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MBA Executive

Roll # AB523655
Semester: Autumn 2009






Distinguish between Disaster Management and

Emergency Response. Also explain the principles
of disaster mitigation and emergency response ?




A disaster (from Middle French desastre, from Old Italian disastro, from the
Greek pejorative prefix dis- bad + aster star) is the impact of a natural or
man-made hazards that negatively affects society or environment.
The word disaster's root is from astrology: this implies that when the stars are in
a bad position, a bad event will happen. Disasters occur when hazards strike in
vulnerable areas. Hazards that occur in areas with low vulnerability do not result
in a disaster; as is the case in uninhabited regions. It is often argued that all
disasters are man-made, because human actions before the strike of the hazard
can prevent it developing into a disaster.
Hazards are routinely divided into natural or man-made, although complex
disasters, where there is no single root cause, are more common in developing
countries. A specific disaster may spawn a secondary disaster that increases the
impact. A classic example is an earthquake that causes a tsunami, resulting in
coastal flooding.
Disaster is a sudden, calamitous event bringing great damage, loss,
destruction and devastation to life and property.
The damage caused by disasters is immeasurable and varies with the
geographical location, climate and the type of the earth surface/degree of
vulnerability. This influences the mental, socio-economic, political and cultural
state of the affected area.
Generally, disaster has the following effects in the concerned areas:
It completely disrupts the normal day to day life.
It negatively influences the emergency systems.


Normal needs and processes like food, shelter, health, etc. are affected and
deteriorate depending on the intensity and severity of the disaster.
It may also be termed as "a serious disruption of the functioning of society,
causing widespread human, material or environmental losses which exceed the
ability of the affected society to cope using its own resources." Thus, a disaster
may have the following main features:


Thus, in simple terms we can define disaster as a hazard causing heavy loss to
life, property and livelihood. E.g. a cyclone killing 10,000 lives and a crop loss of
one crore can be termed as disaster.

Disaster management is a process or strategy that is implemented when any
type of catastrophic event takes place. Sometimes referred to as disaster
recovery management, the process may be initiated when anything threatens
to disrupt normal operations or puts the lives of human beings at risk.
Governments on all levels as well as many businesses create some sort of
disaster plan that make it possible to overcome the catastrophe and return to
normal function as quickly as possible.



Disaster Management is the discipline that

Deals with and avoid risks and impact of a disaster.

Involves in preparing for disaster before it happens.

Responds immediately to the outcome prior to and following a disaster.

Deals with the process of supporting and rebuilding society after a disaster.
Involves individuals, groups and community to manage hazards in the
situation of an emergency.

Emergency response is a term for a series of appropriate actions and

precautions in the event of a disaster.

No matter the type of catastrophe, proper emergency response can protect

family members and even save lives. By having a full knowledge of the
surroundings, keeping a supply of rescue goods, and having a detailed plan with
household members, emergency response can allow peace of mind and better
chance of safety in any situation.

One primary key to proper emergency response is being acquainted with the
potential for natural and man-made disasters in the surrounding area. Check
weather patterns and history to determine if the area is subject to wildfires,
floods, mudslides, tidal waves or severe storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Be


aware of the potential for earthquakes nearby, and if they are likely, nurture a
basic understanding of where the fault lines run. Also be aware of any potential
sources of man-made disasters in the local area. Chemical or nuclear plants can
both cause problems in the event of leaks or spills.
Having determined the likely sources of a disaster, a good emergency repair
plan can now be made. Take pains to ensure that residences are equipped with
any necessary outbuildings that can provide protection during a disaster, such
as tornado shelters. Make every person in the household aware of what to do
during and immediately after an emergency occurs. Many disasters may cause
cell phones to fail, so choose a meeting spot that is easily accessible and can be
used as a check-in point for missing family members.
A first-aid kit is a vital part of any emergency response package. Bandages,
antiseptic formula, sterile gauze, and basic pain medication should all be
included. When possible, have back-up bottles of any chronically needed
medications in the first aid kit. Be sure to replace these back-ups well before
they expire. Blankets, warm clothing, and a spare pair of shoes can also be
useful additions to a first-aid kit.
Emergency response allows people to act quickly and without panicking should
an emergency occur. Knowing that plans have been made and supplies
arranged can help take considerable worry and fear out of the process. By
following emergency response procedures and listening carefully for any contact
or orders from emergency personnel, you can ensure a better chance of safety
and survival in any situation.




