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<More Knowledge, Less Risk> Disaster Resilience Campaign Develops Community Network for Vulnerable Communities

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<More Knowledge, Less Risk> Disaster Resilience Campaign Develops Community Network for Vulnerable Communities

[中文翻譯版本即將推出]

[中文翻譯版本即將推出]

Continuing the efforts of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Disaster Preparedness and Response Institute (HKJCDPRI) and the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Lady MacLehose Centre (HKSKHLMC) Group and Community Work Unit for enhancing disaster preparedness capacities of sub-divided flat residents in Kwai Tsing district since 2017, the two organisations worked together again to extend efforts to more residents. The one-year new project "<More Knowledge, Less Risk> Disaster Resilience Campaign" was launched in 2019.

 

Previous literature found that establishment of a supportive social network would be one of the disaster mitigation strategies for socially vulnerable population and that social isolation should be reduced in order to lesson vulnerability. The "<More Knowledge, Less Risk> Disaster Resilience Campaign" aimed to develop community network for target sub-divided flat residents in Kwai Tsing district. The project also aimed to empower the resident with skills to prepare for and respond to emergencies; attain specific skills that they can take before and after a disaster happens; and attain knowledge that will make them more resilient when facing disasters. 

 

The campaign commenced by setting up regular stakeholder meetings among various concerned parties  including key members of property management offices, owners' corporations, residents representatives and the two project organisations for building safer sub-divided flat environments. Problems and solutions related to building a safer environment for sub-divided flat residents were discussed and planned. Action plans were undertaken to inspect, replace and install fire safety equipment; and display warning signs at high-risk locations. In terms of knowledge delivery to residents, on-street educational kiosks and household visits were conducted.

  

In the one-year period, the campaign had reached out to over 2,000 subdivided flat residents in the target sub-divided flat areas in Kwai Tsing district. In light of super typhoon Mangkhut that caused severe destruction in many areas of Hong Kong in 2018, the campaign conducted a quantitative survey titled “How Do Subdivided Flat Residents Being Affected By Typhoon” to assess residents' awareness towards typhoon preparedness and their needs in case of a super typhoon hit in future. 

 

Socially vulnerable populations should be provided with support to reduce social isolation, develop social connectedness and build social capital in order to improve their coping strategies to disasters and other emergency situations. Taking the lessons learned from this project, we recommend public agencies, NGOs and all community players to support communities living in vulnerable environments to develop relationships with the organisations that serve these communities in need. More studies are warranted to specifically examine the best community model to support communities living in vulnerable environments in Hong Kong and other similar cities.

 

 

A security guard at one of the target buildings put up a "Fire Exit Plate" at the common area to remind residents not to block fire escape exit.

 

The survey team talked to a tenant during household visits to sub-divided flats.