The frequency and severity of natural disasters have been increasing, and experts point to climate change as one of the culprits.
While an average of 12 disasters took place per year in the first half of the 20th century, that number reached an astounding 350 in 2004.
The human suffering caused by natural disasters is most profoundly felt in developing countries, particularly poverty-stricken nations that lack the resources to cope with their aftermath. Countries with a low Human Development Index ranking suffer higher mortality rates from disasters.
In addition, catastrophic disasters often result in enormous economic damage, sometimes exceeding the gross domestic product of low-income countries. While natural disasters are devastating for anyone who experiences them, children are the most vulnerable, due to their small size and relative inability to care for themselves.
Children are more likely than adults to perish during natural disasters or succumb to malnutrition, injuries or disease in the aftermath.
Natural disasters may force children out of their homes – or even their countries. They may become orphaned or separated from their families, and may be preyed upon by opportunistic adults.
This makes it very important for parents to educate themselves and their families on climate change and take an active part in programmes or efforts to prepare for the effects of climate change.
Emergency Preparedness and Risk Reduction
Children must be the first priority in risk-reduction efforts. Specific risks that exist for children and their caregivers, and the actions that might be taken to counter those risks, should be determined in addition to risk-reduction strategies for populations at large.
Risk-reduction initiatives should be designed to educate families and children about simple and practical actions that can protect life and personal property in the event of natural disaster.
Effective awareness programmes in schools, homes and communities can create a culture of prevention and empowerment.
To ensure effective, timely and dependable responses, emergency preparedness measures, oriented specifically to children and women, must be in place.
Children, families, communities and basic-service providers must be ready to meet health, nutrition, education and security needs when a disaster occurs.
Since poverty often prevents people from taking preventive measures – and given that it is not the disaster alone but also vulnerability levels that determine the impact of any crisis – the underlying vulnerability of families must be reduced through poverty reduction and other measures.
As disasters have the greatest impact on the vulnerable, their needs must be specifically addressed by response strategies, and vulnerable people should participate in preparing these strategies to ensure their relevance.
Get more on climate change at
There are many sites from which you can get information on climate change.
During family time, goggle climate change and do research with your children and let the whole family learn together.