Due to different definitions used in disaster-related literature, for the purpose of this Toolkit the main terms used are defined below. The full Glossary can also be downloaded in a .pdf format (see User Guide Section).
A language can be international, national, or regional, it can be a state’s official language or a (e.g. forbidden) minority language. Languages also comprise local dialects, slang and vernacular speak, e.g. of teenagers or of specific professional groups. Additionally, it refers to specific language use in specific media, e.g. in mobile phone texts.
For example, knowing, and speaking, the language of a group at risk will not only help to convey the correct content of a message in disaster risk communication, but it can also reinforce acceptance, given that sharing the same language can be seen as sharing a collective identity.
Law enforcement agencies is a government agency that is responsible for the enforcement of the laws.  Law enforcement agencies have powers, which other government subjects do not, to enable the law enforcement agency to undertake its responsibilities. These powers exercised by law enforcement agencies include:
exemptions from laws;
intrusive powers, for search, seizure, and interception;
use of force and constraint of liberty;
jurisdictional override; and
A livelihood is the way people earn a living, i.e. it comprises an individual’s or a group’s capabilities, assets and activities required for a means of living.
For example, economic migration into locations unsuitable for settlement: Groups of people move from rural to urban areas hoping to escape poverty, but due to a lack of financial means and education (to take up well-paid jobs) they settle in hazardous areas, e.g. prone to flooding or industrial zones with increased environmental risks. In such case information about disaster risks and “adequate” behaviour may be rejected, because it causes cognitive dissonance (clash between beliefs about risks and beliefs related to livelihood needs).
Local authorities, or Local Emergency Management Authorities (LEMA), are understood as regional or local forms of government responsible with disaster management. From one country to another their impact on disaster intervention can differ accordingly to national institutional structures. In the category the following agencies are represented in most cases:
Law-enforcement agency, and
Emergency medical service.
Local knowledge entails the knowledge an individual or a group holds about a specific location, e.g. related to its physical characteristics (access, infrastructure etc.), but also to its intangible characteristics (knowledge of local social networks, local value systems etc.).
For example, awareness of local disaster risks and/or local procedures in case of a disaster. Such awareness can be based on personal experience (e.g. learning processes from previous experiences) and/or local education and information. Individuals or groups who are new in a local community (e.g. due to migration) may not have this local knowledge and may not know, e.g., which areas in a city are flooded first. They also may not know which institution to contact (and how) in case of an emergency, or they may not know escape routes and/or assembly points. Conversely, though, they might come from more vulnerable areas and are the bearers of (previously local) knowledge that can be also be useful in the new environment.