Disaster Risk Reduction and Crisis Response

This page features disability news on Disaster Risk Reduction and Crisis Response from the Debrief Library. See also news on other subjects.


California’s power outages are a life-and-death issue. The impacts of storms for people with disabilities, powerfully illustrated by Alice Wong's own experience and potential harm she would face during a power outage. (Jan, High Country News)

Towards more inclusive disaster risk-management policies (Nov, World Bank)

Guidance Note on Disability Inclusion in Disaster Risk Management Operations An Exploration of Good Practices and Resources. (Sep, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery)

Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DIDRR) Critical Insights and Good Practices from the Field (link to pdf, CBM)

Including Persons with Disabilities in Disaster Risk Reduction: A Research Study from Eight Countries around the world:

“The study revealed that most disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction initiatives come from non-governmental stakeholders, rather than government agendas aimed at prioritizing and institutionalizing disability inclusion. These initiatives are often reactive (following disaster responses by governments and I/NGOs) or project-based (externally funded instead of being included in the annual budget planning), which raises concerns about the sustainability of these actions and the DiDRR itself.” (May, Relief Web)

UNDRR page on disability inclusion in disaster risk reduction including description of how disability is included in its Strategic Framework 2022-2025. (Jan)

Working paper on the The Risks and Outcomes of Getting Help for Marginalised People: Navigating Access to Social Assistance in Crises. Includes a section on persons with disabilities. (Feb, IDS)

High Risk in Conflicts for Children with Disabilities “Armed conflict takes a devastating toll on children with disabilities, yet governments and the UN have not done nearly enough to protect them." (Feb, Human Rights Watch)

Bridging the divide understanding collaborative action in disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction through socio-cultural activity theory: exploring the collaboration between people with and without disabilities. (Jan, Emerald)


Disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction and measuring progress against the Sendai Framework. (Sep, The Interpreter)


Flood Response Failed to Protect Most at Risk. “Human Rights Watch found that New South Wales and local authorities did not provide adequate flood warnings, evacuation, or rescue support, leaving older people, people with disabilities, and those who were pregnant facing life-threatening circumstances with little government assistance.” (Nov, Human Rights Watch)

"I'm about to drown": one phone call Sam Connor received during the recent floods. (Mar, Hireup)

Pleas for NSW flood survivors with disability to be prioritised for urgent housing, care. (Mar, ABC News)

Floods can worsen inequality. Here are 4 ways we can ensure people with disabilities aren't left behind (Apr, the Conversation)


Interview with CBM Programmes director on how peer groups have enabled disabled people to participate in disaster risk reduction (Feb, CBM Australia)


Cyclone Fiona: people with disabilities need more support in extreme storms (Oct, the Conversation)


Flooding: Disability Inclusion must be a priority in Disaster Risk Reduction. (Jul, EDF)

EDF welcomes regional roadmap to resilience on the adoption of the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR) Roadmap 2021-2030, which recognises persons with disabilities are more at risk during such crises. (Dec, EDF)

Review of Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Policy across Europe and Central Asia. As well as countries with informal links with organizations of persons with disabilities, Italy and Serbia have disabled people's representatives engaged formally in working groups on disaster management. No country systematically disaggregates information by disability in DRR information systems. See also a collection of further resources on disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction. (Dec, EDF)


Status of Disability Inclusion in Disaster Risk Management (Jun, The Sangyan)


Australian NGOs enabling disability-inclusive disaster prep in Pacific (Mar, Pro Bono)

Pacific Disaster Ready: Disability inclusion tip sheets. (Sep, CBM Australia)


In response to the floods: Rapid Needs Assessment of Older People. “87% of older people in flood-affected areas of Pakistan have a health condition, but only 51% have access to health care, while government and UN assessment reports are largely ignoring their needs and rights.” (Oct, HelpAge)

The hidden victims of Pakistan’s floods: the elderly. (Oct, Aljazeera)

Women, disabled, and poor more vulnerable during natural disasters. (Aug, South Asia News)

United States

How California’s emergency plans fail disabled communities (Jan, High Country News)

Majority of disabled people never go home after disasters. “Census Bureau data released Thursday shows that people with disabilities are far more likely than anyone else to face major hardships including displacement from their homes due to a major disaster.” (Jan, E&E News)

Many of Hurricane Ian’s Victims Were Older Adults Who Drowned. (Oct, New York Times)

Texans with Disabilities During Winter Storm Uri. A qualitative study that shows:

“the hardships people with a wide range of disabilities experienced during this cascading disaster, including the inability to power life-giving medical equipment and the intensification of pain and health problems due to the loss of heat and water. Findings also show that participants were not passive victims in the face of these life-threatening challenges; disabled people and parents of those with severe disabilities went to extraordinary lengths to survive and to help others survive the disaster, including providing and receiving critical forms of care from family and community members during the storm. In addition, the study illuminates the short-term impacts of Winter Storm Uri and its long-term consequences, which some participants were still negotiating a year later.” (Sep, Natural Hazards Center)

New Interactive Maps Help Inform Disability-Inclusive Disaster Planning (Oct, Mathematica)