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VULKANO: Highlighting Vulnerable Groups in Disaster and Emergency Planning

by Johanna Zweiger

The project “VULKANO - Vulnerable Groups in Local Disaster and Emergency Planning” aims to develop a better understanding of the risk potential of vulnerable groups to climate change-relevant stress and disruptive events. Vulnerable groups include people with disabilities, chronically ill people, children, people with language barriers as well as older people, people living alone and people affected by poverty. Specifically, the project aims to determine the extent to which Austrian municipalities already take these groups into account when preparing for and dealing with crises and disasters, especially when drawing up disaster protection and emergency plans.

Based on desktop research of national and international examples and collaboration with local and regional representatives (e.g., mayors, KLAR! and KEM! managers), recommendations for action are derived for measures to improve prevention and involve those affected. DCNA takes over project management in VULKANO. Besides that, DCNA will carry out a screening of national emergency and disaster protection plans to identify examples of how to take vulnerable groups into account.

The project has been running since October 9, 2023, and the kickoff meeting took place the next day in Vienna. The project is financed by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund. Apart from DCNA, the following project partners are involved in VULKANO:

GeoSphere Austria
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Institute for Landscape Planning
Umweltbundesamt (Federal Environment Agency)

The project is scheduled to end in October 2024.

Kickoff participants from left to right: Stefan Kienberger (GSA), Karin Weber (BOKU), Therese Stickler (UBA), Laura Essl (DCNA), Susanna Wernhart (DCNA), Johanna Wittholm (GSA), Laura Mainetti (GSA), Markus Leitner (UBA); missing: Christina Rechberger (DCNA)

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