In Pakistan, June’s unusually heavy monsoon rains led to floods killing over 1,700 people and impacting 33 million by destroying homes, agricultural lands, schools, hospitals and other critical infrastructure. As Pakistan grapples with the monumental task of rebuilding, it must also deal with a mounting public health and food security crisis.
There is no doubt that climate change contributed, that the impacts will be lingering and that the chances this will happen again in Pakistan and similarly vulnerable countries are high. While assistance from the national and international community has been forthcoming, two questions arise: (1) how to best channel assistance for maximum impact; and (2) how to prepare the population for future disasters.
We know that information is important. The right messaging at the right time, through appropriate media and from credible sources can save lives and livelihoods. Effective strategic messaging requires a deep understanding of the audience. Listening to at-risk communities before, during and after disasters can be the key to understanding what knowledge might keep them safe, and how best to provide other protective support.
Emani Rapid Surveys shed light on the extent to which those affected by floods felt prepared to deal with them. Spoiler alert: levels of preparedness were low and early warning communications using TV and radio as media was endorsed. Click here to view the data and here to read the insights.