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AIT publishes disaster preparedness manual: “More Sweat Less Blood”


A new disaster preparedness manual titled “More Sweat Less Blood” has been published by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) with collaborative support from the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System (IOTWS) Program, USAID.

The manual includes seven modules covering all aspects of disaster preparedness, including the role of local institutions in building up community resilience towards natural disasters such as tsunamis, cyclones, floods and droughts.

“More Sweat Less Blood”, by Mokbul Morshed Ahmad and Arvind Kumar, should be seen as a valuable new reference material for trainers and professionals in the field of disaster management and preparedness. In particular, non-governmental organizations, government agencies and community-based organizations will find the modules useful for their educational purposes. Various types of disaster have been detailed in terms of their severity and potential catastrophic consequences. Floods, cyclones, droughts, earthquakes and tsunamis have all been given due importance in this 71-page manual.

The publication also provides an overview of the changing perceptions of disaster and development within socio-economic framework. Significantly, it delves into the specific issues and unique concerns of the most vulnerable sections of society affected by disaster, such as those of women, persons with disabilities and the elderly.

Relief and rehabilitation scenarios are also given ample space in the publication. In most post disaster situations, quickness of coordination is critical to ensure a speedy recovery. Thus, Ahmad and Kumar stress the need to share these issues with all stakeholders of the disaster management community to develop a common understanding for proactive and speedy action to be taken. In the face of disasters, it is always essential to optimize limited resources for maximum benefits, the authors say.

In “More Sweat Less Blood”, disaster preparedness has been classified into structural and non-structural; whereas shelter, water, sanitation and other necessary types of infrastructure are important to prepare the community for potential future disasters. Risk and vulnerability assessment, awareness on early warning systems, evacuation route mapping, and formulation of preparedness plans are incorporated into the non-structural preparedness framework.

Both the Hyogo Framework 2005-2015 and the World Disaster Report 2005 have been given due importance in terms of disaster management. The current debate on integrating disaster management into development planning has drawn the attention of policy makers, planners and implementing agencies. As such, this AIT prepared manual should be required reading for those interested to strengthen their institutional capabilities through information, communication and technology as a way to cope with the future disasters. Already, the authors say, the ICT revolution and the transfer of technology to developing countries have made many communities less vulnerable. Going further, this manual suggests appropriate strategies for the use of communication technologies like mobile phones and pagers as early warning instruments during disasters.

Ahmad, M.M. and Kumar, A. (2007). More Sweat Less Blood, Bangkok: AIT/USAID, pp.71.

More Sweat Less Blood is available for purchase at the following book shops:

In Thailand
Asia Books Co., Ltd. (Head office),
5 Sukhumvit Rd., Soi 61 Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Telephone: +662715-9000 Ext-3518
Fax: +662715-9154
Email: chen@asiabooks.com
Website: www.asiabooks.com

In Bangladesh
A.H. Development Publishing House
143, Dhaka New Market
Dhaka- 1205
Telephone: 88-02-8627650
Mobile: 01715022927
E-mail: aynul01@bdonline.com