Role of Social Workers in Community Disaster Management

Role of Social Workers in Community Disaster Management

Community-based disaster management (CBDM) is an approach to building the capacity of communities to assess their vulnerability to both human induced and natural hazards and develop strategies and resources necessary to prevent and/or mitigate the impact of identified hazards as well as respond, rehabilitate, and reconstruct following its onset. CBDM strategies have become increasingly important in the face of global climate change, increased populations expanding into more vulnerable regions, and the heightened recognition of a need for greater linkages between top-down governmental and community level responses. CBDM empowers communities to be pro-active in disaster management and creates a space for them to develop strategies on their own terms rather than waiting for already overstretched governments and NGO's. In CBDM, social workers paly the following vital roles, such as-





§  Engage in public awareness campaign about disasters.
§  Coordinating disaster management and development activities
§  Community capacity building at the social, economic and environmental levels.
§  Enhancing community preparedness for disasters and in building social capital
§  Educating people on how to mitigate the consequences of disasters during relief, recovery and reduction of preventive strategies periods.
§  Playing a monumental role in providing psychological support e.g. counselling for disaster survivors.
§  Tracking people down for family reunions after disasters.
§  Communication particularly utilizing interpersonal communication for disseminating warning signals.
§  Recruiting local volunteers who are familiar with the local logistics, resource and coordination plans.
§  A contingent of trained community organizers and policy advocates is the group most capable of promoting the needs of marginalized citizens who are displaced or who have returned but are living in substandard conditions.

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