Hazards are identified by cause:

Natural Hazards

Geological earth quacks, landslides, sand & dust storms

Meteorological Tornados, ice storms, drought
Oceanographic hurricanes, tsunamis
Hydrological flooding

Biological wildfire, insect infestation, epidemics

Technological Hazards

Hazardous materials and processes

Dangerous processes structure failure

Devices and machines explosives, trains, aircraft

Installations and plants dams, mines, power plants

Social or Person-Induced Hazards

Terrorisms bombings, hostage, shootings



Crowds riots, demonstrations

In order to understand the principles of disaster mitigation it is important to

clearly understand the disaster management cycle i.e. mitigation, preparedness
and management.

Fig: Disaster Management Cycle

Phase 1 : The Prevention Phase







reducing the probability of likely disasters and emergencies occurring or

reducing or limiting their consequences.

Making viable disaster plan to respond rapidly and effectively

Assembling adequate resources

Collecting stocks of consumable items

Training of personnel

Prevention essentially involves four basic actions:

Preventing hazards from occurring (only possible in person-induced or

biological hazards)
Reducing risk



Reducing impacts or consequences

Distributing risks
Phase 2 : The Preparation Stage
Preparedness means minimizing the adverse effects of a hazard through
precautionary actions and measures. It entails a series of actions to ensure
speedy, effective and efficient organization and delivery of relief and related
responses following the onset of sudden disaster.
Preparedness involves:
Community awareness and education





Mock drill, training and practice
Inventory of resources both material and human skill resources
Proper warning system
Mutual arrangement
Identifying the vulnerable groups
Phase 3: Response Phase
Response involves
Measures taken immediately prior to and following disaster
Proper and timely warning using media, roving loudspeakers etc.
Deployment of skilled persons
Rescue work
Medical care
Drinking water supply
Restore all sorts of communication



Phase 4: The Recovery Phase

The aim of the recovery phase is to temporarily provide tolerable living
conditions for people in distress and to commence work on rebuilding society up
to a level where it can function again.
Awaring community on health and safety measures.
Restoring essential service-roads, communication links
Providing financial support, employment opportunities
Reconstructing buildings
The principles of disaster management would mean undertaking all activities at
different times so as to:
Reduce risk to potential hazards before disasters occur, by developing long
term and short term policies and strategies.
Assure prompt and appropriate assistance to communities, during and
immediately after the disasters.
Achieve rapid and sustained recovery and rehabilitation after the
occurrence of disasters.

Disaster Management - AIOU




Write a detail note on Risk Communication,
Warning Dissemination and Alert Systems.



An interactive process of exchange of information and opinion among

individuals, groups, and institutions; often involves multiple messages about the
nature of risk or expressing concerns, opinions, or reactions to risk messages or
to legal and institutional arrangements for risk management.

Disaster management planning and disaster recovery planning is not just about
setting up evacuation shelters and providing emergency supplies. Without rapid,
coordinated communications, even the best disaster management plan or
disaster recovery plan is virtually ineffective.

Information is power and it is a catalyst to sustainable development. Disaster

reduction takes many forms. It may involve advising people about the dos and
donts of building and maintaining infrastructure. However, most disaster
prevention and mitigation involves assuring effective, reliable communication.
Reaching the widest possible audience with the most up-to-date, credible
information can save lives and property, reduce public fears and anxiety, and
maintain the publics trust in the integrity of Government officials. Citizen
preparedness is key and increased preparation is informed by effective
communication. Individual action is key to implementing prevention strategies


as well as for survival in disaster times. How can we help individuals? Timely,
accurate and sensitive communications in the face of natural disasters are
demonstrated, cost-effective means of saving lives, reducing property damage,
and increasing public understanding. Communications is essential for educating,
warning, informing and empowering people to take practical steps to protect
themselves from natural disasters.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed and especially in times of disaster warnings
are well appreciated. For example, when Hurricane Gilbert hit Jamaica in
September of 1988, it was a scary time to say the least. However accurate
tracking of the storm and the timely and accurate dissemination of disaster
warnings ensured that Jamaicans new which areas were at greater risk, knew
how to protect themselves and were able to put measures in place to ensure
their personal safety. The death toll was much lower than a similar hurricane,
which hit them in 1951.









telecommunications, including broadcast services, for early warnings. Technical

agencies must therefore continuously strive for improved risk assessment,
broader monitoring and communication of forecasts and warnings and placing
higher priority on the compilation and exchange of information on natural
disaster reduction. This is particularly important at regional and sub regional
Technical communications systems, such as satellites, remote sensing devices,
and computer networks, and other technology-based communication systems
research, predict, track, and provide early warning of natural hazards.


