How do we manage the risk of disasters, and reduce the impact?
The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction defines a disaster as:
A serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses and impacts, which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources.
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.
Key questions for this area
If you are teaching or studying disaster management, or looking to add content into your unit, here are some key questions you should be able to answer and/or consider:
- Disasters can either be natural or man-made. What are examples of each and how are they generally managed?
- What series of activities would need to be undertaken as part of disaster management?
- How are prevention measures and preparedness related to disaster management?
- What steps are taken after a disaster has occurred?
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