Concept and Meaning
is a consequence of a sudden disastrous event which seriously disrupts the
normal function of the society or the community to the extent that it cannot
subsist without outside help.
disaster is not just the occurrence of an event such as an earthquake, flood,
conflict, health epidemic or an industrial accident; a disaster occurs if that
event/process negatively impacts human populations.
Disasters combine two elements: hazard, and the
vulnerability of affected people. "A disaster occurs when a hazard exposes
the vulnerability of individuals and communities in such a way that their lives
are directly threatened or sufficient harm has been done to their community's
economic and social structure to undermine their ability to survive.
disaster can be defined as any tragic event stemming from events such as earthquakes,
floods, catastrophic accidents, fires, or explosions. It is a phenomenon that
disasters can cause damage to life, property and destroy the economic, social
and cultural life of people.
Disaster is the exposure of a group of people to a hazard, leading
to a serious disruption of the functioning of a society and causing human, material, economic environmental
losses which exceed the ability of the affected community or society to cope.
A disaster results from a combination of hazards and vulnerability that exceeds the capacity of
a society to reduce the potential negative consequences of risk.
Hazard is an extreme event, natural or man-made , with a destructive
potential to social, economic and human assets. These may include future threats,
and may be “natural”
(geological, hydro meteorological and biological) or “man-made” (Conflict, environmental
degradation and technological hazards).
Disasters are often described as a result of the combination of:
the exposure to a hazard; the conditions of vulnerability that are present; and
insufficient capacity or measures to reduce or cope with the potential negative
consequences. Disaster impacts may include loss of life, injury, disease and
other negative effects on human physical, mental and social well-being,
together with damage to property, destruction of assets, loss of services,
social and economic disruption and environmental degradation.
A disaster is a calamitous, distressing, or
ruinous effect of a disastrous event which seriously affects or disrupts (or
threaten to disrupt) the critical functions of a community, society or system,
for a period long enough to significantly harm it or cause its failure. It is beyond
the capapabilty of the local community to overcome it. The stricken community needs extraordinary
efforts to cope with it, often with outside help or international aid.
a situation resulting from an environmental phenomenon or armed conflict that
produce stress, personal injury, physical damage, and economic disruption of
Health Organisation (WHO) defines Disaster as "any occurrence that causes
damage, ecological disruption, loss of human life, deterioration of health and
health services, on a scale sufficient to warrant an extraordinary response
from outside the affected community or area."
are broadly divided into two types:
2) Man made disasters.
disasters occur as the result of action
of the natural forces and tend to be accepted as unfortunate, but
inevitable. They include:
Ø Floods / Sea Surges /
Ø Snow storms,
may be defined as a persistent failure in food supplies over a prolonged
period. It is a phenomenon in which a large percentage of the populations of a
region or country are so undernourished and that death by starvation becomes
increasingly common. A famine weakens body resistance and leads to increases in
infectious diseases, especially cholera, dysentery, malaria, and smallpox. Famine
is associated with naturally-occurring crop failure due to draught and
pestilence and artificially with war and genocide.
Drought is lack or insufficiency of rain for an extended period of
months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply.
Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average
precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and
agriculture of the affected region.
flood is an overflow of water that submerges land, producing measurable
property damage or forcing evacuation of people and vital resources. Floods are
caused due to heavy rainfall and the inadequate capacity of rivers to carry the
high flood discharge. Floods develop slowly as rivers swell during an extended
period of rain. A flood occurs when water overflows or inundates land that is
normally dry. Mostly it happens when rivers or streams overflow their banks.
are strong winds that are formed over the oceans. The term "cyclone"
refers to all classes of storms with low atmospheric pressure at the centre,
are formed when an organized system of revolving winds, clockwise in the
Southern Hemisphere, anti-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, develops over
hurricane is a huge storm. It is a powerful, spiraling storm that begins over a
warm sea, near the equator and accompanied by fierce winds, flash floods,
mudslides and huge waves.It is a low pressure, large scale weather system which
derives its energy from the latent heat of condensation of water vapor over
warm tropical seas.
earthquake is a sudden motion or trembling of the ground crust caused by the collision of tectonic plates resulting in the abrupt
displacement of rock masses. Earthquakes result from the movement of one rock
mass past another in response to tectonic forces underneath the earth’s surface.
result when magma rises, pushes through a weakness in the Earth’s crust, and
spills out onto the surface, devastating anything in its path. The superheated
rock is not the only danger, however. Far below the earth’s surface, volcanic
gasses are dissolved in the magma. As the magma rises, it begins to cool down,
and gas bubbles begin to form. This makes the magma less dense than the
surroundings, causing it to rise faster.
