Children who are alone at home during a disaster see as a vulnerable group
Finally, a specific group of children was perceived to be particularly vulnerable – those with parents working full-time and who may, therefore, be alone at home and without support and guidance in case of a disaster. At the same time, though, children were seen as not only generally vulnerable but also as having skills their parents may not have; these may be more up-to-date First Aid skills due to courses and drills at school – “children are being taught First Aid, even the young ones, so they know what they have to do” – but also language skills: “Children have to go to clinics or employment or tax agencies with their parents because they can speak English or Maltese and their parents cannot”. In such cases, children could become key communicators in disaster situations.
- Develop guidelines for disaster practitioners that take into consideration the different needs of and approaches to different ethnical groups
- Develop culturally aware disaster preparedness and response training
- Consider vulnerable groups when designing and implementing disaster response measures
- Empower vulnerable groups (i.e. children, elderly, and people with disabilities) by including them in disaster management decision-making and actions
- Use cultural factors to improve the effectiveness of disaster communication