Many of my posts discussed what to do in area with famine. The problem in emergency situation is that it generally takes time to get the finances to start any emergency relief. But smallholders in drought prone zone know very well about the about the risk they are facing and if given the opportunity are more than willing to reduce this risk.
Drought insurance is one answer to this problem : it allows a smallholders to pay a small amount of money, and if she/he becomes a victim of the drought, she/he immediately get compensation which will allow him to adapt.
See more about the Ethiopian drought insurances schemes :
More about the Kenyan schemes