Communication in Disaster

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Effective communication during and immediately after a disaster connects first responders, support systems, and family members with the communities and individuals affected by the disaster.

For inclusive communication in case of a disaster:

  • Inform persons with disabilities, older persons and chronically ill persons who cannot leave their homes through door-to-door home visits, using trained volunteers .
  • Communicate through local representative organisations, like Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPD), Older Persons Associations (OPA) or Women's Organisations.
  • If using a megaphone or loudspeaker, be aware that not everyone will hear or understand the message. Use short and clear messages, for example: "EVACUATION! Meet outside of your house. NOW.".
  • Disseminate a list of organisations which specialize in providing services for women, persons with disabilities, older people or persons from other at-risk groups. 
  • An "Age and Disability Focal Point" (ADFP), which serves as an information, meeting and referral point, could be set-up in temporary settlements, camps or collective centres, with designated staff or volunteers. The focal point can make links between people and the specific services they require, such as assistive technology, rehabilitation or mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS).