. A warning was issued 16 minutes before the tornado hit, destroying houses and schools and killing or injuring the inadequately protected.
RISK Award 2014 topic
In an emergency, it is important that emergency and evacuation plans not only exist, but are truly effective in helping all the people at risk. Especially those who are most at risk due to physical handicaps, age, inability to communicate, poverty or religious or gender issues often play only a marginal role in disaster management. During crises, they are generally the ones worst affected by damage and loss.
This is where the 2014 RISK Award “Disaster emergency – Resilience for the most vulnerable” ties in. The €100,000 grant will be awarded to a disaster risk management project that focuses on the most vulnerable segments of society. Only if they are included will disaster risk management be truly successful. The 2014 RISK Award offers an opportunity for an operational project to demonstrate how the most vulnerable segments of society can be included. Emergency planning and recovery must help to save lives, lead to sustainable reductions in disaster risks and contribute to improved loss prevention.
We invite individuals and institutions engaged in disaster risk management in any field to submit proposals for the 2014 RISK Award. The application process will remain open until 31 December 2013.
CB 24 May 2013