Environmental health in emergencies


Factory amongst dwellings

Emergency prevention is based on vulnerability assessment and concerns the technical and organizational means of reducing the probability or consequences of disasters and the community's vulnerability.

To some extent, disasters and emergencies are preventable. Proper planning, and actions to reduce the probability of disasters from happening and decrease their likely impact can save lives and reduce disease. Preventive actions can also be very cost-effective compared to the costs in the case of a disaster.

Disasters can be prevented by:

    • raising awareness
    • learning from other disasters and emergencies
    • proper and sustainable management of land and infrastructure
    • putting in place early warning systems
    • developing national policies and recommendations.

For instance, constructing earthquake-resistant buildings, water supplies and sanitation systems in earthquake-prone regions, such as Japan, greatly reduces the consequences of future quakes.

Key resources



Other resources



Related sites