The United Nations has come out with an online survey which aims to prepare persons with disabilities to help themselves in the event of a disaster. Conducted by UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and partners, the survey focuses on issues such as the ability to protect and evacuate oneself before a potential disaster.
According to UNISDR, this is the first survey of its kind and the data gathered could help governments and international organisations put in place preparedness policies aiming to protect persons with disabilities around the world during disasters. It includes questions about knowledge, awareness and participation in disaster management plans at national and local level.
"The survey will focus on a major blind spot in disaster management, the needs of the one billion or more people estimated to live with some form of disability," said Margareta Wahlstrom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction. "This survey has the potential to provide a very revealing insight into how we can reduce disaster risk for people living with disabilities which can then be included in the new global agreement on disaster risk reduction which will be in place by 2015," Wahlstrom added.
The survey results will be announced on International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction which is marked each year on October 13. UNISDR said it is working closely with UN Enable, the Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Network for Asia and the Pacific and other partners on implementing the survey.