Preventing Common Human Induced Disasters

Disaster is a perceived tragedy, being either a natural calamity or man-made. Man-made disastrous caused directly and principally by deliberate or negligent human actions. They cause severe threats to public health and well-being. Their occurrence is unpredictable and poses a challenging threat. They must be dealt through vigilance, proper planning and response. People are to be made aware about causes and effects of disasters. There is a controversy on the first usage of term WMD, i.e., Weapons of Mass Destruction. It includes nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon, which cause widespread devastation and loss of life. WMD is now referred to as non-conventional weapons. Following are some of the safety measures, which are to be followed in case of nuclear attacks: • Do not panic. • Do not gaze directly at the explosion. • Close all the doors and windows (since, radioactivity cannot penetrate into solid structures). • Do not consume any food after the nuclear explosion. • Act according to the government’s instructions. Chemicals can also be hazardous to humans and the environment. Explosives, combustible materials, poisons and radioactive materials are considered hazardous. They can be released because of transportation accident, leak and lack of proper storage or chemical accidents in the plants. Oil spills are a common happening around the world. An oil spill is the release of liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, due to human activity. Biological weapons are referred to as a “poor man’s nuclear bomb”. The illness caused because of biological weapons is not instant. It takes several hours or days. It cannot be diagnosed in the initial stages, and can spread to large population because of the delay in diagnosis. Some of the possible risk reduction measures for human-induced disasters are as follows: • Hazard Mapping • Land Use Planning • Community Preparedness • Other Risk Reduction Measures

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