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The Parching of China> Backgrounder
UPDATED: May 17, 2009 NO. 20 MAY 21, 2009
China's Actions for Disaster Prevention and Reduction



6. Carrying out Disaster Reduction Work and Improving Disaster Prevention and Reduction Capability in Communities

Disaster reduction capability building in communities is being carried out in an all-round way. The ability of primary-level communities to fend off disaster risks has been gradually improved.

—Encouraging communities to establish disaster reduction work mechanisms. Promoted by governments at all levels, organizations responsible for disaster reduction work in communities have been gradually established throughout the country, standard disaster reduction rules have been formulated, disaster relief volunteer teams have been organized, and measures for the protection of vulnerable groups including children, senior citizens, the sick and the disabled have been formulated. An effective disaster reduction work mechanism has thereby been established.

—Guiding communities in drawing up plans for emergency response to disasters and carrying out related exercises on a regular basis. According to the General State Emergency Response Plan for Unexpected Public Emergencies, the State Emergency Relief Plan for Natural Disasters and other emergency response plans of local governments, the primary-level governments shall guide communities in formulating communities' emergency relief plans, defining emergency response working procedures, management responsibilities and joint coordination mechanisms in view of the local environment, the pattern of disaster occurrence and characteristics of community residents. With the support and help of related departments of the government, communities frequently organize residents to carry out emergency response exercises in various forms.

—Improving public facilities and equipment for disaster reduction in communities. With government financial support and active public participation, communities may use parks, green land, public squares, sports venues, parking lots, school playgrounds and other open spaces to establish emergency shelters, put up clear emergency safety signs and instruction boards, establish public education places (community disaster reduction classrooms, community libraries, leisure rooms for senior citizens, etc.) and facilities (boards, bulletins, etc.) for disaster reduction, and install necessary fire control and safety facilities for disasters as well as lifesaving appliances, in order to improve public disaster-reduction facilities and equipment.

—Organizing communities to carry out disaster-reduction publicity and education. Proceeding from their respective cultural and regional characteristics, communities may carry out disaster-reduction education in various forms at regular intervals, frequently post disaster-reduction publicity materials in community education venues, and formulate disaster-reduction educational plans based on their specific conditions, so as to enhance the residents' awareness of disaster prevention and reduction and comprehensive disaster-reduction capability.

—Setting up disaster-reduction demonstration communities. In 2007, the state began to establish disaster-reduction demonstration communities. By 2008, 284 communities had been awarded the title of "National Comprehensive Disaster-reduction Demonstration Community" by the state.

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