A disaster is an occurrence
the normal conditions of existence
causing a level of suffering that
exceeds the capacity of adjustment
the affected community.
It is the people
who matter most, and
without the people
we have no disaster
The United Nations defines a disaster
as a serious disruption of the
functioning of a community or a
society. Disasters involve widespread
human, material, economic or
environmental impacts, which exceed
the ability of the affected community
or society to cope using its own
The Red Cross and Red Crescent societies
define disaster management as the
organization and management of resources
and responsibilities for dealing with all
humanitarian aspects of emergencies, in
particular preparedness, response and
recovery in order to lessen the impact of
Natural disasters: including floods, hurricanes,
earthquakes and volcano eruptions that have
immediate impacts on human health and
secondary impacts causing further death and
suffering from (for example) floods, landslides,
Environmental emergencies: including
technological or industrial accidents, usually
involving the production, use or transportation of
hazardous material, and occur where these
materials are produced, used or transported, and
forest fires caused by humans.
Types of disasters
Complex emergencies: involving a break-down
of authority, looting and attacks on
strategic installations, including conflict
situations and war.
Pandemic emergencies: involving a
sudden onset of contagious disease that
affects health, disrupts services and
businesses, brings economic and social
Types of disasters
These are activities designed to provide
permanent protection from disasters. Not all
disasters, particularly natural disasters, can be
prevented, but the risk of loss of life and injury
can be mitigated with good evacuation plans,
environmental planning and design standards.
In January 2005, 168 Governments adopted a
10-year global plan for natural disaster risk
reduction called the Hyogo Framework. It
offers guiding principles, priorities for action,
and practical means for achieving disaster
resilience for vulnerable communities.
These activities are designed to minimize
loss of life and damage – for example by
removing people and property from a
threatened location and by facilitating
timely and effective rescue, relief and
rehabilitation. Preparedness is the main
way of reducing the impact of disasters.
Community-based preparedness and
management should be a high priority in
physical therapy practice management
This is a coordinated multi-agency response
to reduce the impact of a disaster and its
long-term results. Relief activities include
rescue, relocation, providing food and
water, preventing disease and disability,
repairing vital services such as
telecommunications and transport,
providing temporary shelter and emergency
Once emergency needs have been met and
the initial crisis is over, the people affected
and the communities that support them are
still vulnerable. Recovery activities include
rebuilding infrastructure, health care and
rehabilitation. These should blend with
development activities, such as building
human resources for health and developing
policies and practices to avoid similar
situations in future.
THE DISASTER –DEVELOPMENT
Disaster prevention, mitigation &
preparedness safeguard development.
Good response facilitates recovery and
Africa’s hazards and vulnerabilities have
been the targets of 30 years of
development: their persistence testifies to
as many failures.
Today, ever-increasing resources are
spent for disaster relief, at the expense of
a state in which normal
extra-ordinary measures are
in order to avert a disaster
AIMS OF DISASTER
reduce (avoid, if possible) the
potential losses from hazards
assure prompt and appropriate
assistance to victims when
achieve rapid and durable
Capacity for emergency
management is made of:
TO ACTIVATE THEM
the measures that ensure
the organized mobilization of
equipment and supplies
within a safe environment
for effective relief
the set of activities implemented after
impact of a disaster in order to
assess the needs
reduce the suffering
limit the spread and the
consequences of the disaster
open the way to rehabilitation
The restoration of basic social functions.
The full resumption of socio-economic
activities plus preventive measures.
ELEMENTS OF DISASTER
disaster preparedness planning
* vulnerability and risk assessment
* disaster assessment
rehabilitation & reconstruction
More than 90 percent of
deaths occur in developing
countries, where poverty and
lack of resources exacerbate the
Haiti’s Uphill Battle: Developing Countries
Struggle with Natural Disasters
The earthquake in Haiti devastated the capital
Port-au-Prince, killing an estimated 230,000
people and leaving 1.2 million homeless.
With much of the country’s population
unemployed and homeless, Haiti has not seen
the economic growth it was hoping for over
recent years or the recovery it urgently needed
after the earthquake’s devastation. In fact,
more than 300,000 Haitians are still displaced
from the earthquake, living in camps around
An aid agency is an organization dedicated
to distributing aid-many professional aid
organizations exist, both within government
between governments as multilateral
donors and as private voluntary
organizations (or non-governmental
organizations. There are many different
agencies in Canada and around the world.
Aid & Relief Agencies
World Vision Canada
Canadian Red Cross
Adventist Development & Relief
Aga Khan Foundation Canada
Canadian Catholic Organization for
Development & Peace
Examples of Canadian Agencies
supporting Disaster Relief
Canadian Food grains Bank
Canadian Lutheran World Relief
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada
Doctors without Borders
Plan Internal Canada
Presbyterian World Service &
Salvation Army Canada
Save the Children Canada
The United Church of Canada
The Sharing Way-Canadian Baptist
Jan. 12, 2010. More than 230,000 people
were killed when a 7.0-magnitude
earthquake struck Haiti.