A third threat is a pyroclastic flow. This high speed ejection of hot gasses and
debris can travel in excess of 80 kilometers per hour and usually averages
between 200 and 700 degrees Celsius. Not only does the pyroclastic flow travel
too fast to be outran, but it will incinerate everything in its path.
Ø release of toxic
chemicals or radioactive materials(industrial accidents),
Ø dam failures
Ø nuclear reactor accidents
potential disaster losses, in lives, health status, livelihoods, assets and
services, which could occur to a particular community or a society over some
specified future time period. Traditional disaster threats:
of the old disaster threats still exist like earthquakes, cyclones, volcanic
eruptions, tsunamis, wildfires, floods, landslides, and drought so do the
man-made ones like fire, explosions and other major accidents which cause heavy
human casualties, economic and social losses. These same traditional threats
have increased as increase in population has force people to settle in disaster
prone areas which increase the impact of disasters.
consist of manmade events like hijacking, terrorism, civil unrest, terrorism
and conflict with conventional arms as well as chemical, biological, nuclear,
or radiological weapons. Increased social violence has drastically affected
many nations and communities.
dangerous phenomenon, substance, human activity or condition that may cause
loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of
livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental
are conditions that have the potential to harm to a community or environment
process or phenomenon that may cause loss of life, injury or other health
impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic
disruption, or environmental damage.
disasters include landmass related disasters like earthquakes, mudslides,
and climatic Hazards (Hydro
include storms, cyclones, floods etc
their nature, the manufacture, storage, and transport of chemicals are
accidents waiting to happen. Chemicals can be corrosive, toxic, and they may
react, often explosively. The impacts of chemical accidents can be deadly, for
both human beings and the environment.
Industrial/ Technological hazards
A hazard originating from technological or
industrial conditions, including accidents, dangerous procedures,
infrastructure failures or specific human activities, that may cause loss of
life, injury, illness or other health impacts, property damage, loss of
livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental
These include industrial pollution, nuclear
radiation, toxic wastes, dam failures, transport accidents, factory explosions,
fires, and chemical spills.
Biological hazards, also known as biohazards, refer to biological substances that pose a
threat to the health of living organisms, primarily that of humans. This can
include medical waste or samples of a microorganism, virus or toxin (from a biological
source) that can affect human health. It can also include substances harmful to
animals. Examples: anthrax, smallpox, plague, tularemia, brucellosis and
botulinism toxin, bird flu.
management includes sum total of all activities, programmes and measures which
can be taken up before, during and after a disaster with the purpose of
avoiding, reducing the impact or recovering from its losses.
to Kelly (1996),"Disaster management" can be defined as the range of
activities designed to maintain control over disaster and emergency situations
and to provide a framework for helping those who are at risk to avoid or
recover from the impact of the disaster.
management means managing resources and various responsibilities to deal with
all humanitarian aspects of emergencies. This may include preparedness before
disaster, response and recovery i.e. rebuilding and supporting society. The
purpose of this is to lessen the impact of disasters.
‘Disaster management can be defined as the
organization and management of resources and responsibilities for dealing with
all humanitarian aspects of emergencies, in particular preparedness, response
and recovery in order to lessen the impact of disasters.
various aspects of disaster management:
Ø Disaster Prevention
Ø Disaster preparedness
Ø Disaster response
Ø Disaster mitigation
The aims of disaster management
Reduce (avoid, if possible) the potential
losses from hazards;
prompt and appropriate assistance to victims when necessary;
Achieve rapid and durable recovery.
