Disaster Management

Disasters whether natural or man-made can strike at any time. In general, the general response to a disaster is in terms of relief and rescue operations - after the event. However, if we are adequately prepared, its possible to severely reduce the impact of a disaster. The impact can be reduced through a good understanding of preventive actions, as well as having the knowledge of certain life-saving tools and techniques, which when used at the time of the event of disaster can control the total damage to life and belongings.

The biggest problem with the disasters is the suddenness and swiftness with which they arrive. Hence, in order to reduce the severity of a disaster the response also has to equally swift.

Lets first understand, what is a disaster. Dictionary meaning of "disaster" may be taken as: "a sudden accident or natural event that causes great damage or loss of life" - Oxford Dictionary. So, as can be seen, disaster by definition itself is "sudden" and causes immense damage to property and/or life.

Almost all of us can think of several disasters that have occurred in the recent past. Earthquakes, industrial accidents, oil-spills, forest-fires, terrorist activities etc. are some of the more commonly encountered disasters.

Disasters themselves are not limited to specific parts of world, though, certain areas might be more prone to certain specific type of disaster, e.g. area around Pacific rim is more prone to earthquakes, some countries are more prone to terrorist activities, some coastal areas are more prone to cyclones, and, some areas are more prone to floods. However, the more advanced a nation is, typically, their level of preparedness is higher. This higher level of preparedness allows them to have a better control over the loss.

There are certain types of disasters, where, the loss during the actual event is not necessarily as high, but, the losses become very high due to inability to manage the situation in a timely manner. More often than not, it happens due to confusion and chaos in the context of too much loss, and, inefficient utilization of resources - which are already strained.

Another thing which causes a lot of loss during certain kind of disasters is the inability to properly manage and secure the utilities, like: electricity, gas, water etc. On one side, each of these utilities are very important, and, on the other side, due to leakages/ruptures, some of these might come in contact with each other, when they should not - causing further damage.

Thus, the main motivation behind disaster management is to minimize the losses at the time of a disaster as well as ensure most efficient utilization of resources - which are already scarce.

Emergency management degrees can give you a rewarding career in helping people recover from disasters and prepare for future ones.

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