Disaster Management Cycle

Table of contents

Disaster Preparedness and Management

Disaster Risk Management includes sum total of all activities, programmes and measures which can be taken up before, during and after a disaster with the purpose to avoid a disaster, reduce its impact or recover from its losses. The three key stages of activities that are taken up within disaster risk management are as follows

Initiatives taken

Three phases of disaster management cycle

  • Pre Disaster Phase Before a disaster (pre-disaster). Pre-disaster activities those which are taken to reduce human and property losses caused by a potential hazard. For example, carrying out awareness campaigns, strengthening the existing weak structures, preparation of the disaster management plans at household and community level, etc. Such risk reduction measures taken under this stage are termed as mitigation and preparedness activities.

During disaster phase

These include initiatives taken to ensure that the needs and provisions of victims are met and suffering is minimized. Activities taken under this stage are called emergency response activities.

  • Post disaster Phase After a disaster (post-disaster). There are initiatives taken in response to a disaster with a purpose to achieve early recovery and rehabilitation of affected communities, immediately after a disaster strikes. These are called as response and recovery activities.

Explanation

The Disaster risk management cycle diagram (DRMC) highlights the range of initiatives which normally occur during both the Emergency response and Recovery stages of a disaster. Some of these cut across both stages (such things as coordination and the provision of ongoing assistance); whilst other activities are unique to each stage (e. g. Early Warning and Evacuation during Emergency Response; and Reconstruction and Economic and 48 Social Recovery as part of Recovery). The DRMC also highlights the role of the media, where there is a strong relationship between this and funding opportunities.

This diagram works best for relatively sudden-onset disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, bushfires, tsunamis, cyclones etc, but is less reflective of slow-onset disasters, such as drought, where there is no obviously recognizable single event which triggers the movement into the Emergency Response stage. According to Warfield (2008) disaster management aims to reduce, or avoid the potential losses from hazards, assure prompt and appropriate assistance to victims of disaster, and achieve rapid and effective recovery.

The disaster management cycle illustrates the ongoing process by which governments, businesses, and civil society plan for and reduce the impact of disasters, react during and immediately following a disaster, and take steps to recover after a disaster has occurred. Appropriate actions at all points in the cycle lead to greater preparedness, better warnings, reduced vulnerability or the prevention of disasters during the next iteration of the cycle.

The complete disaster management cycle includes the shaping of public policies and plans that either modify the causes of disasters or mitigate their effects on people, property, and infrastructure. The mitigation and preparedness phases occur as disaster management improvements are made in anticipation of a disaster event. Developmental considerations play a key role in contributing to the mitigation and preparation of a community to effectively confront a disaster. As a disaster occurs, disaster management actors, in particular humanitarian organizations become involved in the immediate response and long-term recovery phases.

The four disaster management phases illustrated here do not always, or even generally, occur in isolation or in this precise order. Often phases of the cycle overlap and the length of each phase greatly depends on the severity of the disaster.

Mitigation

Minimizing the effects of disaster.

Examples: building codes and zoning; vulnerability analyses; public education.

Preparedness

Planning how to respond.

Examples: preparedness plans; emergency exercises/training; warning systems.

Response

Efforts to minimize the hazards created by a disaster.

Examples: search and rescue; emergency relief.

Recovery

Returning the community to normal.

Examples: temporary housing; grants; medical care.

To analyze the scope of disaster management in the revised context, it should be studied the cycle of the phenomenon. Disasters are as old as human history but the dramatic increase and the damage caused by them in the recent past have become a cause of national and international concern. Over the past decade, the number of natural and manmade disasters has climbed inexorably.

From 1994 to 1998, reported disasters average was 428 per year but from 1999 to 2003, this figure went up to an average of 707 disaster events per year. Figure 3 presents the deadliest disasters of the decade (1992-2001).

Global economic loss related to disaster events average around US $880 billion per year (CBSE, 2006). Conclusions There has been a dramatic increase in disasters and the damages caused by them in the recent past. Over the past decade, the number of natural and manmade disasters has climbed inexorably. Accordingly to the statistics, the number of disasters per year increased with 60% in the period 1999-2001 in comparison with the previous period, 1994 -1998. The highest increase was in the countries of low human development, which registered an increase of 142%.

In these countries, the responsible institutions should play an important role but, in general, the disaster management policy responses are influenced by methods and tools for cost-effective and sustainable interventions. There are no long-term, inclusive and coherent institutional arrangements to address disaster issues with a long term vision. Disasters are viewed in isolation from the processes of mainstream development and poverty alleviation planning. For example, disaster management, development planning and environmental management institutions operate in isolation and integrated planning between these sectors is almost lacking.

Absence of a central authority for integrated disaster management and lack of coordination within and between disaster related organizations is responsible for effective and efficient disaster management. State-level disaster preparedness and mitigation measures are heavily tilted towards structural aspects and undermine nonstructural elements such as the knowledge and capacities of local people, and the related livelihood protection issues. In conclusion, with a greater capacity of the individual/community and environment to face the disasters, the impact of a hazard would be reduced.

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