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.
- Accidentes quimicos: Aspectos relativos a la salud (1998) - in Spanish [pdf 982kb]
Environmental health in emergencies and disasters: a practical guide (2002)
- Guidelines for drinking-water quality (2006)
- Public health and chemical incidents. Guidance for national and regional policy-makers in the public/environmental health roles (1999) [pdf 1.2Mb]
- OECD guiding principles for chemical accident prevention, preparedness and response (2003) [pdf 1.34Mb]
- Health aspects of chemical accidents: guidance on chemical accident awareness, preparedness and response for health professionals and emergency responders. OECD Environment Monograph No. 81 (1994)
- Chemical safety information from intergovernmental organizations (including International Chemical Safety Cards, Poison Information Monographs, and Environmental Health Criteria Monographs)
- Environmental management for vector control (1988)
- Fact sheets on environmental sanitation
- Household water treatment and safe storage following emergencies and disasters [pdf 840kb]
- Ionizing radiation fact sheets, information sheets and press statements
- Vector-borne disease fact sheets
- Water and sanitation related diseases fact sheets
- WHO Air quality guidelines for Europe (2000)
- Documentation for immediately dangerous to life or health concentrations (IDLH): NIOSH chemical listing and documentation of revised IDLH values