Community contingency plan for emergency response should consider the specific needs and rights, as well as capacities of people from different at-risk groups. Plans should be developed with meaningful participation of women, men and children with diverse disabilities and cultural backgrounds and across all age groups.
The contingency planning presents a new opportunity to support inclusion of persons with disabilities if the Hazard, Vulnerability Capacity Assessment (HVCA) process was not inclusive in first place. It is not too late to increase participation and adapt activities to support inclusion.
An inclusive contingency plan should be based on potential disaster scenarios and cover as a minimum: accessible and inclusive early warning systems, evacuation and rescue, shelter and relief management, first aid and medical support, individual and household preparedness.
Key considerations for making contingency planning inclusive:
- Ensure representation of persons from different at-risk groups and their family members in the decision-making process. Make extra efforts to include persons who are most likely to be left out, including women and girls with disabilities, persons with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities, deaf persons and persons from linguistic minorities.
- Identify opportunities for persons from at-risk groups to participate in DRR task forces and committees and to take on positions of responsibility (including, but not limited to, monitoring inclusion in disaster risk management, supporting communication and early warning or supporting trainings and awareness raising).
- Include specific measures for different at-risk groups where necessary so that they do not miss out on receiving the required support and relief during disaster.
- Ensure that necessary resources are identified to support inclusive practices included in the contingency plan. For example, where households with persons with reduced mobility, who need additional support in evacuating their homes, were identified, the corresponding evacuation plan should account for these needs and allocate responsibilities and resources accordingly.
- Cross-check the draft contingency plans with the local representative organisations who can offer feedback and provide advice on how to adapt plans to be more inclusive.
Tips for making contents of the contingency plans accessible to all:
- Extract key messages from the plan and present in alternative formats to support multiple communication needs.
- Illustrate evacuation routes on walls, murals or place signposts around the community indicating routes to take.
- Use leaflets, posters, street theatre to communicate important messages, and raise awareness of services available.
- Put up lists and photos of people who have specific responsibilities in the event of a disaster.