Disasters take many shapes. Human-made disasters result from human errors and include industrial explosions or structure failures. Natural disasters result from physical phenomena and include earthquakes and droughts. Disasters classified as complex can include epidemics or armed conflicts.
In whatever form, disasters disrupt communities and can take a serious toll on people, property, economies, and the environment. They often stretch a community’s capacity to cope.
Disaster management is a process of effectively preparing for and responding to disasters. It involves strategically organizing resources to lessen the harm that disasters cause. It also involves a systematic approach to managing the responsibilities of disaster prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.
Mitigation and prevention efforts aim to reduce the potential damage and suffering that disasters can cause. While disaster management cannot prevent disasters, it can prevent them from becoming compounded as a result of neglecting causal factors and manageable risks. Mitigation specifically refers to actions taken that can lessen the severity of a disaster’s impact. Investing in measures that limit hazards can greatly reduce the burden of disasters.
Well-coordinated responses to disasters require prior planning. This helps ensure fast, effective response efforts and limits duplicated efforts.
Disaster preparedness plans:
During and immediately after an emergency, disaster management focuses on delivering help and interventions that can save lives, safeguard health, and protect buildings, animals, and community property. Following an initial response, efforts shift toward supporting communities as they rebuild emotionally, economically, and physically.