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Disaster management (or emergency management) is the creation of plans through which communities reduce
vulnerability to hazards and cope with disasters.[1][2] Disaster management does not avert or eliminate the threats;
instead, it focuses on creating plans to decrease the effect of disasters. Failure to create a plan could lead to damage
to assets, human mortality, and lost revenue. Currently in the United States 60 percent of businesses do not have
emergency management plans. Events covered by disaster management include acts of terrorism,
industrial sabotage, fire, natural disasters (such as earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.), public disorder, industrial
accidents, and communication failures


A disaster is a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society involving widespread human,
material, economic or environmental losses and impacts, which exceeds the ability of the affected community or
society to cope using its own resources.
In contemporary academia, disasters are seen as the consequence of inappropriately managed risk. These risks are
the product of a combination of both hazards and vulnerability.
Developing countries suffer the greatest costs when a disaster hits more than 95 percent of all deaths caused by
hazards occur in developing countries, and losses due to natural hazards are 20 times greater (as a percentage
of GDP) in developing countries than in industrialized countries. [2][3]

Types of Disasters
Disasters can take many different forms, and the duration can range from an hourly disruption to days or weeks of ongoing
destruction. Below is a list of the various types of disasters both natural and man-made or technological in nature that
can impact a community.

Man-Made and Technological Types of Disasters

Hazardous materials
Power service disruption
Nuclear power
plant and nuclear blast
Radiological emergencies

Chemical threat and biological

Cyber attacks
Civil unrest

Natural disasters:

When disasters occur due to natural forces they are called natural disasters, over which man has hardly any control. Some
common natural disasters are earthquakes, landslides floods, droughts, cyclones, etc. Tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and
wildfires are also included under natural disasters. These disasters cause enormous loss to life and property.

Man-made disasters:

When the disasters are due to carelessness of human or mishandling of dangerous equipments they are called man-made
disasters. Common examples of these disasters are train accidents, aero plane crashes, collapse of buildings, bridges, mines,
tunnels, etc

Disasters also can be caused by humans. Hazardous materials emergencies include chemical spills and groundwater
contamination. Workplace fires are more common and can cause significant property damage and loss of life. Communities
are also vulnerable to threats posed by extremist groups who use violence against both people and property.

Rapid onset disasters

Most of the 'natural' disasters we hear about arrive rapidly and in the case of earthquakes, with no warning. They
are rapid onset disasters.
Cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons - the same hazard with a different name in different parts of the world - arrive with
a few days warning, and annually we know when the cyclone season is likely to occur in specific regions, so that
preparations can be made for their arrival. Floods can arrive very fast, but the conditions in which floods are likely to
occur are quite predictable.

Slow onset disasters

Droughts are relatively slow disasters. Climate change, environmental degradation and desertification are very slow
onset events, but can and should be considered as disasters in terms of the damage and disruption to lives that they may or
indeed already do create.

A drought is a period of below-average precipitation in a given region; resulting in prolonged shortages in its water
supply, whether atmospheric, surface water or ground water. A drought can last for months or years, or may be
declared after as few as 15 days.[1] It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected
region [2] and harm to the local economy.[3] Annual dry seasons in the tropics significantly increase the chances of a
drought developing and subsequent bush fires. Periods of heat can significantly worsen drought conditions by
hastening evaporation of water vapour.

Protection, mitigation and relief[edit]

Agriculturally, people can effectively mitigate much of the impact of drought through irrigation and crop rotation.
Failure to develop adequate drought mitigation strategies carries a grave human cost in the modern era, exacerbated
by ever-increasing population densities. President Roosevelt on April 27, 1935, signed documents creating the Soil
Conservation Service (SCS)now the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Models of the law were
sent to each state where they were enacted. These were the first enduring practical programs to curtail future
susceptibility to drought, creating agencies that first began to stress soil conservation measures to protect farm lands
today. It was not until the 1950s that there was an importance placed on water conservation was put into the existing
laws (NRCS 2014).[77]
Strategies for drought protection, mitigation or relief include:

Dams - many dams and their associated reservoirs supply additional water in times of drought. [78]

Cloud seeding - a form of intentional weather modification to induce rainfall. [79] This remains a hotly debated
topic, as the United States National Research Council released a report in 2004 stating that to date, there is still
no convincing scientific proof of the efficacy of intentional weather modification. [80]

Desalination - of sea water for irrigation or consumption.[81]

Drought monitoring - Continuous observation of rainfall levels and comparisons with current usage levels can
help prevent man-made drought. For instance, analysis of water usage in Yemen has revealed that their water

table (underground water level) is put at grave risk by over-use to fertilize their Khat crop.[82] Careful monitoring of
moisture levels can also help predict increased risk for wildfires, using such metrics as the Keetch-Byram
Drought Index[47] or Palmer Drought Index.

Land use - Carefully planned crop rotation can help to minimize erosion and allow farmers to plant less waterdependent crops in drier years.

Outdoor water-use restriction - Regulating the use of sprinklers, hoses or buckets on outdoor plants, filling
pools, and other water-intensive home maintenance tasks. Xeriscaping yards can significantly reduce
unnecessary water use by residents of towns and cities.

Rainwater harvesting - Collection and storage of rainwater from roofs or other suitable catchments.

Recycled water - Former wastewater (sewage) that has been treated and purified for reuse.

Transvasement - Building canals or redirecting rivers as massive attempts at irrigation in drought-prone


The components of a drought preparedness and mitigation plan are the following:
Impact assessment
Prediction can benefit from climate studies which use coupled ocean/atmosphere models, survey of
snow packs, anomalous circulation patterns in the ocean and atmosphere, soil moisture, assimilation
of remotely sensed data into numerical prediction models, and knowledge of stored water available
for domestic, stock, and irrigation uses.
Monitoring exists in countries which use ground-based information such as rainfall, weather, crop
conditions and water availability. Satellite observations complement data collected by ground
systems. Satellites are necessary for the provision of synoptic, wide-area coverage.
Impact assessment is carried out on the basis of land-use type, persistence of stressed conditions,
demographics and existing infrastructure, intensity and areal extent, and its effect on agricultural
yield, public health, water quantity and quality, and building subsidence.
Response includes improved drought monitoring, better water and crop management, augmentation
of water supplies with groundwater, increased public awareness and education, intensified watershed
and local planning, reduction in water demand, and water conservation.
Drought preparedness and mitigation can be accomplished with the following practices: (1) soil and
water conservation, and (2) herd management.
4.1 Soil and Water Conservation

Conservation practices minimize the disruption of the soil's structure, composition and natural
biodiversity, thereby reducing erosion and soil degradation, surface runoff, and water pollution. The
following are established practices of soil and water conservation:
Crop rotation
Contoured row crops
Tillage practices
Erosion-control structures
Water retention and detention structures
Windbreaks and shelterbelts
Litter management
Reclamation of salt-affected soil.

Components of Drought Plans

Monitoring, early warning and information delivery systems
Integrated monitoring of key indicators
Use of appropriate indices
Development/delivery of information and decision-support tools

Risk and impact assessment

Conduct of risk/vulnerability assessments
Monitoring/archiving of impacts

Mitigation and response

Proactive measures to increase coping capacity