Simulated information is translated into common understandable language for

dissemination the communities through communication channels such as
electronic media, broadcasting, internet, newspapers, wireless messages and
radio. This is the most important stage of prediction, as this information has to
be very precise, understandable and timely. Communication must be carefully
presented to avoid causing panic, but at the same time should be sufficient for
quick action.
Sufficient lead time is necessary so that actions can be taken to save lives and
property. The critical information must be understandable, in the language of
the people who may be affected by the hazard. For example, if a fishing
community is warned about a cyclone, the language must be in the local dialect,
not in a language or with a vocabulary they never use or hear.
First one receives warning; then they put out an alert. The warning and alert
phase bridges the gap between uncertainty and reality. A warning can be
subtle as ominous black clouds, putting people on alert for a tornado; or it can
be as direct as a phone call announcing that fire fighters are on their way to
evacuate everyone.
Some disasters give little warning; others give warning sufficiently in advance.
The longer the warning period, the greater the opportunity for reducing the
consequences. For example, it is difficult to predict exactly when or where an
earthquake will strike because they give little or no warning. However high snow
packs and warming weather trends can warn emergency planners of a possible
flood weeks in advance of the event.



Emergency planners must have enough information to receive and understand a

warning. Then they must communicate the warning to the correct people.
Finally, the people who receive the alert must believe the information and know
what to do.
An alert can be communicated by various means including sirens, radio,
television, public address systems, telephones and bullhorns. The information
communicated and means of communication may depend on the; immediacy of
the threat, characteristics of the target population and the means of the
communication sources available.
For example, when alert information comes by telephone, it is often unclear
from the call what the situation is and what the subsequent impact will be. So
the first task on the receiving end of the call is to determine what exactly is
taking place (or is about to take place). The second task is to determine what
needs to be done in response.
An alert system should never be dependent on

just one system of

communication. If the usual method of communicating information is by

telephone, ensure there is an alternative method to use if the phone system is
not working. When there is a threat with a long warning period, there is much
more flexibility and ability to communicate the content of the alert. Newspapers,
magazines and ad campaigns can all be used along with the electronic media.
The warning and alert phase is first in any disaster preparedness effort.
Therefore, a thorough understanding of detecting, evaluating, responding and
implementing decisions is crucial for saving lives and critical assets.



Disaster Management AIOU
Communicating Effectively in a Disaster Situation by Regenie Fraser




Explain the mitigation measures with special

reference to flood, Earth Quack, Land Sliding and


Earthquake is one of the most destructive natural hazard. They may occur at
any time of the year, day or night, with sudden impact and little warning. They

can destroy buildings and infrastructure in seconds, killing or injuring the

inhabitants. Earthquakes not only destroy the entire habitation but may destabilize the government, economy and social structure of the country.


It is the sudden shaking of the earth crust. The impact of an earthquake is

sudden and there is hardly any warning, making it impossible to predict.

The earths crust is a rocky layer of varying thickness ranging from a depth of
about 10 kilometers under the sea to 65 kilometers under the continents. The
crust is not one piece but consists of portions called plates which vary in size
from a few hundred to thousands of kilometers. The theory of plate tectonics
holds that the plates ride up on the more mobile mantle, and are driven by
some yet unconfirmed
mechanisms, perhaps thermal convection currents. When these plates contact
each other, stress arises in the crust.
These stresses can be classified according to the type of movement along the
plates boundaries:
a) pulling away from each other,
b) pushing against one another and
c) sliding sideways relative to each other.
All these movements are associated with earthquakes.
Different types of plate movement
i). Divergent - where new
crust is generated as the
plates pull away from each



ii). Convergent - where

crust is destroyed as one
plate dives under another.

iii). Transformational - where

crust is neither produced
nor destroyed as the plates
slide horizontally past each
General characteristics
Earthquake vibrations occur in a variety of frequencies and velocities. The
actual rupture process may last for a few seconds to as long as one minute for a
major earthquake. The ground shaking is caused by body waves and surface
Body waves (P and S waves) penetrate the body of the earth, vibrating fast. P
waves travel about 6 kilometers per hour and S waves travel with a speed of 4
kilometers per hour.
Surface waves vibrate the ground horizontally and vertically. These long
period waves cause swaying of tall buildings and slight waves motion in bodies
of water even at great distances from the epicenter.
Earthquakes can be of three types based on the focal depth:
Deep:- 300 to 700 kms from the earth surface
Medium:- 60 to 300 kms
Shallow: less than 60 kms


The deep focus earthquakes are rarely destructive because by the time the
waves reach the surface the impact reduces. Shallow focus earthquakes are
more common and are extremely damaging because of their proximity to the

Measuring Earthquakes
Earthquakes can be described by the use of two distinctively different scales of
measurement demonstrating magnitude and intensity. Earthquake magnitude
or amount of energy released is determined by the use of a seismograph
which is an instrument that continuously records ground vibration. The scale
was developed by a seismologist named Charles Richter. An earthquake with a
magnitude 7.5 on the Richter scale releases 30 times the energy than one with
6.5 magnitudes. An earthquake of magnitude 3 is the smallest normally felt by
humans. The largest earthquake that has been recorded with this system is 9.25
(Alaska, 1969 and Chile, 1960).
The second type of scale, the earthquake intensity scale measures the
effects of an earthquake where it occurs. The most widely used scale of this
type was developed in 1902 by Mercalli an Italian seismologist. The scale was
extended and modified to suit the modern times. It is called the Modified
Mercalli Scale, which expresses the intensity of earthquake effect on people,
structure and the earths surface in values from I to XII. With an intensity of VI
and below most of the people can feel the shake and there are cracks on the
walls, but with an intensity of XII there is general panic with buildings collapsing
totally and there is a total disruption in normal life.



Predictability: Although some scientists claim ability to predict earthquakes,

the methods are controversial. Accurate and exact predictions of such sudden
incidents are still not possible.

Community preparedness: Community preparedness is vital for mitigating
earthquake impact. The most effective way to save you even in a slightest
shaking is 'DROP, COVER and HOLD'.
Planning: The Bureau of Indian Standards has published building codes and
guidelines for safe construction of buildings against earthquakes. Before the
buildings are constructed the building plans have to be checked by the
Municipality, according to the laid down bylaws. Many existing lifeline buildings
such as hospitals, schools and fire stations may not be built with earthquake
safety measures. Their earthquake safety needs to be upgraded by retrofitting
Public education is educating the public on causes and characteristics of an
earthquake and preparedness measures. It can be created through sensitization
and training programme for community, architects, engineers, builders, masons,
teachers, government functionaries teachers and students.
Engineered structures: Buildings need to be designed and constructed as per
the building by laws to withstand ground shaking. Architectural and engineering
inputs need to be put together to improve building design and construction
practices. The soil type needs to be analyzed before construction. Building
structures on soft soil should be avoided. Buildings on soft soil are more likely to


get damaged even if the magnitude of the earthquake is not Strong. Similar

problems persist in the buildings constructed on the river banks which have
alluvial soil.


Flood is a state of high water level along a river channel or on the coast that

leads to inundation of land, which is not usually submerged. Floods may happen
gradually and also may take hours or even happen suddenly without any
warning due to breach in the embankment, spill over, heavy rains etc.

There are different types of floods namely: flash flood, riverine flood, urban

flood, etc. Flash floods can be defined as floods which occur within six hours of
the beginning of heavy rainfall, and are usually associated with cloud bursts,

storms and cyclones requiring rapid localized warnings and immediate response

to reduce damage. Wireless network and telephone connections are used to

monitor flood conditions. In case of flash floods, warnings for timely evacuation
may not always be possible.


There are several causes of floods and differ from region to region. The causes
may vary from a rural area to an urban area. Some of the major causes are:

a) Heavy rainfall
b) Heavy siltation of the river bed reduces the water carrying capacity of
c) Blockage in the drains lead to flooding of the area.
d) Landslides blocking the flow of the stream.


e) Construction of dams and reservoirs

f) In areas prone to cyclone, strong winds accompanied by heavy down pour
along with storm surge leads to flooding.

Flood forecasting and warning has been highly developed in the past two
decades. With the advancement of technology such as satellite and remotesensing equipments flood waves can be tracked as the water level rises. Except
for flash floods there is usually a reasonable warning period. Heavy precipitation
will give sufficient warning of the coming river flood. High tides with high winds
may indicate flooding in the coastal areas. Evacuation is possible with suitable
monitoring and warning. Warning is issued by the Central Water Commission









Department. CWC maintains close liaison with the administrative and state
engineering agencies, local civil authorities to communicate advance warning
for appropriate mitigation and preparedness measures.

Mitigation Measures
Mapping of the flood prone areas is a primary step involved in reducing the
risk of the region. Historical records give the indication of the flood inundation
areas and the period of occurrence and the extent of the coverage. Warning can
be issued looking into the earlier marked heights of the water levels in case of
potential threat. In the coastal areas the tide levels and the land characteristics
will determine the submergence areas. Flood hazard mapping will give the
proper indication of water flow during floods.



Land use control will reduce danger of life and property when waters inundate
the floodplains and the coastal areas. The number of casualties is related to the
population in the area at risk. In areas where people already have built their
settlements, measures should be taken to relocate to better sites so as to
reduce vulnerability. No major development should be permitted in the areas
which are subjected to high flooding. Important facilities like hospitals, schools
should be built in safe areas. In urban areas, water holding areas can be created
like ponds, lakes or low-lying areas.
Construction of engineered structures in the flood plains and strengthening
of structures to withstand flood forces and seepage. The buildings should be
constructed on an elevated area. If necessary build on stilts or platform.
Flood Control aims to reduce flood damage. This can be done by decreasing
the amount of runoff with the help of reforestation (to increase absorption could
be a mitigation strategy in certain areas), protection of vegetation, clearing of
debris from streams and other water holding areas, conservation of ponds and
lakes etc. Flood Diversion include levees, embankments, dams and channel
improvement. Dams can store water and can release water at a manageable
rate. But failure of dams in earthquakes and operation of releasing the water
can cause floods in the lower areas. Flood Proofing reduces the risk of damage.
Measures include use of sand bags to keep flood water away, blocking or sealing
of doors and windows of houses etc. Houses may be elevated by building on
raised land. Buildings should be constructed away from water bodies.
Flood Management

In India, systematic planning for flood management

commenced with the Five Year Plans, particularly with



the launching of National Programme of Flood Management in 1954. During the

last 48 years, different methods of flood protection structural as well as

nonstructural have been adopted in different states depending upon the nature
of the problem and local conditions. Structural measures include storage

reservoirs, flood embankments, drainage channels, antierosion works, channel

improvement works, detention basins etc. and non-structural measures include

flood forecasting, flood plain zoning, flood proofing, disaster preparedness etc.
The flood management measures undertaken so far have provided

reasonable degree of protection to an area of 15.81 million hectares through out

the country.

The term landslide includes all varieties of mass movements of hill slopes and

can be defined as the downward and outward movement of slope forming

materials composed of rocks, soils, artificial fills or combination of all these

materials along surfaces of separation by falling, sliding and flowing, either

slowly or quickly from one place to another. Although the landslides are

primarily associated with mountainous terrains, these can also occur in areas
where an activity such as surface excavations for highways, buildings and open

pit mines takes place. They often take place in conjunction with earthquakes,
floods and volcanoes. At times, prolonged rainfall causing landslide may block

the flow of river for quite some time. The formation of river blocks can cause
havoc to the settlements downstream on its bursting.

Causes of Landslide



There are several causes of landslide. Some of the major causes are as follows:
Geological Weak material: Weakness in the composition and structure of rock
or soil may also cause landslides.
Erosion: Erosion of slope toe due to cutting down of vegetation, construction of
roads might increase the vulnerability of the terrain to slide down.
Intense rainfall: Storms that produce intense rainfall for periods as short as
several hours or have a more moderate intensity lasting several days have
triggered abundant landslides. Heavy melting of snow in the hilly terrains also
results in landslide.
Human Excavation of slope and its toe, loading of slope/toe, draw down in
reservoir, mining, deforestation, irrigation, vibration/blast, Water leakage from
Earthquake shaking has triggered landslides in many different topographic
and geologic settings. Rock falls, soil slides and rockslides
from steep slopes involving relatively thin or shallow dis-aggregated soils or
rock, or both have been the most abundant types of landslides triggered by
historical earthquakes.
Volcanic eruption Deposition of loose volcanic ash on hillsides commonly is
followed by accelerated erosion and frequent mud or debris flows triggered by
intense rainfall.

