Tweet Monday #IDDR – ‘Resilience is for life!’

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

GENEVA, October 10, 2014 - Twitter was not around when International Day for Disaster Reduction was launched 25 years ago but it’s proving to be an important rallying platform for this year’s celebration.

UNISDR Chief, Margareta Wahlström, today said: “The response from twitter users around the world is going to be a wonderful public tribute to all the hard work that goes on at community level to keep people safe from natural hazards and to value the contribution that each member of the community can make whether male or female, young or old, able bodied or disabled.”

With three days left to go, over 3.6 million tweets are already lined up to be sent at noon UTC on Monday in a thunderclap announcement in support of age inclusive disaster risk reduction. 

You can sign up and read the full message here. It’s not too late to join. Just click here:

You’ll find yourself in good company alongside the UN family, the Kofi Annan Foundation, the International Telecommunications Union, the World Meteorological Organization, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Christian Aid, the Tear Fund, ODI, the Axa Research Fund and UNISDR’s partner for this year’s campaign, HelpAge International whose CEO Toby Porter will be joining UNISDR’s Head of Regional Office, Sharon Rusu, for the main global event in Rustenburg, South Africa, on Monday, hosted by the South African government.

The day and the theme “Resilience is for life” are being used to boost age-inclusive disaster risk reduction across the world from Kathmandu to Canberra, and from Addis Ababa to Beijing. In Nepal, there will be an earthquake simulation at a home for older persons.

In the UK, there will be the London launch of HelpAge International’s new report “Resilience in an Ageing World” hosted by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Events listings can be checked on:

This is the fourth year of the Step Up Campaign which has focussed on addressing issues of marginalisation and exclusion for groups often deemed vulnerable to disasters rather than being prized for the unique insights they can bring to disaster management through their life experience, knowledge and understanding of risk. In previous years UNISDR has focussed on empowerment for children (2011); women and girls (2012) and the disabled (2013).

This year the focus is on older persons who die or are injured in disproportionately large number in disaster events. UNISDR and HelpAge International are conducting two surveys which will run until the end of the year.

One is soliciting the views of older persons living in disaster prone locations. People aged 60 and over are a resilient group of people. Early analysis of the survey responses shows that 79% claim to be able to evacuate on their own but that still leaves a very high number who need assistance.

Many report that they are never consulted on disaster management plans and are often ignorant about life-saving procedures such as early warnings and evacuation drills.

A second survey looks at attitudes among decision makers and government officials. Based on early analysis of the responses, 49% noted that older persons are assets to society because they have more experience in dealing with disasters as compared to other age groups. Some 85% believe older persons should be given special consideration compared to other members of the population, both to include their vulnerabilities, and to capitalize on their knowledge and experience.

HelpAge International and UNISDR are seeking to address this issue of exclusion and lack of empowerment through the launch of Charter14 on Monday which calls for stronger commitments to address policy shortcomings in the area of disaster management and older persons. Governments, donors and concerned organizations must acknowledge and fulfil older people’s rights and engage their capacities.

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