The word disaster would be nothing new to you. Forest fires, floods, nuclear attacks and many more are quite frequent in the news. This article provides all you need to know about disaster and what is disaster management. Spend your valuable 15 minutes to this read, learn and spread awareness about it among your surrounding.
What is Disaster ?
Disaster word has derived its roots from Greek word dus – aster- , meaning bad star. During ancient times, people used to refer to the destruction of a star as a disaster.
“A disaster is a sudden event that results in damage, destruction and loss to human beings and the environment.”
These events can be natural or technological or man-made. Some of the disasters that cause great damage and loss to human life, property, society and environment are earthquakes, floods, droughts, volcanoes, fires as well as explosions, tsunamis, terrorist attacks and many more.
Types of Disasters
The outbreaks caused due to imbalance in the environment are called natural disasters. However, Natural disasters are further classified into geographical, meteorological, topographical, biological and environmental. Some of the examples of natural disasters are earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, droughts, cyclones, landslides, tornadoes etc. Natural disasters cause great damage and destruction to life, property as well as environment. It kills thousands of people. Floods and tsunamis cause destruction to the habitats of people living in coastal regions. There are many causes of natural disasters, like deforestation, etc. Thus, it is necessary to know the causes of natural disasters in order to have prevention from disaster. Though all disasters cannot be prevented but prevention is always better than cure.
Some of the major natural disasters in India are – 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, 2016 Uttarakhand Forest Fires and many more.
The outbreaks caused due to technological growth are called man-made disasters. These are also known as Anthropogenic hazards. Man-made disasters are caused accidentally or intentionally by human beings, technology. Some of the examples of man-made disasters are industrial accidents, structure collapse, chemical spills, nuclear disasters, airplane crashes, pollution, war, radioactive spills, transport accidents, fires, war, crimes, radiological emergencies, terrorist activities, etc. These disasters also cause great loss to life as well as property. Most of the man-made disasters result due to human intentions, illiteracy, unawareness, negligence or error. Some of the major man-made disasters in India are – 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy, 1954 Maha Kumbh mela stampede in Allahabad, 2011 AMRI Hospital fire, Kolkata and many more. Man-made disasters can be avoided with careful planning and preventive measures.
Effects of Disaster
Because of the disaster, life in respective areas suffers a lot. Some of the disasters are catastrophic which takes place all of a sudden and cause great damage, but the recovery takes place in a short time. E.g. Nobody can forget the earthquake of Gujarat and Latur but now the life in these areas returned to normal. There are others, such as nuclear bomb attacks, whose impact remains for a long duration. Therefore, such disasters remain severe or severity increases even after it happens. Other examples include desertification, various problems of crop, global warming, and rising level of oceans etc.
Broadly speaking, disasters affect medical, economic, social, environmental, political, and administration etc areas of life. Once a life is gone, it is gone! There is no chance of recovery. Others suffer from mental stress, injuries etc. Mental stress often leads to social health issues. Demand for food, water and other resources give rise to clashes in the society. The spreading of diseases often creates an unhealthy environment. Collapsing of bridges, buildings, road transport, railways etc. cause great economic loss. It causes a decrease in productivity and increase in expenditure for recovery. However, disasters also lead to pollution of land, air as well as water resources causing various environmental problems. There are problems in the functioning of administration because of stress on workers, failure of transport system and other facilities. The damage to the governmental system leads to political problems as well.
What is Disaster Management ?
The arrangements made either to prevent the disaster or to face it is called disaster management. Natural disasters are unavoidable. In today’s world there are ever-increasing threats of man-made disasters. The population is growing at a rapid pace. The social issues can give rise to instability in society which may lead to social clashes, terrorism, abduction etc. Use of harmful chemicals are under ban in developed countries but in developing countries like India, production of chemical is common. However, such chemicals can cause severe damage to the entire human race. Atomic energy plants are becoming an important source of energy production but the carelessness, also increases possibility of radiation leakage. The atomic catastrophe that happened once affected several generations at that place. Therefore, due to all such reasons it becomes necessary to manage the disaster well.
Objectives of Disaster Management
- To reduce the risk of any disaster or its severity
- Capacity building with which the individual and organizations do research, obtain and improve knowledge, skills, and resources
- Rapid response to disastrous situation to lower down the losses
- Saving the lives and disposal of human and animal lives suffered during calamity
- Supply of essential commodities to suffered people
- Rehabilitation or Restoring of life after the disaster
- Taking measures so that disaster will not occur in the future or to reduce its intensity
Types of Disaster Management
Activities under pre-disaster management includes complete preparation and planning to face disaster, knowing the pro-disaster region, use of predictive intensity maps and hazard maps to find intensity and prone sites of disaster, providing special training for disaster management, increasing awareness about the disaster management among the public through training programmes, mass media, etc.
Activities under Post disaster Management includes making arrangement of help with participation of local people saved from the disaster, helping the victims with all kinds of necessary help, quick establishment of help centre and control centre, classification of help materials and delivering them to victims, being always prepared for rescue.
Last but not the least here are, some of the important aspects of disaster management are –
- Emergency Phase: It focuses on saving maximum lives through quick actions such as search and rescue operations, first aid, medical assistance, restoring communication services, removing the people from affected areas etc activities.
- Rehabilitation Phase: Restoring life after the damage is called rehabilitation. It includes clearing of debris, restoring water supply, repairing roads, etc. Different institutes offer monetary help to the victims for their rehabilitation however a true help could be helping them to obtain permanent means of earning.
- Reconstruction Phase: Government along with local people reconstruct the houses, buildings and restores facilities like roads and water supply after which, earning activities and farming practices are restarted.
Hope this article finds helpful to you. Share it with your family and friend to spread awareness about disaster and what is disaster management. Do comment your views, suggestions and your methods of disaster management, in the comment box below.