Responding to urban disasters: learning from previous relief and recovery operations

Disaster response in an urban environment presents a wide variety of challenges. This paper draws on experience from the responses to number of urban disasters, including earthquake responses in Bam (Iran); Bhuj (India), Izmit (Turkey), and Kobe (Japan); storm and hurricane in Gonaives (Haiti) and New Orleans (United States), and conflict responses in Angola and Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina). It highlights key lessons to guide local authorities, national governments, international agencies, the private sector, learning centres and community organizations in approaching the specific challenges of addressing and responding to disaster risks in urban environments.