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Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
WED7.4: Local action and community empowerment
Time: Wednesday, 29/Aug/2012: 6:55pm - 8:00pm

Poster Session


Rural areas in Turkey and their reasons being vulnerable

Didem Gunes YILMAZ


Many researchers state that 92% of land of Turkey is on high seismic risk area, thus 95% of total population is under risk of earthquakes. They also draw attention to life loss in the last 60 years and financial loss due to collapses of buildings. Memorable earthquakes in the last two decades in Turkey are: Erzincan earthquake in 1992, which had a magnitude of 6.8. This tremor destroyed or damaged 5500 buildings and caused 544 fatalities including central and rural areas and 728 serious injuries. Another memorable earthquake was in Bingol in 2003, with a magnitude of 6.2 and resulted in 177 deaths and 520 injuries. It is also reported that 56% of all building stocks became unavailable to use in the entire province and more notable case is, only in three village 398 building units were reported as heavily damaged. Very recently, 2011, two seperate earthquake stroke the province of Van. 644 people lost their lives and 31% of building stocks, including central and rural areas, were damaged heavily by two tremors. The common features of the earthquakes above-mentioned is that all happened in Eastern Turkey and all affected mainly rural settlements and communities. After 1970s the policy of urbanization accelerated throughout the country, but livelihood depending on farming and animal husbandry and other cultural factors make people staying in their rural settlements and environments. In some provinces of Turkey, almost 50% of the communities live in rural areas. In rural areas, people build their shelter mainly with local materials and traditional techniques by themselves respect to low cost and protect theirselves and animals from bad weather. Since they do not consider any seismic loads or have any engineering consultation when they build their units, when an earthquake happens they face the risk of losing their shelters or their lives.

Community empowerment for effective corporate supply chain logistics in the present economic crisis



The present world is in the crossroads of both rapid progress and at the same time carries dangerous ingredients of regress. Progress in terms of globalization, industrialization, advanced medical science, information technology and regress in terms of environmental degradation, terror attacks, and now the economic crises.

In such challenging times, it calls for retrospection to rearrange the way logistics reach people as natural disasters seem to be occurring too often.

In simple language logistics involve a huge array of activities-involving a variety of stakeholders- government, corporates, suppliers, distributers, transporters etc. ln the present economic situation it is important none of the resources gets wasted and effectively reaches the affected people.

This paper proposes of not only involving multiple stakeholders like the government, UN agencies, Corporates, but, also the people at the community level in both pre-disaster and post disaster in terms of receiving basic disaster management training and creating an inventory for their own survival. This mechanism is helpful both the developing and developed countries. For example; be it the Nuclear Disaster in Japan, or Hurricane Katrina, the world’s most developed countries were reduced to a third world spectacle owing to people’s over-dependency on the federal government. Therefore, globally people are affected by the global crises it is important people at the community level get empowered to handle other crises situations effectively and resourcefully.

Empowerment of the community after a fire - residents' meeting as psycho-social intervention


1City of Vantaa, Finland, Finland, Republic of; 2City of Helsinki, Finland, Finland, Republic of

The poster presents a model of psycho-social community support after a fire. The model depicts the organising and content of the residents' meeting.

Fires are common everyday accidents in Finland. There are annually 6,000 - 7,000 fires involving buildings. Over 95% of the fires leading to death break out in residential environs. A fire always touches the whole community and there can be several people needing psycho-social support. In addition to the residents of the accommodation in which the fire occurred, the neighbours and people in the immediate vicinity may need support.

Community psycho-social support plays a significant part in recovery from a fire. We cover the importance of the psycho-social community support in regard to the resilience of the individual and community. At the individual level, the resilience is affected by personal characteristics, as well as by the external environment, social relationships and other psycho-social factors. A person is part of his or her environment and should also be helped by his or her community. The environment affects an individual's ability to make decisions and act. To develop the resilience, residents need information about what happened, as well as instructions regarding how to act. The residents' meeting is a significant form of community support. The experience of surviving affects how people recover. When the whole community is supported their individual resilience will also develop.

We present a model depicting the organising and content of the residents' meeting. The residents' meeting as a community form of psycho-social support is being developed in the Social and Crisis Services of the Cities of Helsinki and Vantaa, Finland.

Developing a comprehensive model for disaster resilient community

Muhammad Taghi AGHABABAEI1, Muhamad Reza FARZAD BEHTASH1, Esmaeil SALEHI2, Hajar SARMADI3

1Research and Planning Center of Tehran Municipality, Iran, Islamic Republic of; 2Tehran University, Environmental Department; 3Iran Water Resource Management Co.

Urbanization is a complex dynamic process playing out over multiple scales of space and time. There is a lot of definition of resiliency which has been determined by scholars and institutions. Resilience determines the persistence of relationships within a system and is a measure of the ability of these systems to absorb change of state variable, driving variables, and parameters, and still persist”. Local resiliency with regard to disasters means that a locale is able to withstand an extreme natural event without suffering devastating losses, damage, diminished productivity, or quality of life and without a large amount of assistance from outside the community. Resilience provides the capacity to absorb shocks while maintaining function. When change occurs, resilience provides the components for renewal and reorganization vulnerability is the pre-event, inherent characteristics or qualities of systems that create the potential for harm or differential ability to recover following an event. Vulnerability is a function of the exposure (who or what is at risk) and the sensitivity of the system (the degree to which people and places can be harmed). Vulnerability arises from the intersection of human systems, the built environment, and the natural environment. The most obvious factor contributing to community vulnerability is location or proximity to hazard-prone areas such as coasts, floodplains, seismic zones, potential contamination sites, and so forth. For example, communities on barrier islands are more physically vulnerable to flooding and hurricane-related damages than those inland. Poorly constructed buildings and infrastructure, inadequately maintained public infrastructure, commercial and industrial development, and housing stock all enhance the vulnerability of the built environment in communities. This article intends to find dimensions and components of environment resilient communities by considering different models and frameworks of resiliency. Finally, the environment resiliency model is proposed based on cause network.

Reconstituting community in the aftermath of nuclear terrorism


University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, United States of America

Nuclear terrorism is a real and urgent threat, according to assessments by the U.S. and other governments and by nongovernment experts. Mohamed ElBaradei, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency and winner of the 2005 Noble Peace Prize, stated in 2009 that, “Nuclear terrorism is the most serious danger the world is facing.” A convergence of factors – raw materials, technical know-how, and motivation – lead to this dire assessment: The global stockpile of fissile materials is enough to make more than 120,000 crude nuclear devices. Should terrorist get their hands on fissile materials, information is publicly available to help them build a device. Known terrorist groups have expressed interest in making nuclear weapons.

Present U.S. policies for managing the consequences of a nuclear detonation focus predominantly on immediate life-saving measures; when recovery is addressed at all, it is typically in the narrow context of radioactive cleanup standards, decontamination technologies, and risk communication strategies. Not well considered are the psychosocial and economic deprivations that could befall those people displaced – either temporarily or permanently – from the stricken area. The numbers are not trivial. U.S. government guidance indicates that to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure, many people will be relocated for a long period of time, from months to year, even at large distances downwind. Recent modeling for one major U.S. city indicates that, in the case of a 10-kiloton detonation, 100s of 1000s of people could be dislocated.

This presentation will expand current U.S. policy discussions about recovery following a nuclear attack on a major city to include mass population displacement, return, and resettlement issues –overcoming the sole focus on challenges at ground zero and addressing a nuclear detonation’s more distributed effects. The presentation will also consider potential ways to enhance U.S. domestic policy on internally displaced persons.

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