May 12, 2008. About 70,000 people were
killed and 18,000 people were reported
missing after a 7.9-magnitude earthquake
struck Sichuan, China.
Oct. 8, 2005. At least 80,000 people were
killed and three million left homeless after a
quake struck the mountainous Kashmir
district in Pakistan.
The world's worst natural disasters
Calamities of the 20th and 21st centuries
Posted: May 08, 2008 CBC news
Dec. 26, 2004. A magnitude 9.0 quake struck
off the coast of Sumatra, triggering tsunamis
that swept through the coastal regions of a
dozen countries bordering the Indian Ocean.
The death toll has been estimated at between
225,000 and 275,000.
Dec. 26, 2003. An earthquake devastated the
ancient city of Bam, in central Iran, leaving
between 31,000 and 43,000 people dead.
July 28, 1976. The 20th century's most
devastating quake (magnitude 7.8) hit the
sleeping city of Tangshan in northeast China.
The official death toll was 242,000. Unofficial
estimates put the number as high as 655,000
May 22, 1927. A magnitude 7.9 quake near
Xining, China, killed 200,000
Sept. 1, 1923. A third of Tokyo and most of
Yokohama were levelled when a magnitude
8.3 earthquake shook Japan. About 143,000
were killed as fires ravaged much of Tokyo.
Dec. 16, 1920. China was also the site for the
world's third-deadliest quake of the 20th
century. An estimated 200,000 died when a
magnitude 8.6 temblor hit Gansu, triggering
Dec. 28, 1908. Southern Italy was ravaged
by a 7.2 magnitude quake that triggered a
tsunami that hit the Messina-Reggio-Calabria
area, killing 123,000.
July 15, 1991. Mt. Pinatubo on Luzon Island in the
Philippines erupted, blanketing 750 square
kilometers with volcanic ash. More than 800 died.
Nov. 13-14, 1985. At least 25,000 are killed near
Armero, Colombia, when the Nevado del Ruiz
volcano erupted, triggering mudslides.
May 8, 1902. Mt. Pelee erupted on the Caribbean
island of Martinique, destroying the capital city of
St. Pierre. Up to 40,000 were killed. The day
before, a volcano had killed 1,600 people on the
nearby island of St. Vincent and five months later
Mt. Santa Maria erupted in Guatemala, killing
July-August 2010. Floods triggered by heavier-than-
normal monsoon rains hit northwest
Pakistan. By the time the waters began to recede
in late August, more than 160,000 square
kilometers of land — about one-fifth of the
country — was under water. More than 1,700
people were killed and 17.2 million people have
May 3, 2008. Cyclone Nargis, swept along by
winds that exceeded 190 kmh and waves six
meters high struck the Burmese peninsula and
may have left as many as 100,000 dead,
according to U.S. estimates.
Hurricanes, cyclones and floods
Oct. 26-Nov. 4, 1998. Hurricane Mitch was the
deadliest hurricane to hit the Americas. It killed
11,000 in Honduras and Nicaragua and left 2.5
Aug. 5, 1975. At least 85,000 were killed along
the Yangtze River in China when more than 60
dams failed following a series of storms, causing
widespread flooding and famine. This disaster
was kept secret by the Chinese government for
August 1971. An estimated 100,000 died when
heavy rains led to severe flooding around Hanoi
in what was then North Vietnam.
Nov. 13, 1970. The Bhola cyclone in the Ganges
delta killed an estimated 500,000 in Bangladesh.
Some put the complete death toll as high as one
1900 to present. Malaria is one of the leading
causes of death in the developing world even
though it is curable and largely preventable.
According to the World Health Organization,
malaria causes severe illness in 500 million
people each year and kills more than a
1984-1985. Famine killed at least one million
in Ethiopia as severe drought led to
desperate food shortages.
Pandemics and famines
World Health Organization. The SARS
outbreak of 2003. According to the World
Health Organization (WHO), a total of
8,098 people worldwide became sick
with SARS during the 2003 outbreak. Of
these, 774 died.
The Ebola virus has killed over 1,000
people worldwide, the World Health
Organization (WHO) has said.
1980 to present. Toll from AIDS worldwide
since 1980 is estimated at 25 million, with
40 million others infected with HIV.
1968. The Hong Kong flu became the third
flu pandemic of the 20th century.
1965-67. Three years of drought in India
resulted in an estimated 1.5 million
deaths from starvation and disease.
Severe Indian droughts also killed millions
in 1900 and 1942.
1959-1961. The "Great Leap Famine" cost
an estimated 20 to 40 million lives in
China as the policies of Mao Zedong
resulted in massive social and economic
upheaval. China was also hit by large
famines in 1907, 1928-1930, 1936 and
1957-1958. The Asian flu swept around
the world, killing an estimated two million
and making it the second biggest flu
pandemic of the century.