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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.)
close this folderChapter 10. Disaster assessment 1
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentObjectives of assessment
View the documentThe assessment process
View the documentAssessments for different disaster types
View the documentHow assessment data is used

Assessments for different disaster types

The design and execution of assessments are very different for sudden onset disasters versus the slow onset. For sudden onset, there are typically many different needs in many locations involving casualty management, support for local rescue efforts and recovery of lifeline services during the first two days of an emergency. Initially the needs change from hour to hour often resulting in confusion. In fact, some activities need to be done so quickly that action has to precede detailed assessments, using strategies determined during preparedness planning on the basis of previous emergencies.

For displaced persons and famine emergencies the lead times are sometimes long and donors may be unwilling to commit large amounts of assistance in response to ambiguous information. The initial priority needs which should be assessed include immunizations (particularly measles), emergency water supply, nutritional monitoring, bulk food logistics, and registration systems. Early geographical assessments of the size of the populations at risk are vital.

These prolonged emergencies may last for months, and often for years. This allows for detailed analysis of the assessment system’s performance and the opportunity to adapt them as requirements change.