People need information as much as water, food, medicine or shelter. Information can save lives, livelihoods and resources. It may be the only form of disaster preparedness that the most vulnerable can afford. The right kind of information leads to a deeper understanding of needs and ways to respond. The wrong information can lead to inappropriate, even dangerous interventions. This is the premise of the IFRC’s 2005 World Disasters Report, which focuses on information in disaster situations.
This year’s report considers the quality of the communication that takes place between those involved in disasters and what impact this information has on the people caught up in a crisis. The report calls on agencies to focus less on gathering information for their own needs and more on exchanging information with the people they seek to support. Download the report from the IFRC web site at www.ifrc.org.