Mitigation Measures


Hazard mapping locates areas prone to slope failures. This will help to avoid
building settlements in such areas. These maps will also serve as a tool for
mitigation planning.
Land use practices such as:
Areas covered by degraded natural vegetation in upper slopes are to be
afforested with suitable species. Existing patches of natural vegetation
(forest and natural grass land) in good condition, should be preserved
Any developmental activity initiated in the area should be taken up only
after a detailed study of the region has been carried out.
In construction of roads, irrigation canals etc. proper care is to be taken to
avoid blockage of natural drainage
Total avoidance of settlement in the risk zone should be made mandatory.
Relocate settlements and infrastructure that fall in the possible path of the
No construction of buildings in areas beyond a certain degree of slope
Retaining Walls can be built to stop land from slipping (these walls are
commonly seen along roads in hill stations). These are constructed to prevent
smaller sized and secondary landslides that often occur along the toe portion of
the larger landslides.
Surface Drainage Control Works The surface drainage control works are
implemented to control the movement of landslides accompanied by infiltration
of rain water and spring flows.



Engineered structures with strong foundations can withstand or take the

ground movement forces. Underground installations (pipes, cables, etc.) should
be made flexible to move in order to withstand
forces caused by the landslide

Increasing vegetation cover is the cheapest and most effective way of

arresting landslides. This helps to bind the top layer of the soil with layers
below, while preventing excessive run-off and soil erosion.

Insurance will assist individuals whose homes are likely to be damaged by

landslides or by any other natural hazards.

Drought is either absence or deficiency of rainfall from its normal pattern in a

region for an extended period of time leading to general suffering in the society.
It is interplay between demand that people place on natural supply of water and

natural event that provides the water in a given geographical region. The more



the imbalance in supply the higher is the drought. The following will help
explaining this general definition of the drought further.
It is a slow on-set disaster and it is difficult to demarcate the time of its
onset and the end.
Any unusual dry period which results in a shortage of useful water.
Drought is a normal, recurrent feature of climate. Climate is expected to
show some aberrations and drought is just a part of it.
Drought can occur by improper distribution of rain in time and space, and
not just by its amount.
Drought is negative balance between precipitation and water use (through
evaporation, transpiration by plants, domestic and industrial uses etc) in a
geographical region.
The effects of drought accumulate slowly over a considerable period of time.

Mitigation Measures
There are various mitigation strategies to cope up with drought.
1. Public Awareness and education: If the community is aware of the dos
and donts, then half of the problem is solved. This includes awareness on the
availability of safe drinking water, water conservation techniques, agricultural
drought management strategies like crop contingency plans, construction of
rain water harvesting structure. Awareness can be generated by the print,
electronic and folk media.
2. Drought Monitoring: It is continuous observation of the rainfall situation,
availability of water in the reservoirs, lakes, rivers etc and comparing with the
existing water needs in various sectors of the society.


3. Water supply augmentation and conservation through rainwater

harvesting in houses and farmers fields increases the content of water
available. Water harvesting by either allowing the runoff water from all the fields
to a common point (e.g. Farm ponds, see the picture) or allowing it to infiltrate
into the soil where it has fallen (in situ) (e.g. contour bunds, contour cultivation,
raised bed planting etc) helps increase water availability for sustained
agricultural production.
4. Expansion of irrigation facilities reduces the drought vulnerability. Land
use based on its capability helps in optimum use of land and water and can
avoid the undue demand created due to their misuse.
5. Livelihood planning identifies those livelihoods which are least affected by
the drought. Some of such livelihoods include increased off-farm employment
opportunities, collection of non-timber forest produce from the community
forests, raising goats, carpentry etc.
6. Drought planning: the basic goal of drought planning is to improve the
effectiveness of preparedness and response efforts by enhancing
monitoring, mitigation and response measures.

www.drought.unl. Edu



Many natural and manmade hazards can be
predicted before their onset. In most cases,
Technology now has made it possible to act before






requires different methods, technologies, and

equipment, explain!


There are three stages involved in the prediction of hazards:

1. Collecting Data
2. Analyzing data o assess the hazard
3. Translating data into a warning and disseminating it to the general
public and the disaster task force.

Many natural and manmade hazards can be predicted before their onset. In
most cases, technology now makes it possible to act before disaster strikes.

