International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

Newsletter ISDR Inform - Latin America and the Caribbean
Issue: 13/2006- 12/2006 - 11/2005 - 10/2005 - 9/2004 - 8/2003 - 7/2003 - 6/2002 - 5/2002 - 4/2001- 3/2001

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Prevention Pays


pormedi.gif (5471 bytes)Guidebook on Social Communication and Disaster Prevention
(only in spanish)

This Guidebook, a product of the 1998 IDNDR World Disaster Reduction Campaign, is aimed at helping journalists and other media workers to write about natural disasters, using a variety of channels, in a way that is useful to the population – rather than frightening and incapacitating – and encourages a culture of prevention.

Recommendations include a wider dissemination of public information related to disasters and the media, as well as more careful planning by public institutions when it comes to designing their awareness-raising campaigns. Social communicators must be trained in socially responsible disaster coverage, say the authors, who demand from media workers greater technical knowledge of the issues surrounding natural disasters. They must also include disaster prevention in their ethics codes. The target audience for this guidebook includes journalists, photojournalists, editors, talk-show hosts, publishers, and students of journalism.

Available at CRID and the IDNDR Regional Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean.


cd.gif (4378 bytes)Virtual Library – CD-ROM available now

PAHO/WHO, CRID and IDNDR have produced a CD-ROM containing more than 200 full-text documents about disaster reduction and management, including documents produced by these organizations and other relevant institutions, such as Costa Rica’s National Emergency Commission. A comprehensive library can now be carried around in one’s pocket. Formats used make it possible for the documents to be available from any Internet or Intranet server; they can also be printed directly. This initiative has been co-financed with ECHO (DIPECHO), Sweden (IDNDR) and PAHO.

Available at CRID and at PAHO/WHO websites from July
1999, for more information:


porbibl.gif (7712 bytes)Latest BIBLIODES Issue Focuses on Hurricanes

The 26th issue of BIBLIODES, now available, focuses on hurricanes, a timely topic given the devastation caused by Georges and Mitch in Central America and the Caribbean in 1998, and the forecasts of another severe hurricane season this year.

A series of papers on hurricane preparedness and response have been included, in addition to the usual extensive bibliography of documents available from the Regional Disaster Information Centre for Latin America and the Cari-bbean.


pordex.gif (4088 bytes)Desindex

A bibliographic index produced by the Regional Disaster Information Centre (CRID), Desindex is a listing of all of the disaster prevention, mitigation or response literature compiled recently by CRID. It includes all the information fed into the DESASTRES bibliographic database, processed using the CDSISIS system and the LILACS methodology developed by BIREME, the PAHO Health Sciences Information Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean, which has gained wide acceptance throughout the hemisphere.


CRID hopes that its efforts will contribute to disseminating valuable information
on disaster reduction. Comments and recommendations are welcome.

For more information, please contact:
Centro Regional de Información sobre Desastres para América Latina y el Caribe (CRID)
Tel. (506) 296-3952, Fax (506)
Web site:

porquim.gif (7528 bytes)Chemical Accidents: Health Care Aspects. Guidebook for Preparedness and Response

This guidebook contains three sections. The General Guidelines help managers and decision makers in the development of appropriate policies for the prevention of chemical accidents and the best ways to prepare for them and respond to such events. The Practical Guidelines discuss preparedness and response from a more detailed and technical standpoint, and are aimed at Operational Staff in the field. The third section, "Synthesis: Essential Practical Actions", is a checklist of the basic measures that need to be taken into account when it comes to prevention, preparedness and response initiatives. Its target audience includes administrative officials who must develop contingency plans for a potential chemical accident. Two annexes and a comprehensive bibliography round out the guidebook, which should provide welcome advice on this thorny but increasingly more relevant issue.


For more information, please contact:
Pan-American Health Organization
Regional Office of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20037, USA
Web site:


video.GIF (4496 bytes)VIDEO

As part of the promotion through the final phase of the decade into the future, IDNDR has produced a video on the theme International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction: For a sustainable future in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Supported financially by OFDA-USAID and with footage from a wide range of partners and organizations in the region this audiovisual make a wide picture of achievemnets and challenges for risk reduction in the region.

Available at the Regional IDNDR Unit and CRID


Information Management: the Use of the Internet

What do El Niño and hurricanes Georges and Mitch have in common? Aside from being disasters that affected Latin America and the Caribbean in the past year, they share one other characteristic: the unprecedented degree of coverage they received over the Internet. The world’s largest network of networks made it easy to assemble and disseminate information about these devastating natural phenomena. Experts managed to exchange queries, experiences and expertise over the Net, both among themselves and in virtual conversations with decision makers and concerned citizens. However, the Internet has no built-in filters to keep out erroneous or misleading information. National institutions entrusted with disaster prevention and management have been advised to seek out the help of international organizations and civil society in the establishment of authoritative Web sites and mailing lists where reputable experts can refute inaccurate reports, analyze the most current and reliable information, and express it in a way that is understandable – and useful – to ordinary citizens.

For more information, please visit the following Web site: