Recent major disasters resulting from hurricanes and earthquakes have highlighted the importance of considering the needs of vulnerable people in the event of an emergency. In these situations, we have seen responders and community members step up to support vulnerable people when disaster strikes.
In the committee, Working Group 5 on Community Resilience has been responsible for the drafting of the draft standard based on research and experience gained from emergency situations across the globe. The WG includes representatives from over 20 countries and this work is led by Project Leader, Lisa Ficklin of Manchester University, UK, who explains that:
“This new Standard provides guidance on how to address the needs of vulnerable people not only immediately after a disaster, but also how to address long-term response and how to develop a plan to support vulnerable people in the event of an emergency.”
Circulation of this DIS will encourage feedback from a wide group of stakeholders to make the standard more globally relevant. According to Dr. Ficklin:
“In the aftermath of recent disasters, such as: hurricanes, floods, wild fires and earthquakes, organizations have developed best practices in supporting the needs of our most vulnerable citizens. We would like to hear from countries who have experience working with vulnerable people during emergencies.”
It is widely acknowledged that people who are vulnerable in emergencies require specific kinds of assistance. However, there is less understanding and guidance on how to recognise the individuals who are vulnerable in different emergency situations, and how to support them. This International Standard considers the preparatory measures for involving vulnerable people and their representatives in decisions made about assistance before, during and after an emergency.
Key features of ISO 22395
This International Standard provides organizations with guidance to identify, involve, communicate with and support vulnerable people in emergencies. It also includes guidance for continually improving the provision of support to vulnerable people in emergencies. Some of the topics covered include:
Identifying types of vulnerability
Communicating with vulnerable people in emergencies
How to provide practical support ( physical and psychosocial)
Planning for travel from the affected area and emergency sheltering
For a preview of this draft standard on the ISO Online Browsing Platform, click here
What can you do?
This standard is in the final voting stage before being published as an international standard, and is available for review and comment until November 29, 2017. It has been submitted to ISO member countries for voting. You can help to shape the final published standard by contacting your National Standard Body and get access to the document and submit your comments.
Your comments will be forwarded to the mirror committee responsible for developing your national position and voting on the draft standard.