WHAT IS DISASTER?
Natural or man-caused event which causes intense negative impacts on people, goods and services and/or the environment, exceeding the affected community’s internal capability to respond adequately.
It is the potential for a natural or man-caused event to occur with negative consequences. A hazard becomes a disaster when the event causes intense negative impacts on people, goods and services. Hazards could classified in five groups: Natural Disaster, Technology disaster, Health disaster, Crime Disaster and Personal/man-made disaster. * Natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, flood, fire)
* Technology disaster: building failure (roof collapse, water pipes burst) or computer failure (data or hardware lost or in jeopardy) * Health disaster (epidemics, environmental catastrophe) * Crime disaster: violent crime (workplace assault, hostage situation, bomb detonation, robbery) and cybercrime (hacking, identity theft/phishing, employee sabotage) * Personal disaster (sudden death or disability, succession crisis due to retirement or illness)
The extent to which a community’s structure, services or environment is likely to be damaged or disrupted by the impact of a hazard. Vulnerability can be changed via prevention, mitigation and development activities.
The probability that a disaster will occur given the hazard and vulnerability.
A collective term encompassing all aspects of planning for and responding to disasters, including both pre- and post disaster activities. It refers to both the risk and consequences of a disaster.
The cumulative and lasting increase, tied to social changes, in the quantity and quality of a community’s goods, services and resources, with the purpose of maintaining and improving the security and quality of human life.
The idea here is that disasters happen in cycles. Parallel with the cycle, is the nonstop process of development. Consequently, disasters and cycle activities affect development. It is worth noting that disaster management has just recently been studied and described as a cycle.
Seven stages of the disaster cycle
This cycle has been described in terms of an interconnected chain of stages, which are: 1. Prevention
Three Phases of Disaster
When the time of an event(s) is considered, it is obvious that disaster could be stratified in three phases: Before - During - After (BDA). Hence the seven stages mentioned above could conveniently be divided into these three phases, according to the activities that occur. First Phase (Before the event)
The following stages are considered under this phase:
Measures taken for the purpose of preventing natural or man-caused phenomena from causing or giving rise to disasters or other emergency situations.
It refers to the measures taken to reduce the loss of life, livelihood and property by disasters, either by reducing vulnerability or by modifying the hazard, where possible. Although some disasters may be prevented, most of them cannot be. Mitigation tends to reduce damaging effects to life and property caused by non-preventable disaster forces.
The difference between Prevention and Mitigation is that; Prevention refers to when the event doesn’t occur. Meanwhile Mitigation simply means that the event occurs but the impact is reduced because the vulnerability has been reduced or the hazard modified.
These are measures taken to reduce to the minimum level possible the loss of human lives and other damage through the organizing of prompt and efficient actions of response and rehabilitation. Such measures include the following:
* Organize local disaster committee.
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