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Keywords:

  • community-based disaster preparedness (CBDP);
  • emergency preparedness;
  • information technology;
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs)

A critical component of community-based disaster preparedness (CBDP) is a local resource database of suppliers providing physical, information and human resources for use in disaster response. Maintenance of such a database can become a collaborative responsibility among community-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and public and private community organisations. In addition to mobilising resources, this process raises awareness within the community and aids in assessing local knowledge and resources. This paper presents the results of a pilot study on implementing a community-based resource database through collaboration with local American Red Cross chapters and public and private community organisations. The design of the resource database is described. The resource database is accessible via the internet and offline using laptops and handheld Personal Digital Assistants. The study concludes that CBDP is strengthened through a combination of appropriate information technology and collaborative relationships between NGOs and community-based organisations.