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How to Manage Disaster

How to manage disaster?

How to manage disaster?

How to manage disaster?

Disaster Management, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction

Disaster Management

The term 'DISASTER' has been taken from a French word 'Desastre' (French 'des' means bad and 'astre' means star) meaning bad evil star. A disaster whether natural or human induced, is an event which results in widespread human loss.

It is accompanied by loss of livelihood and property causing devastating impact on socio-economical conditions. India is one of the most vulnerable developing countries to sufer from various disasters like-flood, drought, cyclone, landslide, earthquake, forestfire, volcanic erruptions, roits, terrorist attacks etc.

Types Of Disasters- There are 2 types of disasters categorised on the basis of origin, namely,

Natural disasters-

It is an event that is caused by a natural hazard and leads to human, material, economical and environmental losses. They are beyond the control of human beings. Nature provides us with all the resources, but it can be sometimes cruel also. Some examples of natural disasters are- the 2001 earthquake in Bhuj, Gujarat, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the 2008 earthquake in China, the 2007 cyclone in Myanmar.

Floods- Flood is natural as well as man made disaster which affects human habitation over large areas causing loss of lives and property. It is temporary inundation of large regions as a result of long period of heavy rainfall from overflowing rivers, from sudden melting of snow, cyclone, storm surge or dam collapse.

Floods cause great distress as they damage crops, property and also life.Homes are destroyed making people homeless. It also erodes soil. Moreover, it may also lead to famine as the crops are destroyed and the soil gets eroded.

Flood Preparedness-

1. Always listen radio or TV for warning or advice

2. Move to safer places, away from flood prone areas

3. Always keep some stock of edibles and first aid

4. Disconnect all electric appliances

5. Big reservoirs should be built on major rivers

Drought- A drought is a long period of very dry weather. It is an insidious natural hazard. Drought is a climatic anamaly characterized by deficient supply of moisture resulting either from subnormal rainfall, eratic rainfall distribution, higher water need or a combination of all the factors. Most of the droughts are generally associated with arid or semi-arid climates but it can also occur in areas of adequate rainfall, late arrival or early departure of monsoon.

Orrisa, chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, internal parts of Karnataka & maharastra, Gujrat, Rajasthan, parts of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Tamilnadu are the most drought prone areas of India.

Coping with droughts-Drought lead to failure of crops,this gives rise to poverty, unemployment, and shortage of food. It also adversly affect the agro based industry. So there is urgency to reduce or minimize the impact of drought. Some common ways are helpful in reducing the impact of drought:

1.Water shortage areas should be identified.

2. Rainwater harvesting should be encouraged.

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3. Afforestation should be incouraged.

4. In the urban areas misuse & wastage of water should be stopped.

5. Interlinked the all major rivers oo the country.

Earthquake-"Tremors and vibrations in the crust of the earthare called earthquakes."An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust,

that creates seismic waves.Earthquakes are measured with a seismometer, device which also records is known as a seismograph. The moment the magnitude(or the related and mostly obsolete Richter magnitude) of an earthquake is conventionally reported, with magnitude 3 or lower earthquakes being mostly imperceptible and magnitude 7 causing serious damage over large areas. Intensity of shaking is measured on the modified Mercalli scale.

Causes of Earthquakes

1. Crustal Instability: The tectonic forces are generally the main cause of earthquakes. They lead to sudden movements of the crustal blocks. Thus, a majority of earthquakes are associated with areas of crustal instiblilty and such earthquakes are called ' Tectonic Earthquakes'.

2. Volcanic Erruptions: Volcanic erruptions also cause many earthquakes. They accompany most of the explosive erruptions. Such earthquakes are said to be of 'Volcanic Origin'.

Impacts Of Earthquakes

1-Changes in the earth's crust may lead to a number of indirect effects such as landslides, avlanches, tsunamis even as in 2004 Indian Ocean and blocking of course of rivers & subsequent flooding when the blockage is removed by accumulated water.

2- Means of transport are interrupted, due to to the damage to roas and twisting of railway lines.

3- It may damage large dams, power installations and even nuclear power plants.

4- The earthquakes may also damage underground wires, pipelines and water system.

5- It interrupts the socio-ecnomic conditions of the affected area and also hinders its development.

6- Moreover, it causes huge loss of life and property and also the environment of the place.

7- Direct effects are seen as the changes in the earth's surface.

8- The daily life and routine of the people gets affected for a long period of time.

Cyclones-Cyclones are violent storms, often of vast extent, these are associated with turbulant weather conditions with high velocity winds, cloudiness and rainfall. Tropical cyclones are known by different names in different regions. They are called depression in the Bay of Bengal, hurricanes in Caribbean sea, willy-willy in Australia, typhoons in China and tornadoes in USA and West Africa.

