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Disaster Management

Introduction Various disasters like earthquake, landslides, volcanic eruptions, fires, flood and cyclones are natural hazards that kill thousands of people and destroy billions of dollars of habitat and property each year. The rapid growth of the world’s population and its increased concentration often in hazardous environment has escalated both the frequency and severity of natural disasters. Asia tops the list of casualties due to natural disaster. Among various natural hazards, earthquakes, landslides, floods and cyclones are the major disasters adversely affecting very large areas and population in the Indian sub-continent.

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These natural disasters are of (i) geophysical origin such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and (ii) climatic origin such as drought, flood, cyclone, locust, forest fire. Though it may not be feasible to control nature and to stop the development of natural phenomena but the efforts could be made to avoid disasters and alleviate their effects on human lives, infrastructure and property. All countries face increased risk from a full range of known and previously unknown hazards and disaster consequences which are have great adverse effects on populations and environments.

Governments pass legislations and take action to prepare for and mitigate the effects of these natural, technological and intentional hazards. Despite even the best efforts, the nature of man regularly results in disastrous events that overwhelm not only local response capacities but also the response capacities, of the entire regions. When this happens, the full range of players from the international community is called to intervene, requiring international disaster management. ?Disaster ?

A serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society causing widespread human, material, economic and environmental losses which exceed the ability of the environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected community / society to cope using its own resources. Classification The studies reflect a common opinion when they argue that all disasters can be seen as being human-made, their reasoning being that human actions before the strike of the hazard can prevent it developing into a disaster. All disasters are hence the result of human failure to introduce appropriate disaster management measures.

Hazards are routinely divided into natural or human-made, although complex disasters, where there is no single root cause, are more common in developing countries. A specific disaster may spawn a secondary disaster that increases the impact. A classic example is an earthquake that causes a tsunami, resulting in coastal flood. Natural disaster A natural disaster is a consequence when a natural hazard (e. g. , volcanic eruption or earthquake) affects humans. Human vulnerability, caused by the lack of appropriate emergency management, leads to financial, environmental, or human impact.

The resulting loss depends on the capacity of the population to support or resist the disaster: their resilience. The term natural has consequently been disputed because the events simply are not hazards or disasters without human involvement. Man-made disaster Disasters caused by human action, negligence, error, or involving the failure of a system are called man-made disasters. Man-made disasters are in turn categorized as technological or sociological. Technological disasters are the results of failure of technology, such as engineering failures, transport disasters, or environmental disasters.

Sociological disasters have a strong human motive, such as criminal acts, stampedes, riots and war. ?Disaster Management ? Disaster management is a process or strategy that is implemented when any type of catastrophic event takes place. Sometimes referred to as disaster recovery management, the process may be initiated when anything threatens to disrupt normal operations or puts the lives of human beings at risk. Governments on all levels as well as many businesses create some sort of disaster plan that make it possible to overcome the catastrophe and return to normal function as quickly as possible.

A disaster reduction strategy is a global challenge today for the future. Disaster management is a strategy to find away to live with these phenomena, rather than die from it, since natural disaster cannot be prevented and people are caught unaware when it happened. Affects of Disasters on the Environment Disasters affect a country’s natural resource stock. Hurricanes and other storms can topple vast stretches of forest. Hurricanes and droughts could wash or blow away topsoil and decrease soil fertility, which would hurt agricultural yields. Additional fertilizer could compensate for the depleted soil.

The destruction of crops and death of livestock in a disaster would also decrease agricultural yields in the short run. Tourism dependent on natural wonders could suffer. The impacts of natural disasters sometimes are not exclusively negative. Floods for example provide sediments to the surrounding plain that increase agricultural yields. Volcanic eruption deposit ash, which enriches the soil. Farmers would not benefit in a lump sum either. Tourism can see a boost from some disasters as well. Relatively the volcanoes in Hawaii attract tourists and other tourist attractions exist because of ancient disasters.

The positive effects of natural disasters on natural resources tend to affect countries in the long run. People can see the immediate damage from disasters in agriculture, but they cannot immediately see the benefits from natural disasters. The negative effects of natural disasters o n the natural resource stock depend on the country and the situation, but the effect is not exclusively negative. Disaster Management Participants •Victims •Local first responders •The Governments of the affected countries •Governments of other countries •International organisations •International Financial Institutions Regional Organization and Associations •Non Profit Organisations (NGOs) •Private Organisations – Business and Industries •Local and Regional Donors Modern Disaster Management – A four way approach Comprehensive disaster management is based upon four distinct components: Mitigation, Preparedness, response and recovery. Although a range of terminology is often used in describing them, effective disaster management utilizes each component in the following manner. ?Mitigation:- Mitigation involves reducing or eliminating the likelihood or the consequences of a hazard or both.

Mitigation seeks to ‘treat’ the hazard such that it impacts society to a lesser degree. A precursor activity to the mitigation is the identification of risks. Physical risk assessment refers to the process of identifying and evaluating hazards. [1] The hazard-specific risk combines both the probability and the level of impact of a specific hazard. The equation below gives that the hazard times the populations’ vulnerability to that hazard produce a risk. Catastrophe modelling, the higher the risk, the more urgent that the hazard specific vulnerabilities are targeted by mitigation and preparedness efforts.

However, if there is no vulnerability there will be no risk, e. g. an earthquake occurring in a desert where nobody lives ?Preparedness Preparedness involves equipping people who may be impacted by a disaster or who may be able to help those impacted with the tools to increase their chance of survival and to minimize their financial and other losses. •Stockpiling, inventory, and maintain disaster supplies and equipment. •Communication plans with easily understandable terminology and methods. •Development and exercise of emergency population warning methods combined with emergency shelters and evacuation plans. Proper maintenance and training of emergency services, including mass human resources such as community emergency response teams. •Develop organizations of trained volunteers among civilian populations. (Professional emergency workers are rapidly overwhelmed in mass emergencies so trained; organized, responsible volunteers are extremely valuable. Organizations like Community Emergency Response Teams and the Red Cross are ready sources of trained volunteers. ?Response Response involves taking action to reduce or eliminate the impact of disaster hat have occurred or are currently occurring, in order to prevent further suffering, financial losses or a combination of both. Relief, a term commonly used in disaster management is one component of response. A well rehearsed emergency plan developed as part of the preparedness phase enables efficient coordination of rescue where required, search and rescue efforts commence at an early stage. Depending on injuries sustained by the victim, outside temperature, and victim access to air and water, the vast majority of those affected by a disaster will die within 72 hours after impact.

Organizational response to any significant disaster – natural or terrorist-borne – is based on existing emergency management organizational systems and processes ? Recovery Recovery involves returning victims’ lives back to a normal state following the impact of disaster consequences. The recovery phase generally begins after the immediate response has ended, and can persist for months or years thereafter. The aim of the recovery phase is to restore the affected area to its previous state.

It differs from the response phase in its focus; recovery efforts are concerned with issues and decisions that must be made after immediate needs are addressed. Recovery efforts are primarily concerned with actions that involve rebuilding destroyed property, re-employment, and the repair of other essential infrastructure. An important aspect of effective recovery efforts is taking advantage of a ‘window of opportunity’ for the implementation of mitigative measures that might otherwise be unpopular. Citizens of the affected area are more likely to accept more mitigative changes when a recent disaster is in fresh memory.


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