Predicting different hazards requires different methods, technologies and


Each country has different organizations that poses equipment and monitoring

systems for different types of hazards. Prediction is based on the scientific data
and information collected from different sources, which is simulated through
various models and finally analyzed to determine the impacts that an identified
hazard can have.



In fact, prediction is a means for hazard assessment, warning and alert systems.
Most natural hazards are linked to atmospheric and climate changes, which are
predictable. Within industrial and commercial settings many technological
hazards can also be predicted using different alarm systems. For example, it is
possible to predict the onset of major storms or torrential rains and floods with
fair accuracy, often a few days in advance.
Some well known international sources of prediction and forecasts of natural
hazards are:
The World Weather Watch (mainly for tropical storms)
Seismological facilities in various countries (for monitoring of earth
movements providing geographical co-ordinates of the movements and
The Tsunamis Center at the Pacific Warning Center in Honolulu (for
Tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean)
National sources for prediction may include:

National Meteorological Services

National Seismological Services and Volcanological Services
Sectoral Ministries and Departments
Disaster Management focal points

For example, forecasting weather helps in predicting hazards related to high

winds, storms, sea surges, tsunamis, high rainfall, flooding and ice storms.
Prediction of wind hazards (tropical cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons) is based on


technology and persistence. Data is normally collected is upper wind flow

patterns at different heights. Surface isobaric patterns, satellite cloud imageries,
and radar and radio observations are the main tools used for weather
forecasting. Based on the guidelines of the World Meteorological Organization
the following observations are made.
Surface Observations: Wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure,








temperature and ground temperature.

Sea Observations: Sea surface temperature, wave speed, direction,
period and swell.
Upper Air Observations: Temperature and humidity at different heights
and pressure levels.
The source of the majority of these observations is normally the meteorological
stations on land. Some observations at sea can be made by the merchant ships
and research vessels.

Accuracy of weather forecasts depends upon the availability of high resolution
satellite pictures. These systems can also be used for identifying fishing
grounds, detecting forest fires and monitoring crop conditions.













disturbances, severe thunderstorms and bad weather phenomenon up to a

range of 400km. The video integrator processor of radar can display limited
levels of precipitation intensities.
Similarly, flood forecasting or prediction requires information on climatic factors
like rainfall in the headwater catchments. Whenever there is a heavy rainfall in
the upstream area, time taken for the water to accumulate downstream is the
lead-time for the flood forecasting. Any calibrated rainfall-runoff model for local
conditions- is a tool to provide information on expected water levels along a
river in advance. Basic information required for flood forecasting are antecedent
rainfall, evaporation rates and water levels coupled with the topographical
features of the river systems.
A seismograph is a device for measuring the movement of the earth, and
consists of a ground motion detection sensor, called a seismometer, coupled
with a recording system. A simple seismometer that is sensitive to up-down
motions of the earth can be understood by visualizing a weight hanging on a
spring. The spring and weight are suspended from a frame that moves along
with the earths surface. As the earth moves, the relative motion between the
weight and the earth provides a measure of the vertical ground motion. If a
recording system is installed, such as a rotating drum attached to the frame,
and a pen attached to the mass, this relative motion between the weight and
earth can be recorded to produce a history of ground motion, called a




The following table lists common information needed for timely prediction or
forecasting of some natural hazards.



Information Needed
Cyclone track and intensity
Time and location of landfall prediction
Dissemination of warnings
Damage assessment
Implementation of relief plans
Area affected
Rainfall in catchments areas
Water levels (stream/storage areas)
Run-off predictions
Terrain relief and slopes
Extent of affected areas
Damage assessment
Rainfall anomalies and vegetable indices
Area affected
Estimate the damage assessment




Monitoring scan accumulation

Seismological networks
Areas affected by earthquakes
Estimation of damage
Modeling landslide process
Slope and soil stability information
Monitoring rainfall
Extent of areas affected
Damage assessment

Disaster Management AIOU

















Community is a contributor of resources and allies and provider of pitfalls and


Community is a place, where

1. The need for change, 2.The effort to make that change and 3. The resistance
to change co-exists.

Three ways to perceive a community

Perceiving Community as a community Components of community i.e. sub

communities Groups drawn to the arena of action

Geographic area, defined boundaries

Shared interest and activities
Purposeful grouping of individuals in to a common whole
A fundamental capacity of our humanness
A state of being
Manner of people relating to one another

Types of Communities

Interest community: Communities we need to know/ the people who are

involved in our particular action.

