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Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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Groups With Special Needs

One can never be too prepared for an emergency. This is particularly true insofar as concerns pregnant women, children, physically and mentally challenged persons, and the elderly. However, preparations to face a potential disaster and the decisions made for the appropriate and timely protection of these groups before, during and after such events may well make the difference between safeguarding the lives and wellbeing of this population group, or exposing them to further physical and emotional damage.

In order for emergency preparations to be truly effective, the active participation of the inhabitants of the areas at risk is essential, as is that of government and nongovernmental institutions, and bilateral and international cooperation agencies. The proper participation of women, children, handicapped persons, and the elderly in preparation activities --- as individuals, as families, and as community groups--- as well as knowing how to act in the event of a calamity, will help to reduce the vulnerability of these population groups to such events.

These recommendations have been prepared with a view to facilitating the task of preparing for and mitigating the effects of emergencies, and in order to ensure adequate consideration of the needs of especially vulnerable groups. They address both general issues, and issues of specific concern for the prenatal and delivery care; contraceptive care; prevention and control of sexually transmitted diseases; care for children, the handicapped, and the elderly; and the prevention and care of cases of violence in domestic settings, or in shelters or temporary refuges. They are presented in the form of individual guidelines organized by subject.

General recommendations for populations in emergencies

Recommendations for prenatal care and delivery care in emergencies

Recommendations for contraceptive care in emergencies

Recommendations for the prevention and control of sexually transmitted diseases in emergencies.

Recommendations for care of children in emergencies

Recommendations for care of mentally or physically challenged persons and the elderly in emergencies

Recommendations for the prevention and care of cases of domestic violence in emergencies



Department of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

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Regional Office of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
Tel: +1 (202) 974-3000  Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663