Introduction to Disaster Management
Disaster is a serious disruption in the functioning of the community, causing wide spread losses, which exceeds the capacity of the affected society; to cope using its own resources. A disaster results from the combination of hazard, vulnerability and insufficient capacity to reduce the potential risk.
A hazard can be defined as a dangerous condition or event that threatens or has the potential for causing injury to life or damage to property or environment. Hazards can be natural, like cyclones, tsunami, etc., socio-natural like flood, drought, etc., or man-made like explosions, wars, etc.
Vulnerability is the extent to which a community, service or geographic area is likely to be damaged by the impact of a particular hazard. It is decided on the account of nature, construction and proximity to hazardous terrains or disaster-prone areas. It can be physical or socio-economic.
Capacity refers to the means that exist in households and communities that enable them to cope up with, prepare for, prevent, mitigate or quickly recover from a disaster. Physical capacity implies to the skills for saving things during disasters and socio-economic capacity refers to the wealth of the people.
Risk is the measure of expected losses due to a hazard in a given area over a specific time period. Disaster management is basically disaster risk reduction.
Disaster management is the sum total of all programs, activities and measures that are taken with the purpose of:
Avoiding a disaster
Reducing its impact, and
The activities for disaster risk management are taken before, during and after the disaster.