Need or benefit community: Consists of people who currently experience the

problem or could benefit from its resolution.




Action community: Consists of people who recognize or could easily recognize

that a problem exists and are willing to work to resolve it.(change agent)
Target or response community: Consists of people whose policies, actions or
inactions somehow perpetuate the problem.

Peripheral community: The wider community

Some definition of Community Organization are:

Community organization is the process of dealing with individuals and groups,

who are or may become concerned with social welfare services or objectives,
for the purpose of influencing the volume of such services, improving the
quality or distribution or furthering the attainment of such objectives
Community organization is a technique for obtaining a consensus concerning
both the values that are most important for the common welfare and the best
means of obtaining them.

Community organization is achieved whenever a group of citizens recognizing

a need, band together to see that the need is met.

Community organization has been defined as the process of bringing about

and maintaining a progressively more effective adjustment between social



welfare resources and social welfare needs within a geographic area or

functional field.
Community organizing is a long-term approach where the people affected by an
issue are supported in identifying problems and taking action to achieve
solutions. The organizer challenges those he or she works with to change the
way things are, it is a means of achieving social change through collective
action by changing the balance of power. The tactics and strategies employed
by the organizer are similar to the processes of leadership including timing the
issue, deliberate planning, getting the attention of the populace, framing the
issue in terms of the desired solution, and shaping the terms of the decisionmaking process.
Why use community organizing?
Community organizing helps to bring out many voices to add collective power
and strength to an issue. Community organizing is a key part of an overall
strategy to make changes in a community that are widely felt, and that reflect
the wishes of the people who are directly affected by alcohol-related community
problems. This requires the organizer to not only listen and be responsive to the
community, but also to help community residents develop the skills necessary
to address their own issues in an ongoing way.
At the heart of community organizing are inclusion, ownership,
relationship building and leadership development.
Community organizing looks at collective solutions large numbers of people
who engage in solutions that impact even more people. These people usually
live in the same neighborhood, town or block. Many traditional agency
responses look at individual solutions. Agencies tend to focus on the individual
as a means to solve public health problems.



Meaning of Group: Two or more people who interact with and influence each









psychologically aware of one another; who perceive themselves in a group).

Groups in the context of Community Organization

The work of the organizations is largely the work of the groups. Most of the stuff
of community organization discussing, planning, and decision making and
camaraderie occurs in groups. Building a successful organization demands an
understanding of the functioning of successful groups. Community organizers
see group methods of ensuring authentic participation as a means towards
transformation. Groups are seen as preparing ground for participation. Trust and
dialogues are pre requisite for group process.

Understanding the Groups Stages in the development of a

The following stages are identified in the life cycle of a group.
1. Forming Stage
Members are unsure of themselves and the group. They try to figure out where
they fit in with these new relationships.
2. Storming Stage
It is characterized by rebellion as members assert their individuality and resist
3. Norming Stage.
Members establish procedure and a sense of how they should act in the group.


4. Performing Stage
The group concentrates on the tasks to be achieved.
5. Adjourning Stage
When the group completes its work, which results in a change in the
relationship among its members.


No amount of disaster planning can be successful unless communities likely to
be affected participate in the process. Any disaster mitigation plan is bound to
fail without the involvement of the community at every stage of its preparation
as well as implementation.
Community may comprise of:
A family
A neighborhood / settlement
A school
An office
A city
A village
Why is Community Participation Essential in Disaster Mitigation
When a disaster strikes, the communities are the first to respond and
react. In the first few moments before the designated management team
gets into operation, maximum loss can occur when communities panic or
do not know how to react.
Communities are more familiar with the available resources/facilities,
social groups and the surroundings.
Communities with experience of past disasters have historical evidence
and information of the effects and the response needed. They have


enough lessons learnt in the past to be able to support mitigation

Communities are familiar with the vulnerabilities of the areas and the
people in their vicinity. They may also know as to what could work best
and the capabilities within the community to take up various actions
required for mitigation.
Communities also have the information of the demographics and
topographies to be able to provide sufficient information for developing
hazards maps, risk assessment and mitigation plans. They would also be
able to priorities their issues based on their sufferings. Communities can
generate political will and can form community pressure groups to be able
to bring in change.
Communities have a two way link to the governments/authorities as well
as NGOs ready to help.

Disaster Management AIOU