Persons with disabilities and seniors now have a guide to help them prepare for possible disasters. The guide, titled Are you Ready? Nova Scotia’s Guide to Disaster Preparedness: Tips for Persons with Disabilities, Tips for Frail or Older Seniors, provides education on disaster preparedness tailored to meet the needs of persons with various disabilities and frail and older seniors. “First responders do everything they can to reach those most in need during an emergency,” said David Morse, acting Minister of Emergency Management. “However, everyone should be personally prepared in case disaster strikes, particularly persons with disabilities, seniors, or others who may have specific dietary requirements or medical needs.” “Often there is more complex planning and preparation that needs to take place to ensure the basic needs of seniors and persons with disabilities are met and they are safe for up to 72 hours after an emergency,” said Judy Streatch, Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Disabled Persons Commission. “The booklet gets them thinking about what their special needs may be in the event of an emergency or disaster and acts as a resource guide.” The booklet is the creation of The Persons with Disabilities and Seniors Emergency Preparedness Committee of Nova Scotia, a group of agencies from government and the private sector that aims to prepare Nova Scotians for all types of large scale emergencies or disasters. The publication provides tips on how to prepare, respond and recover from disasters and includes disaster kit lists designed specifically for people with certain vulnerabilities. Twenty-five-thousand copies are being distributed through the Disabled Persons Commission and the Department of Seniors. “This guide speaks to the needs of older seniors and provides clear information on how they should prepare for an emergency,” said Len Goucher, acting Minister of Seniors. “It’s another positive step to integrating seniors in emergency preparedness planning and in creating safer communities.” The booklet is available in French, English, audio and braille. A DVD has also been prepared in American Sign Language. Anyone interested in getting a copy of the booklet can contact The Disabled Persons Commission at 1-800-565-8280 or 902-424-2667. They can also contact the Department of Seniors at 1-800-670-0065.
Ban said that 2015 has brought “breakthrough and horror”, and added that the UN will continue to strengthen itself, including through wide-ranging assessments of peace operations, peacebuilding and our future role and capacities. (Colombo Gazette) Despite the “daunting” situations, Ban said that political progress and smooth transfers of power over the past year, including in Sri Lanka and Nigeria is encouraging. As 2015 draws to a close, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that among the highlights of this year was the changes which took place in Sri Lanka. Speaking at his year-end press conference, Ban summed up the “pivotal year” in which the UN marked its 70th anniversary by highlighting landmark steps taken to advance sustainable development, climate action, conflict resolution and provision of humanitarian assistance.