Importance and relevance of disaster management in the present
the past 20 years disasters have affected 4.4 billion people, caused $2
trillion of damage and killed 1.3 million people. These losses have outstripped
the total value of official development assistance in the same period. Natural
disasters disproportionately affect people living in developing countries and
the most vulnerable communities within those countries. Over 95 per cent of
people killed by natural disasters are from developing countries (Extreme
Weather and Natural Disasters, 2012).
developing countries, the incidence of natural disasters, the impact of climate
changes and the management of the natural environment strongly influence the
rate of development progress
decade 1990-2000, an average of about 4344 people lost their lives and about 30
million people were affected by disasters every year. The loss in terms of
private, community and public assets has been astronomical.
global level, there has been considerable concern over natural disasters. Even
as s scientific and material progress is made, the loss of lives and property
due to disasters has not decision. In fact, the human toll and economic losses
in this background that the Nations General Assembly, in 1989, declared the
decade 1990-2000 as the International Natural Disaster Reduction with the
objective to reduce loss of lives and property and restrict economic damage
through concerted international action, especially in developing countries.
has been traditionally vulnerable to natural disasters on account of its unique
geo-climatic conditions. Floods, droughts, cyclones, earthquakes and
landslides have been recurrent phenomena.
60% of the landmass is prone to earthquakes of various intensities; over 40
million hectares is prone to floods; about 8% of the total area is prone to
cyclones and 68% of the area is susceptible to drought.
the past couple of years, the Government of India has brought about a paradigm
shift in approach to disaster management. The new approach proceeds from the
conviction that develop cannot be sustainable unless disaster mitigation is
built into the development process.
stone of the approach is that mitigation has to be multi-disciplinary spanning
across all sectors. The new policy also emanates from the belief that
investments in mitigation are much cost effective than expenditure on relief
management occupies an important place in this country's policy framework as it
is poor and the under-privileged who are worst affected on account of
steps being taken by the Government emanate from the approach outlined above.
The app: has been translated into a National Disaster Framework [a roadmap]
covering institutional mechanic; disaster prevention strategy, early warning
system, disaster mitigation, preparedness and response human resource
expected inputs, areas of intervention and agencies to be in at the National,
State and district levels have been identified and listed in the roadmap. This
road has been shared with all the State Governments and Union Territory
Departments of Government of India, and the State Governments/UT
Administrations have been to develop their respective roadmaps taking the
national roadmap as a broad guideline. There is, therefore: now a common
strategy underpinning the action being taken by the entire participating
approach is being put into effect through:
(a) Institutional changes
(b) Enunciation of policy
(c) Legal and techno-legal framework
(d) Mainstreaming Mitigation into Development process
(e) Funding mechanism
(f) Specific schemes addressing mitigation
(g) Preparedness measures
(h) Community participation and capacity building
India, the role of emergency management falls to National Disaster Management
of India, a government agency subordinate to the Ministry of Home Affairs. In
recent years, there has been a shift in emphasis, from response and recovery to
strategic risk management and reduction, and from a government-centered approach
to decentralized community participation.
i.e. foreign and local, national funding is being used to deal with disasters
especially the post disaster phase
based disaster management:
role of community participation in disaster management is very important. When
the community becomes a part of the decision making system it ensures the
ownership and accountability. It is very important for the medical staff and
doctors to know the local language for treating the disaster victims. The local
people have to be trained to manage the disasters. One of the most effective
mechanisms for a country to prepare for a disaster is by conducting education
and public awareness programmes at the local community level, educating,
preparing and supporting local populations and communities in their everyday
efforts to reduce risks and prepare their own local response mechanisms to
address disaster emergency situations.
based approach in disaster management is a process of educating and empowering
the population through sharing knowledge and information about the various
types of disasters and their potential risks as widely as possible so that
people act appropriately when a disaster happens. Members of a community are
the immediate victims of adverse effects of a disaster. They have the best
knowledge about their local surrounding in terms of the most disaster-prone
areas, the demography of their community and their social and traditional
organisation. Community leaders can create Community Based Action Plans specific
to their needs. This action plan incorporates the hazard map, mock exercises
and other important methods, skills and information needed in preparation for a