Marie Ange from Haiti standing in front of the ruins of her house in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. The new app can provide those helping after a disaster with practical advice.

Marie Ange from Haiti standing in front of the ruins of her house in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. The new app can provide those helping after a disaster with practical advice.
Photo: © CBM/Abraham

New app to help cope with humanitarian disasters

On Saturday, the 19th August, World Humanitarian Day, the international Christian development organisation CBM presented a new app to be applied above all in disaster areas. It provides local helpers with easy-to-use tips on how to create access for people with disabilities to life-saving aid.

In emergency situations in particular, people with disabilities are among the weakest victims. Crutches, wheelchairs or glasses are often lost or destroyed in disasters. Information on food distribution is given only orally or in writing, so that people with hearing or visual impairments are not reached. Often too, toilets in emergency shelters are not accessible for people with impaired mobility.

The new CBM app is to change this state of affairs. In thematically ordered and illustrated briefs, it offers practical tips on how to better consider the needs of people with disabilities. This includes information on how food distribution can be performed fairly and without friction. Furthermore, the app contains short instructions on building wheelchair ramps, handrails, banisters and washing facilities accessible for people with impaired mobility. Examples of clear and easy-to-understand signage complement the range of information. Elderly persons, children and expecting mothers can also benefit from these measures.

The individual pages are linked and can be stored as favourites. As soon as the app has been downloaded on a user’s smartphone, it can also be used offline. This is an important aspect, given that in disaster areas in particular, Internet connections are frequently interrupted. Once connectivity has been restored, the contents are automatically updated, so that users are always kept in touch with the latest developments.

The “Humanitarian Hands on Tool” (HHoT) is available at www.cbm.org/hhot. It can also be downloaded via Google Play and the AppStore.

CBM is an international Christian development organisation, committed to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in the poorest communities of the world.

Based on its Christian values and over 100 years of professional expertise, CBM addresses poverty as a cause and a consequence of disability, and works in partnership to create an inclusive society for all. CBM is currently supporting 628 projects in 59 countries.

(CBM/sri)

More information: CBM Website