: Er Gurpreet Mains
Introduction To Disaster Management Disaster Management: Disaster Management can be defined as the organization and management of resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian aspects of emergencies, in particular impact of disasters. preparedness, responseand recovery in order to lessen the Disaster Management refers to how we can protect or preserve maximum number of lives and property during a natural disaster. Disaster management plans are multi-layered and are aimed to address such issues as floods, hurricanes, fires, and even mass failure of utilities or the rapid spread of disease. India has been traditionally vulnerable to the natural disasters on the account of its unique geo-climatic conditions. Floods, droughts, cyclones, earthquakes and landslides would have been a recurrent phenomena. About 59% of the landmass is prone to earthquakes of various intensities; over 40 million hectares is prone to floods; about 8% of the total area is prone to cyclones and 69% of the area is susceptible to drought. The super cyclone in Orissa in October, 1999 and the Bhuj earthquake in Gujarat in January, 2001 underscored the need to adopt a multi-dimensional endeavour involving diverse scientific, engineering, financial and social processes; the need to adopt multi disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach and incorporation of risk reduction in the developmental plans and strategies. Disaster: Disaster is a serious disruption, occurring over a relatively short time, of the functioning of a community or a society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental loss and impacts, which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources. An event that results in) great harm, damage, or death, or seriousdifficulty:.
Hazard: A possible source of danger is called hazard. A hazard is an agent which has the potential to cause harm to a vulnerable target. Hazard is any agent that can cause harm or damage to humans, property, or the environment. Risk is defined as the probability that exposure to a hazard will lead to a negative consequence, or more simply, a hazard poses no risk if there is no exposure to that hazard. An event that is caused by interaction with a hazard is called an incident. Hazards may also be classified as natural, anthropogenic, or technological. They may also be classified as health or safety hazards, by the populations that may be affected, and the severity of the associated risk. In most cases a hazard may affect a range of targets, and have little or no effect on others. An emergency is an event that can be responded to using the resources available at hand, implying that there is no need to request external assistance. A disaster, on the other hand, is characterized by impacts that overwhelm the capacities of local responders and place demands on resources which are not available locally. An event is declared as a “disaster” when there is a need for external assistance to cope with its impacts. A national government declares a state of disaster or national calamity as a way to request international humanitarian assistance and the support of the international community to cope with the impacts of the disaster. Vulnerability: Vulnerability describes the characteristics and circumstances of a community, system or asset that make it susceptible to the damaging effects of a hazard. There are many aspects of vulnerability, arising from various physical, social, economic, and environmental factors. Examples may include: • • • • • poor design and construction of buildings, inadequate protection of assets, lack of public information and awareness, limited official recognition of risks and preparedness measures, and disregard for wise environmental management. There are four (4) main types of vulnerability: 1. Physical Vulnerability may be determined by aspects such as population density levels, remoteness of a settlement, the site, design and materials used for critical infrastructure and for housing (UNISDR). Example: Wooden homes are less likely to collapse in an earthquake, but are more vulnerable to fire. 2. Social Vulnerability refers to the inability of people, organizations and societies to withstand adverse impacts to hazards due to characteristics inherent in social interactions, institutions and systems of cultural values. It is linked to the level of well being of
individuals, communities and society. It includes aspects related to levels of literacy and education, the existence of peace and security, access to basic human rights, systems of good governance, social equity, positive traditional values, customs and ideological beliefs and overall collective organizational systems (UNISDR). Example: When flooding occurs some citizens, such as children, elderly and differently-able, may be unable to protect themselves or evacuate if necessary. 3. Economic Vulnerability. The level of vulnerability is highly dependent upon the economic status of individuals, communities and nations The poor are usually more vulnerable to disasters because they lack the resources to build sturdy structures and put other engineering measures in place to protect themselves from being negatively impacted by disasters. Example: Poorer families may live in squatter settlements because they cannot afford to live in safer (more expensive) areas. 4. Environmental Vulnerability. Natural resource depletion and resource degradation are key aspects of environmental vulnerability. Example: Wetlands, such as the Caroni Swamp, are sensitive to increasing salinity from sea water, and pollution from stormwater runoff containing agricultural chemicals, eroded soils, etc. Risk & Disaster Management: Risk (or more specifically, disaster risk) is the potential disaster losses (in terms of lives, health status, livelihoods, assets and services) which could occur to a particular community or a society over some specified future time period. (Reference UNISDR Terminology) It considers the probability of harmful consequences, or expected losses (deaths, injuries, property, livelihoods, economic activity disrupted or environmentally damaged) resulting from interactions between natural or human induced hazards and vulnerable conditions. Risk can be calculated using the following equation: Risk = Probability of Hazard x Degree of Vulnerability. There are different ways of dealing with risk, such as: Risk Acceptance: an informed decision to accept the possible consequences and likelihood of a particular risk. Risk Avoidance: an informed decision to avoid involvement in activities leading to risk realization. Risk Reduction refers to the application of appropriate techniques to reduce the likelihood of risk occurrence and its consequences. Risk Transfer involves shifting of the burden of risk to another party. One of the most common forms of risk transfer is Insurance Disaster Management: Disaster Management: Disaster Management can be defined as the organization and management of resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian aspects of