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Faster than the catastrophe

In the year 2021, the alliance “Aktion Deutschland hilft” which we are a member of is getting 20 years old. Together with the other organizations in the alliance we are focusing on disaster preparedness. With the campaign “be faster than the catastrophe”, the alliance is underlining its relevance and urgency.

The text "be faster than a tsunami" and in teh background a huge wave in the ocean with black sky.
Englisch: Be faster than a Tsunami. Save lifes with your donation.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts and heavy rainfall: Global warming is causing a sharp increase in natural disasters and extreme weather events. People in developing and emerging countries are particularly affected by the impacts – but they are often left unprotected. However, the impact of these natural events can be mitigated. The better prepared a country is for impending natural disasters, the more people survive and the less humanitarian aid has to be provided afterwards. 

Disaster preparedness is saving lives

AWO International has been active in disaster prevention since 2014. The measures of disaster prevention are very versatile and always individually adapted to the conditions of the country. In countries where flooding is frequent for example, planting mangroves along the coasts is helpful. These trees then serve as a protective wall against approaching water masses and rising sea levels. People can be better protected from earthquakes if they receive special risk training and learn how to build their houses to be earthquake-proof. In regions struggling with severe droughts, grain and water storage facilities help to protect people from famine. Above all, constructive networking is crucial to the success of our projects, as is the training of volunteers who can then disseminate the knowledge they have learned to the community in the long term. 

Felix Neuhaus, Coordinator Humanitarian Aid at AWO International, is an expert in disaster risk reduction and focuses on volunteering and cooperation. In an interview with Aktion Deutschland Hilft, he is talking about how disaster preparedness works and why networking is important. 

You can see what disaster preparedness looks like in our photo gallery:

That's how your donation works

Disaster preparedness prevents suffering before it happens! With your donation, we prepare people in our project regions for disasters by carrying out the following measures, for example: 

  • We build disaster preparedness groups that assess risks and develop emergency plans 
  • We are expanding our networking activities and bringing state actors together with civil society actors and involving local media so that acceptance in society is increased 
  • We promote social structures in the communities and strengthen them sustainably in order to train multipliers 
  • We implement early warning systems in endangered project regions so people are getting warned of tsunamis, earthquakes or hurricanes 
  • We provide those potentially at risk with emergency equipment, such as an emergency backpack 
  • We are developing inclusive emergency maps that depict households with people with disabilities so they can be evacuated quickly in the event of an emergency 
  • We train our participants in first aid and conduct regular trainings 
  • We build dams, distribute rescue rings and get boats to protect people from floods 
  • We set up emergency shelters to provide rapid protection in the event of a disaster 
  • We carry out hygiene measures and distribute mosquito nets, among other things, to protect against malaria, dengue fever, COVID-19 and diarrheal diseases, etc. 


Thank you very much for your donation to us or to our alliance Aktion Deutschland Hilft with the donation keyword "Katastrophenvorsorge". 

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