Informing preparedness planning: Applications of community-based vulnerability and capacity data in the Philippines
Abstract: Disasters are not natural, but rather a combination of a natural hazard and its impact on vulnerable people and resources. Therefore, when engaging in disaster risk reduction and coming to an understanding of disaster risk, existing conditions within society should be understood. As one component of disaster risk reduction, preparedness and respective planning efforts require an understanding of disaster risk based on both the vulnerabilities and capacities of community members. However, the strength of vulnerability and capacity data is within its source. Assessments to capture this data, such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (VCAs), have been widely implemented across the world, with community members leading the process. Through focusing on VCAs conducted within “barangays”, the smallest community level in the Philippines, this research demonstrates how vulnerability and capacity data can be used by local government officials to inform preparedness planning. In presenting the importance of this data, success stories from barangays in the Philippines, as well as the challenges that have been encountered, this research presents ways forward to enhance the use of this data to ultimately strengthen preparedness as a component of disaster risk reduction.
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