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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 1. Introduction to disasters
close this folderCausal factors of disasters
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPoverty
View the documentPopulation growth
View the documentRapid urbanization
View the documentTransitions in cultural practices
View the documentEnvironmental degradation
View the documentLack of awareness and information
View the documentWar and civil strife

Lack of awareness and information

Disasters can also happen because people vulnerable to them simply didn’t know how to get out of harm’s way or to take protective measures. This ignorance may not necessarily be a function of poverty, but a lack of awareness of what measures can be taken to build safe structures on safe locations. Perhaps some people did not know about safe evacuation routes and procedures. Other populations may not know where to turn for assistance in times of acute distress. Nevertheless, this point should not be taken as a justification for ignoring the coping mechanisms of the majority of people affected by disasters. In most disaster-prone societies, there is a wealth of understanding about disaster threats and responses. This understanding should be incorporated into any efforts to provide external assistance.