Preparation for Disasters

Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction Handbook

The Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction Handbook (CBDRR) is put together by the National Disaster Management Office and its partners as a guide to assist people interested in carrying out community based disaster risk reduction activity. The handbook acts as a guideline on how to carry out CBDRR activities in the communities in Vanuatu.

You can download a copy of the handbook below in a bislama.


Disaster Key Messages

disaster cyclone 100px


  • National Alerts:
    • Blue within potential 24hrs – cyclone preparation, tie down roof, trim garden crops, ensure you emergency kit is ready, pick up lose items for yard
    • Yellow within 12hrs – School and government close, food preservation, water preservation, move to strong / safe place, cyclone shutters if you have them
    • Red cyclone is imminent – Stay indoors and wait out the cyclone
  • Continue to listen to the radio for cyclone updates and mark the path of the cyclone on the cyclone tracking map
  • Have emergency kit ready – including; torch, batteries, battery radio, water, matches,  firewood, food, blankets, charged mobile phone, medical supplies and prescriptions, firewood, kitchen utensils, water container, warm clothing, plastic bag to store important documents and cyclone tracking map

disaster earthquake 100px


  • Not all earthquakes cause tsunami but if you feel a strong earthquake or a long one you should move to higher ground

disaster flood 100px


Ways to protect your house, garden and family from flooding:

  • Know the history of the area before building house and gardens
  • Build steal or floor house in low lying areas
  • During the design  of the house  and garden look to include drainage system
  • Look to include water catchment systems
  • If your house is prone to flooding think about rebuilding to higher ground
  • When river is high do not cross
  • Don’t let children play in flood waters

disaster landslide 100px


Way to protect your house and family from landslide:

  • Know the history of the area before building house and gardens
  • Don’t cut down too much trees in sloppy areas or hill
  • Plant some trees in landslide prone areas to hold the ground together
  • Don’t build house at the bottom of the hill or cliff
  • If you live in a landslide prone area identify safe place

disaster tsunami 100px


  • Tsunami is a series of waves and the first one might not be the biggest
  • Natural signs that might bring a tsunami:
    • Strong earthquake
    • Long earthquake (lasting longer than 60 seconds)
    • Loud noise coming from the ocean
    • Draw back of the ocean
  • Wave may come within minutes, don’t wait for official warning move to higher ground
  • Following an earthquake (either big or long) immediately move to higher ground on foot and wait until the all clear is given by NDMO before coming down. Remember to take emergency kit as the all clear can take more than 2hrs

disaster volcano 100px


  • Community to be aware of volcanic activities and wear protective clothes, long sleeve, mask, glasses, scarf or hat.
  • Community must monitor changes to the volcano and the environment:
    • Increased smell
    • Ash fall or increases in ash fall
    • Increase noise from volcano
    • Acid rain or increased acid rain
  • During times of increased activity you should store water and food in closed or shelters containers and food must be washed before cooking
  • During increased ash fall the community needs to beware that mudslides can occur during heavy rain
  • Know your volcano hazard map and danger zones
  • Know where to get volcano bulletins and alert levels-Radio Vanuatu (National Emergency broadcast)