October 13th marks the annual International Day for Disaster Reduction, coordinated by the United Nations Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), to get cities to play a more active role in protecting themselves against disaster. As part of its “Making Cities Resilient: My City is getting ready!” campaign, UNISDR will encourage more mayors and local governments to join the 118 cities that have already signed up to the global campaign, using it to raise awareness on how to build resilience to disasters and to publicize the "ten essentials" check list for making cities resilient to disaster. See the check list and get ideas of what others are doing at www.unisdr.org/campaign.
Many cities have been disrupted this year by disasters: earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and New Zealand; floods and heavy rainfalls in Pakistan, Eastern Europe, Mozambique and other parts of Africa; forest fires in Russia; and volcanic eruptions in Indonesia and Iceland. All have caused huge human suffering and economic damage. Cities have never been so at risk, and no city is immune. And more action is needed to anticipate the negative impacts of such disasters. Please send your plans how YOUR community, town, city or province is advancing in getting ready to firstname.lastname@example.org. UNISDR will post your plans and experience reports on its website.