|Trainee's Manual on Disaster Preparedness (European Commission Humanitarian Office, 59 p.)|
|Module I. Hazards, Disasters & Disaster Management Concepts|
A. Objectives of Disaster Management
1. Save Lives
2. Reduce Suffering
3. Speed Recovery
4. Provide Protection
B. Elements of Disaster Management
1. Risk Management
This consists of identifying threats (hazards likely to occur), determining their probability of occurrence, estimating potential impact of the threat in the communities at risk, determining measures that can reduce the risk, and taking action to reduce the threat. This includes hazard mapping, vulnerability mapping, estimation of potential losses (housing and physical structures, agricultural, economic and infrastructures), and development of appropriate disaster prevention and mitigation strategies.
Risk management is achieved by taking action in development projects that will lessen the risks to an acceptable level. For example, if flooding is determined to be a major risk, the risk can be reduced by physical measures such as dams, flood control embankments or channeling of the streams. Risks can likewise be reduced by moving threatened communities from flood plains and/or restricting economic activities in the flood zone to those that could absorb flood losses such as forestry and agriculture.
2. Loss Management
This addresses the human, structural and economic losses through both pre-and post-disaster actions designed to keep the losses to a minimum. Pre-disaster loss management activities focus on reducing the communitys vulnerability to hazards. Actions include improving the resistance of buildings and physical structures, providing improved safety for the occupants of building or settlements situated in hazardous areas, and increasing/diversifying the network of social support mechanisms available to communities in threatened areas.
Post-disaster loss management focuses on improving the response and broadening the range of support given to victims that includes facilitating relief delivery and stimulating a rapid recovery.
3. Disaster Preparedness
4. Control of Events
This is the most critical element of disaster management. Control is maintained through the following measures:
· anticipation of a disaster and the cause-effect relationship generated by each type of event;
· mitigation or reduction of the scope of disaster;
· disaster preparedness;
· accurate information collection and assessment;
· balanced response;
· timely actions;
· effective leadership; and
· discipline among people involved in the relief and disaster management system.
5. Equity of Assistance
Disaster assistance should be provided in an equitable and fair manner. Fairness must underlie uniform relief and reconstruction policies in order to insure that disaster victims receive fair treatment and obtain adequate access to resources available.
6. Resource Management
In order to meet all competing needs and demands of a post-disaster environment, resource management becomes essential. The use of available resources should be maximized to the greatest advantage.
7. Impact Reduction
Disasters can have impact far beyond the immediate human, physical or economic losses. Disasters represent a loss of opportunity not only to individuals but also to the entire community. They can also be a serious setback to the countrys entire development program.
Disaster should be managed to reduce their impacts to the minimum and that recovery is accomplished quickly and their efforts contribute to the overall development needs of the country and its citizens.
C. Major Aspects of Disaster Management
2. Prediction and Warning
5. Hazard Analysis
6. Vulnerability Analysis
The process of estimating the vulnerability to potential disaster-causing hazard of specified elements-at-risk. Vulnerability analysis is an essential prelude to disaster management. The analysis results to the identification of disaster-potential areas that may be difficult to recognize because of the unusual combination of, as an example, population density, literacy and poorly constructed structure. It also allows the always inadequate resources for disaster mitigation to be applied to areas of disaster potential on a rational basis.
7. Mitigation and Prevention