28 March 2014

Disasters & Management

Disasters and Management

Definition of Disasters:

  • A sudden destructive event that seriously disturbs the functioning of a community or society and causes human, material, economic and environmental loses that exceeds the community's or society's ability to cope using it's own resources.
  • Any happening that causes damage, ecological disruption, loss of human life, deterioration of health and health services on a scale sufficient to warrant an extra ordinary response from outside the affected community or area.
Emergency and disaster not only affect the health and well being of the people, frequently large number of people are displaced, killed or injured or subjected to greater risk of epidemics.
Considerable economic harm is also common.
Disasters cause great harm to the existing environment and threaten the future of sustainable development.
Morbidity resulting from a disaster can be classified into four types:
  • Injuries
  • Emotional stress
  • Epidemic of disease and
  • Increase in Indigenous  diseases

Types of Disasters:

Disasters are classified into two types.
They are:
  1. Natural Disasters and
  2. Man made Disasters
Natural Disasters:
Natural disasters are those which are a result of natural consequences. They are also some times described as an act of god. These are naturally occurring phenomenon by rapid or slow onset events.
The natural disasters are categorized under the following heads. They include 
  • GEOPHYSICAL: Earthquakes, Land slides, Tsunami, Volcano.
  • HYDRO-LOGICAL: Avalanche, Floods.
  • CLIMATE: Excess heat, Drought, Wild fires.
  • BIOLOGICAL: Epidemics and Plague of diseases.
  • METEOROLOGICAL: Cyclones, Storms.
Man made Disasters:
Disasters that are a result from the human activity are called man made disasters. They are also called anthropogenic disasters.
They include:
  • Crimes
  • Arson – Willful or malicious
  • Riots
  • Terrorism
  • War
  • Industrial Hazards – Chemical or gas poisoning
  • Accidents - Road, Rail, Air, Water Transport
  • Structural collapses – Bridges or Buildings
  • Fire accidents
  • Radiation
  • CBRN – Chemical Biological Radiation and Nuclear
  • Oil spills
  • Massacres

Disasters in India:

India has vast population and unique geographical characteristics and so is one of the world's most disaster prone countries.

India prone to:

55% - Earthquakes; 
12% to Floods; 
8% to Cyclones;
70% land under farming - to Droughts.
Natural disasters:
Natural hazards in India commonly include cyclones, earthquakes, droughts, floods or landslides. 

  • East coast of India is prone to cyclones.
  • Interior of the plateau and Himalayas – earthquakes.
  • Ganga-Brahmaputra plains – Floods.
  • Rajasthan and western parts of Orissa and some areas in South India are prone to droughts.
Man made disasters:
Because of the huge population of India, it is facing many problems like population explosion, depletion of resources, unemployment and so on. Among those problems, disasters are also included. More place for man made disasters in India, like terrorism, accidents, massacres and riots.

Disaster Management:

Disaster management includes the range of activities designed to mitigate the effects of disasters and emergency situations and to provide a framework for helping people at-risk to avoid or recover from the impact of disaster.Disaster management includes measures that are to be taken before, during and after the disaster and involves preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery.
There are three fundamental aspects of disaster management.
They include:
  • Disaster response
  • Disaster preparedness and
  • Disaster mitigation
Management Sequence of a sudden onset disaster
29th October is National day for Disaster reduction.

Disaster Preparedness:

This means Preparing for a disaster prior to its occurrence. Preparedness is a programme of long term development activities whose goals are to strengthen the overall capacity and capability of a country to manage efficiently all types of emergencies.
Its objective is to ensure that appropriate systems, procedures and resources are in place to provide prompt effective assistance to disaster victims, thus facilitating relief measures and rehabilitation of services.

Disaster Response:

The second phase of disaster management cycle, occurring after the incidence of a disaster. The greatest need for emergency care occurs in the first few hours. Disaster response consists of elements like search, rescue, first aid, field care, triage and stabilization of victims, Hospital treatment and redistribution of patients to other hospitals if necessary. Providing immediate assistance, assessing damage, Restoration are also the elements of disaster preparedness. 
The aim of Disaster response is to provide immediate assistance to maintain life improve health and support the morale of the affected population.

Disaster Mitigation:

Emergency prevention and mitigation(=relieve; to make less severe or painful) involves measures designed either to prevent hazards from causing emergency or to lessen the likely effects of emergencies. These works include flood mitigation works, appropriate land use planning, improved building codes, and reduction or protection of vulnerable population and structures.

International Agencies providing Humanitarian Services:

Many agencies Nationally and internationally work for the health and humanitarian services, providing necessary needs and facilities to the needy.
Some such agencies are:
  • OCHA – United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
  • WHO – World Health Organization
  • WFP – World Food Programme
  • FAO – Food and Agricultural Organization
The above said agencies work under United Nations Organization.
Some Inter-Governmental organizations:
  • ECHO – European Community Humanitarian Office
  • OAS – Organization of American states
  • Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency and so on.
Some Non governmental:
  • IFRC – International Federation of Red cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • CARE
  • International Committee of Red Cross
  • International Council of Voluntary Agencies and Many more

  • Natural and man made disasters
  • Disaster Management: Preparedness; Response and Mitigation
  • 29th October - National Day for Disaster Reduction
  • Humanitarian Agencies - UNO; WHO; FAO; IFRC; ECHO; WFP and others

More Details in Depth in the coming days.......

That's All for now. See you later.

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