The COVID-19 pandemic has compromised the health of millions, destroyed economies, and made it impossible for migrants to maneuver across countries. Moreover, with so many people stranded and displaced, the homeless population skyrocketed, and the spread of the disease continues to aggravate the impact of climate-related hazards. Still, the long-term effects are unknown.
However, there are a few lessons learned in regards to disaster management and how governments and local powers can improve our current and future situations.
Reducing Homelessness for Families and Migrant Works
In the UK for example, 70,000 households were made homeless during the pandemic, and tens of thousands more are threatened with that possibility. Millions of other migrants are awaiting a sustainable solution after being displaced within and across the borders. Most of these migrants are fleeing in search of economic and healthcare security, but what they find is the opposite.
The sharp rise in homelessness requires shelters to adapt to the situation by using social services software, hiring more volunteers to help with the overcrowding issues, and providing jobs, food, and other necessities for displaced migrant workers and families.
Keep Displaced People Safe From Spread of Disease
When a disaster occurs, it’s common for people to flee their homes for a safer location, but they often evacuate without their belongings or a place to go. The fear of the unknown can make people panic, and it can be difficult for responders to calm people down who want to escape. To get as many people moving as possible, displaced migrants are forced into groups.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, this caused the virus to spread to more people, especially when the displaced migrants were put in densely populated shelters. Maintaining physical distance was a challenge, especially when moving food or emergency items to the shelter. How is a person supposed to protect themselves from a disease in this situation? They can’t.
Disasters Have Long-Term Effects That Can be Mitigated
All disasters, big or small, produce long-term effects on a community. Victims of Hurricane Katrina are still suffering the effects of the flood, so it’s guaranteed that a pandemic would make it difficult for the average American to recover quickly. Entire economies will fail due to loss of income, tourism, decreased remittances, and less access to food or water.
Migrants are an important aspect of disaster management because it’s normal for displaced migrants to travel to different countries to seek refuge. Recovery plans need to include the possibility of an increased population should another disaster occur in the future.
Climate Change Affected Countries Have Unique Challenges
The pandemic has caused budgetary issues that will make it nearly impossible for countries to tackle climate-based issues, which will make the migrant workers displaced from disasters more vulnerable. Now, those who are affected by disasters cannot protect themselves from floods or storms, and the government can’t or won’t help because the country is also poor.
Countries need to find a more appropriate way to hand out resources to affected communities. Otherwise, the worse off are going to stay that way. It’s also beneficial for the international community to take a long-term look at how their spending will affect future communities in rich countries. As climate change becomes more of a threat, more people will be displaced.
Every Country Carries This Responsibility
Many countries are reluctant to get involved with disaster relief in other countries because of the assumption it doesn’t affect them, and yet it does. It’s more profitable and humanitarian to plan for disasters before they occur, as it reduces the overall cost of human lives. However, some countries continue to reduce their disaster management spending without any foresight.
To ensure that most people are safe during a disaster, like the pandemic, counties must pool their resources into programs that help make hospitals better prepared. They also need to implement physical distancing and protective equipment in shelters.