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Unit 1

Unit 1

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Published by: Rathnavel Ponnuswami on May 27, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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As per the Syllabus According to our Omnibus
Disaster preparedness
Goals and objectives of ISDR Programme
Risk identification
Risk sharing
Disaster and development:Development plans and disaster managementAlternative to dominant approachDisaster-development linkages
Principle of risk partnership
Introduction to Disaster & Disaster Management
Disaster Management
Institutional Arrangements
Disaster Preparedness
Risk Identification, Evaluation, Sharing & Partnership
Disaster and Development
Disaster * Types of Disasters * Disaster 
Related Terms * Disaster Management * Stages of Disaster Management 
The word disaster has originated from the French word
which means evil star.Thus disaster is an evil event or an evil sign.A disaster can be perceived as a tragic event leading to a great loss E.g. Earthquakes,floods, fires, explosions etc.Popular DefinitionA disaster is defined as a
natural or manmade situation
in which there is
a suddendisruption of normalcy
in the society
causing widespread damage to life andproperty
.Legal Definition"Disaster" means a catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence in any area,arising from natural or man-made causes, or by accident or negligence which results insubstantial loss of life or human suffering or damage to, and destruction of, property, ordamage to, or degradation of, environment, and is of such a nature or magnitude as tobe beyond the coping capacity of the community of the affected area.
Disasters can be classified on various basis namely (1) nature of cause and (2) speedof onsetsNatural and Artificial DisastersBased on the reason of occurrence or the
nature of the cause
, disasters can benatural or manmade.Natural disasters are those created by natural phenomenon. They cannot be predictedor prevented. Some examples of natural disasters are1. Earthquakes2. Volcanoes3. Landslides and Avalanches4. Tsunami5. Wind Storms6. Floods and Cyclones7. Droughts8. Heat Waves and Cold Waves9. Mud Slides10. FamineArtificial Disasters are disasters which are generated either intentionally or by accidentdue to anthropogenic/ human reasons. They can be predicted and prevented. Someexamples are1. Conventional Wars2. Nuclear/Biological Wars3. Road, Rail, Air and Ship Accidents4. Chemical Leaks and Environmental Pollution5. Explosions6. Fire Accidents7. Building Collapse8. Food Poisoning9. Disease Epidemics10. DeforestationRapid and Slow Onset DisastersBased on the
speed of onset of the disaster
, disasters can be natural or manmadeRapid or Quick Onset Disasters are disasters that arise suddenly, or whose occurrencecannot be predicted far in advance. Some examples are Earthquakes, cyclones,windstorms, landslides and avalanches, wildfires, etc.Slow Onset Disasters are disasters that do not arise suddenly, whose occurrence canbe predicted, there is more time to plan and implement an appropriate strategy tocounter the disaster. Droughts, Desertification, Climate Change etc are examples forslow onset events.
For a thorough understanding of disaster, the understanding of the following terms isnecessary
Hazard or Event
(Disaster) Risk
EmergencyAny disaster would have two components namely hazard and vulnerability.
is arare or extreme event due to natural or human-made causes that adversely affectshuman life, property or activity to the extent of causing a disaster.
isdefined as the extent to which human life, property or activity is likely to be damaged ordisrupted by the impact of particular hazard.A disaster can happen only when hazards come face to face with vulnerability. As such,when hazards happen and there are no casualties, then it is not referred to as disasters.On the other hand, even when there are people who will be easily affected by a hazard,there cannot be a disaster in the absence of the hazardDisaster, Hazard and Vulnerability can be related by any of the following equations.
Disaster = Hazard + VulnerabilityDisaster = Hazard x VulnerabilityDisaster = f (Hazard, Vulnerability)Risk
is the possibility of having a disaster. Risk is something bad that can lead to adisaster. Disaster is that something bad that has happened. Risk may refer to possibilityof hazard or expose the vulnerability. It is the word used before the event and disaster isthe word used after the event. Risk can also be equated with the above equations, asbelow.
Risk = Hazard + VulnerabilityRisk = Hazard x VulnerabilityRisk = f (Hazard, Vulnerability)Emergency
is another word often used with disaster. Emergency is a situationgenerated by the occurrence of an event that requires immediate attention. We cancope with emergency, not with disaster. Sometimes emergency may be a part of adisaster. Though both emergencies and disasters present situations that demand quickaction, one can prepare for emergencies but not disasters.
Simple DefinitionDisaster Management is a collective term encompassing all aspects of planning for andresponding to disasters, including both pre and post disaster activities. It may refer tothe management of both the risks and consequences of disasters.

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