The purpose of this paper is to define and discuss the concept of zero-order responders (ZOR). It explores the potential lessons and the additive value that assimilation of responses of disaster-affected people into disaster risk reduction (DRR) and disaster risk management (DRM) programs can provide.
In order to support this concept, the authors review two recent extreme hydrometeorological events, illustrating how local populations cope with disasters during the period before external support arrives. Additionally, the authors address their under-leveraged role in the management of recovery. The empirical evidence was collected by direct observations during the 2017 El Niño Costero-related floods in Peru, and by the review of press following 2017 hurricanes Irma and Maria destruction in Puerto Rico.
During disasters, there is a window of time before official and/or external support arrives. During this period, citizens must act unsupported by first responders – devising self-coping strategies in order to survive. In the days, weeks and months following a disaster, local populations are still facing recovery with creativity.
Citing references arguing for or against the value of documenting survivor methods to serve as a testimony for the improvement of DRR programming.
DRR and DRM must integrate local populations and knowledge into DRR planning to improve partnerships between communities and organizations.
The actions and experiences of citizens pro-acting to pave fruitful futures is a valuable commentary on improvements for DRR and management.
This paper proposes a citizen-centered contribution to future disaster risk reducing actions. This approach emphasizes the reinterpretation of local responses to disasters. DRRs and DRMs growth as fields would value from heralding ZOR coping and improvisation skills, illustrated under stressful disaster-related conditions, as an additive resource to programming development.
Briones, F., Vachon, R. and Glantz, M. (2019), "Local responses to disasters: recent lessons from zero-order responders", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 119-125. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-05-2018-0151Download as .RIS
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