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close this bookAn Overview of Disaster Management (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - United Nations Development Programme , 1992, 136 p.)
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View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 6. The disaster management team, roles and resources
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 7. Disaster preparedness
Open this folder and view contentsChapter 8. Vulnerability and risk assessment 1


Part One of this module introduced background information regarding hazards, disasters, and the disaster continuum. The rest of the module will address each of the phases of the disaster continuum with a special focus on preparedness, response and mitigation.

The framework for studying these disaster phases is disaster management which has been defined as

the body of policy and administrative decisions and operational activities which pertain to the various stages of a disaster at all levels.

The scope of disaster management, therefore, can include all disaster-related activities. These activities become so inclusive that no one individual is responsible for the entire range. Instead the responsibility is divided according to job descriptions and limited by the organization’s primary functions. The Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies, for example, work mainly in preparedness and emergency response phases and less often in reconstruction. Some NGOs work only in reconstruction. Even government, with its broad responsibility for overall aspects of disaster management, breaks down these components to be managed by several of its agencies. The UN has similar allocations of responsibility as a function of its agencies’ mandates and sectoral expertise.

The following chapters will discuss the component activities of disaster management. You will be asked to examine your individual and organizational responsibilities in relation to each phase of activity.


After reading this part of the text and completing the exercises, you should know the basic concepts, aims and elements of disaster and emergency management. You will be able to:

describe the UN and country disaster management teams and the role of each member

identify the components of disaster preparedness planning

describe the role of vulnerability and risk assessment as a prerequisite to disaster mitigation