DEFINITION OF DISASTER „Disaster is a crisis situation that far exceeds the capabilities‟. Quarentelly, 1985. „Disaster‟ is defined as a crisis situation causing wide spread damage which far exceeds our ability to recover.
Types of Disaster Disasters are mainly of 2 types, 1. Natural disasters. Example – earthquakes, floods, landslides, etc. 2. Man made disasters. Example – war, bomb blasts, chemical leaks, etc.
Disaster management includes: “ the development of disaster recovery plans,( for minimizing the risk of disasters and for handling them when they do occur,) and the implementation of such plans.” Disaster management usually refers to the management of natural catastrophes such as fire, flooding, or earthquakes. Related techniques include crisis management, contingency management, and risk management.
Disasters both manmade and natural haveaffected mankind since time in memorial
Earthquake in Pakistan – 2005 Earthquake and tsunami in the Indian coast - 2004 Gujarat Earthquake - 2001 Floods in Mumbai, West Bengal Cyclone: Rita, Wilma etc….. Fire: KumbakonamAnd the list goes on and on……
Disasters occur in varied forms Some are predictable in advance Some are annual or seasonal Some are sudden and unpredictable Floods Days and weeks Earthquakes Seconds/minutes Cyclones Days Droughts Months
Hazards such as flood, fire, outbreak of disease and industrial accidents are part of life. Often these events can cause major harm and damage, loss of life and disruption to local communities and the economy. disaster management can address ways and means to lessen or mitigate, if not prevent such emergencies
57% of the land area is prone to Earthquakes 12% to Floods 8% to Cyclones 70% of the cultivable land is prone to drought 85% of the land area is vulnerable to number of natural hazards 22 states are prone to multi hazards.
Prevention Good prevention might include the construction of flood levees, relocation of housing and essential services away from floodways, use of better building standards or hazardous waste regulations.
Preparation Through good preparation, the effects of disasters and significant incidents can often be reduced. information and education for the public about hazards. This will help communities to take action to protect themselves, their families and property from harm. Planning and community involvement in the planning is most important in preparing for disasters.
Response In major emergencies it is critical that an efficient and effective disaster response can be mobilized. Response is a collective responsibility. In a major emergency or disaster, people need to know what to do, who will do it and how it will be done. The ability to respond quickly and effectively will depend on good preparation. If a response plan has been developed thoughtfully, included the community‟s views, been communicated clearly and has been based on a realistic availability of resources, it is likely to succeed.
Recovery Recovery from major disaster can be a long and costly process. Essential services such as water and power may need to be restored, additional medical services may be required or temporary housing and family support may be needed. Businesses and the economy could be badly affected and need support to recover. Recovery from disaster will also be most effective then it has been thought about in advance. Generally, major disasters will require assistance from outside the community. Awareness of emergency relief funding programs and strengthening the links with national disaster relief organisations may assist the recovery effort.
1.Disaster management is the responsibility of all spheres of government. No single service or department in itself has the capability to achieve comprehensive disaster management. Each affected service or department must have a disaster management plan which is coordinated through the Disaster Management Advisory Forum.2.Disaster management should use resources that exist for a day-to-day purpose. There are limited resources available specifically for disasters, and it would be neither cost effective nor practical to have large holdings of dedicated disaster resources. However, municipalities must ensure that there is a minimum budget allocation to enable appropriate response to incidents as they arise, and to prepare for and reduce the risk of disasters occurring.
3.Organisations should function as an extension of their core business. Disaster management is about the use of resources in the most effective manner. To achieve this during disasters, organisations should be employed in a manner that reflects their day-to-day role. But it should be done in a coordinated manner across all relevant organisations, so that it is multidisciplinary and multi- agency.4.Individuals are responsible for their own safety. Individuals need to be aware of the hazards that could affect their community and the counter measures, which include the Municipal Disaster Management Plan, that are in place to deal with them.
5.Disaster management planning should focus on large-scale events. It is easier to scale down a response than it is to scale up if arrangements have been based on incident scale events. If you are well prepared for a major disaster you will be able to respond very well to smaller incidents and emergencies, nevertheless, good multi agency responses to incidents do help in the event of a major disaster.6.Disaster management planning should recognize the difference between incidents and disasters. Incidents - e.g. fires that occur in informal settlements, floods that occur regularly, still require multi-agency and multi- jurisdictional coordination. The scale of the disaster will indicate when it is beyond the capacity of the municipality to respond, and when it needs the involvement of other agencies.
7.Disaster management operational arrangements are additional to and do not replace incident management operational arrangements Single service incident management operational arrangements will need to continue, whenever practical, during disaster operations.8.Disaster management planning must take account of the type of physical environment and the structure of the population. The physical shape and size of the Municipality and the spread of population must be considered when developing counter disaster plans to ensure that appropriate prevention, preparation, response and recovery mechanisms can be put in place in a timely manner.
9.Disaster management arrangements must recognize the involvement and potential role of non-government agencies. Significant skills and resources needed during disaster operations are controlled by non-government agencies. These agencies must be consulted and included in the planning process.
Disaster planning is about anticipating the types ofdisasters that may occur and the effect oncommunities. It is about drawing on the wisdom ofthe community and experts to develop ways toprevent, prepare for, respond to and recover fromthose disasters. Disaster management planning is acollective responsibility. Governments, communitiesand private sector need to work together so thatknowledge, resources and effort are used tominimize the effects of disaster on communities, theeconomy and the environment.
The advantages of disaster planning are: Involving the community in understanding and responding to disasters Reduced impact of disasters Reduced recovery costs and economic disruption Enabling the alignment of disaster management with other development priorities Demonstrating effective and responsible management by the Municipality or Province
Co-ordination of disaster management with other bodies Meeting the requirements of National Legislation and demonstrating due diligence Allocating financial and human resources to develop and manage the disaster management system Raising public and media attention on the handling of disasters in the past and future through community consultation processes Managing public expectations and the municipal accountability for the proper management of disasters in the future.
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