Most damage from cyclones are caused by the strong winds, torrential rains and high storm tides.

During intense cyclone stay alert and stay awake., stay inside our home, be alert for any suddenincrease or decrease in water flow. Do not go outside or to a beach during a lull in the storm.

Volcanoes- A volcano is an opening in the crust of the earth through which lava comes out and spreads over settlements, roads and cultivated areas, destroying houses and making land unsuitable for cultivation. Steam from volcanic erruption may lead to heavy rainfall causing landslides mud flows and floods. Many poisionous gases comes out at the of volcanic erruption and cause environmental pollution.

Landslides- A usually rapid movement of rocks, soil and vegetation a slope. It may be caused by an earthquake but is generally the result of rain soaking the ground. It is very common in mountainous regions along eroding riverbanks and coastlines.


Avalanches-An avalanch is a mass of snow which comes loose from steep mountain slope and hurtles down to the vally below. It can be huge and frightening, sweeping away trees and burying houses. Avalanches are a danger in any mountainous area which has slopes and heavy snow.

They are worst on bare slopes, with no trees to hold back the snow. In some countries, new forests are being planted to reduce the danger. Snow bridges are built over roads and railways to protect them.


Human-Induced Disasters-

Man made disasters are caused by human activities such as nuclear explosion, chemical & biological weapons, industrial pollution, war, accidents etc.Some serious destructions caused by humans, which affects the human beings and the socio-economic conditions of that area. For example- the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy, train derailments, serial blasts in Mumbai in 2008 (26/11) etc.

Nuclear disaster- It is worst type of man made disaster .Nuclear radiation keep on showing their impact for a long period of time. Nuclear energy can be used both for peaceful as well as destructive purposes. Our world has already suffered from the disaster of atom bombs eg. Hiroshima & Nagasaki. These are called the weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Chemical disaster- Excessive use of chemicals or their misuse can cause much destruction. It is also caused by industrial accidents.In Bhopal the leakage of the deadly poisonous gas called Methyl Iso Cyannate (MIC) occurred in the union carbide factory in December 1984. This gas thousands of humans and animals.

It also caused serious damage to the health by disrupting their body functions & causing genetic changes which can lead to the mal-formation of future generation, the complete recovery is not possible.

Biological disaster- It spreads through the organism that is developed in the form of bacteria or germs. It can be used to kill innocent human-beings.

In october 2001, there was a danger of Anthras germ being used as a biological weapon.


Disaster Management

It is the discipline of dealing with and avoiding risks. In general it is the continuous process by which all individuals, groups and communities manage hazards in an effort to avoid or minimize the impact of the disasters resulting from the hazards.

It is almost impossible to fully control the damage caused by the disaster, but it is possible to minimize to some extent by these ways-

(1) By early warning given by MET. department through radio, TV.

(2) The police control room , fire control officers , the near by RED-cross office and other rescue teams should be informed.

(3) Spread awareness about disasters and tips to handle them.

(4) Space technology plays a very important role in efficient mitigation of disasters.

(5) Major loss of life and property can be avoided with carefull planning along with and effective warning and evacuation procedure.

(6)We should cooperate with the rescue teams. It is our moral and social duty that we should help in arranging relief camps for those who have suffered.

Different phases of disaster management

1-Response and relif- Immediate measure taken up in anticipation of during disaster to ensure that the effects are minimized.These are normally carried out simultaneously after a disaster.

 2-Rehabilitation & reconstruction- These initiatives are taken up by the government, NGO's and various other agencies which would help the affected community to come back normally. Roads, power supply, communication, medical facility are restored.

 3-Mitigation- Any action taken to minimize the extent of a disaster is known as mitigation . Mitigation can take place before, after or during disaster.

 4-Preparedness- It involves measures that enable governments, communities and individuals to respond rapidly to disaster situation and cope with them effectively.



Role Of Local People In Managing Disasters-

1. Spread awareness about disasters

2. Organise mock camps in their holidays in neighbouring villages to train people to cope up with disasters

3. The basic role of students is spreading 'AWARENESS' of what to do during and after disasters. This would lessen the death toll, panicking, paranoid and uncontrollable people running about

4. Be a part of emergency rescue team

5. A big aspect of disaster management is preparedness

6. Students can also provide first aod which would help authorities in saving lives

7. Deforestation should be checked

8. Buildings should not be built on steep slopes and every construction should follow the Architechtural Parameters.

Role Of Local People In Managing Disasters

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