Disaster and Public Health in Emergency

Indian Red Cross Society Public Health in Emergencies Workshop Pune, India January 2008

Session Objectives
To gain a better understanding on: 


Understand Disasters and its types Aware of disaster management terminology Understand difference between PHE and PHIE Identify priority health issues in PHIE Aware of approaches and norms to be followed during PHIE

`D¶ of `Disaster¶ denotes : 
Disruption  Death  Damage  Destruction  Disabilities  Difficulties  Diversion of resources

What is a disaster? 
Disaster: A serious disruption of functioning of a society, causing wide spread human, material, or environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected society to cope up using only its own resources.  Disasters are frequently categorized according to their perceived causes and speed of impact.

Types of Disasters
1. Man-made 2. Natural

3. Technological

Earthquake Floods Cyclone Forest Fire Drought Landslide Nuclear Disaster Tsunami


Chemical & Industrial Disaster

Human-made disaster
Disaster or emergency situation of which the principal, direct causes are identifiable human actions, deliberate or otherwise. Apart from technological disasters this mainly involves situation in which civilian population suffer casualties, loss of property, basic services and means of livelihood as result of war, civil strife and other conflicts.

Natural Disasters
Natural disasters are caused by natural phenomena. Natural phenomena are extremely climatologically, hydrological or geological processes that pose any threat to people or property

Technological Disasters
Situations in which large numbers of people, property, infrastructure, or economic activity are directly and adversely affected by major industrial accidents, severe pollution incidents, nuclear accidents, air crashes (in populated areas), major fires, or explosions.

Phases of Disasters
1. Rapid onset disasters 2. Slow onset disasters

Phases of Disasters
1. Slow onset disasters Situation in which the ability of people to sustain their livelihood slowly declines to a point where survival is ultimately jeopardized. Such situations are typically brought on or precipitated by ecological, social, economic or political conditions. Examples: drought , famine , deforestation. 2. Rapid onset disasters They strike with little or no warning and have an immediate adverse impact on human population, activities and economic system . Examples: flood, earthquake, cyclone etc.

Disaster Management Terminology 
Disaster Mitigation: Structural and non-structural measures undertaken to limit the adverse impact of natural hazards, environmental degradation and technological hazards Disaster Preparedness: Measures taken in advance to ensure effective response to the impact of hazards, including the issuance of timely and effectively early warnings and the temporary evacuation of people and property from threatened locations Disaster Response: Provision of assistance or intervention during or immediately after a disaster to meet the life preservation and basic subsistence needs of those people affected. It can be of an immediate, short ±term , or protracted duration.  

Disaster Management Terminology 
Recovery: Decision and actions taken after a disaster with a view to restoring or improving the pre-disaster living conditions of the stricken community, while encouraging and facilitating necessary adjustments to reduce disaster risk.. Development: RC defines development as the process by which communities, families and individuals grow stronger, can enjoy fuller and more productive lives, and become less vulnerable. Development also means the strengthening of NS so they can carry out their humanitarian mandate. Disaster Risk Reduction: The conceptual framework of elements considered with the possibilities to minimize vulnerabilities and disaster risks throughout a society, to avoid (prevention) or to limit (mitigation and preparedness) the adverse impacts of hazards, within the broad context of sustainable development.  

P R E Preparedness

DISASTER Immediate Response


D I S A S T E R Disaster Management Cycle Planning Prevention Reconstruction Mitigation Relief Rehabilitation


Disaster Management Concept

Vulnerability Type text Assesment
Disaster Type text Preparedness

Type text Prevention

Type text Rehabilitation

Disaster Management

Mitigation Type text

Type text Reconstruction
Risk Type text Management

Type text Recovery

Disaster Management is a collective term encompassing all aspects of planning and responding to disasters, including both pre- and post-disaster activities.