A disaster is often defined as a sudden misfortune resulting in serious damage to life, community, environment, and property. Nobody expects disaster to happen but the reality is that itc can strike any time with little or no warning. Moreopver, a disaster can either result from human activities or due to natural causes. Although the damage produced by an instance of the disaster depends on various factors such as geographical location, climate as well as the degree of vulnerability, the after-effects experienced by the survivors are mostly the same. In the majority of cases, disaster cannot be predicted. Therefore, it is extremely important to be prepared for it in advance. Being prepared will help in quick and better disaster management.
Disaster management involves four important steps, which are mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Mitigation is taking action before the occurrence of a disaster and can be defined as the efforts taken to minimize the loss of life and property once the disaster has happened.
Disaster preparedness can be defined as the process of minimizing the after-effect of the disaster. It involves understanding how the disaster may affect the community and how education, planning, training, and outreach can help people respond to and recover from disaster. This includes pre-disaster strategic planning, imparting disaster management training and other readiness activities that will prepare individuals and communities to deal with disaster.
Disaster response and recovery happen to be the most important steps in disaster management. Disaster response refers to a range of measures that are taken to reduce the immediate threats presented by the disaster. Response measures start with search and rescue but consist of a number of other activities and elements such as saving lives, providing immediate relief, meeting humanitarian needs, damage assessment, construction of infrastructure, and resource distribution etc. Search and rescue operations involve providing immediate solve Medical Issues to those people hurt in the event of the disaster and relocating them to safe places.
As the response period progresses the focus shifts to bringing normalcy to the lives of the affected people, providing them with food and shelter, reconstructing infrastructure and establishing public service operations.
The assistance is usually carried out by national or international agencies and organizations but it is the local bodies which are expected to come up with immediate help. Coordination among disaster assistance is of critical importance especially in the case where the damage is severe and exceeds the capacity of the local management agency.
Monetary help is often sought during the rehabilitation phase where the various individual groups and organization come together in an effort to make living possible for those affected in the disaster. While individual donors prefer to donate goods such as clothes, shoes and other necessary items, monetary help is the most efficient form of donation as it is flexible and reduces the cost of transportation and any risk of damage.
The final step in disaster management is recovery. The main goal of the recovery process is to bring the affected area back to normalcy on an urgent basis. It may involve shifting the survivors to a make-shift home till the reconstruction of the affected area is complete or providing them with food and clothing during that entire period that they are able to fetch for themselves and start their life anew.