The discipline of dealing with and preventing dangers is known as disaster management (or emergency management). When natural or man-made catastrophes strike, it is a discipline that encompasses planning, assisting, and rebuilding. The actions (efforts to prevent or mitigate the impact) taken are influenced by risk perceptions. In any case, a successful emergency management system will rely on the existing emergency plans.
Disaster management may be described as the organization of components of emergencies, in particular, planning, response, and recovery, to decrease the impact of a sudden disaster. It is critical to survive in the event of a natural or significant man-made disaster. Disaster damage is infinite, and it varies depending on geographical location, temperature, and the kind of earth surface/vulnerability. There can be catastrophes that result in no human deaths, as well as disasters that result in massive loss of life and property. This has an impact on the afflicted area’s emotional, socioeconomic, political, and cultural well-being.
Disaster preparedness and management initiatives attempt to reduce the number of people killed or injured in the event of a disaster. People and property can be removed from a threatened area, and fast and effective rescue, relief, and rehabilitation at the catastrophe site can be facilitated by disaster management forces. Because most catastrophes are unanticipated, and even when they are predicted, there is little time to respond, preparedness is the only strategy to reduce the effect of disasters. Physical therapy practice management should place a strong premium on community-based readiness and management.
Disaster Management Cycle
To establish a balance between risk reduction and community resilience while assuring effective response and recovery capabilities, the comprehensive approach to disaster management includes four phases: prevention, preparation, response, and recovery (PPRR).
PPRR’s four stages are not linear and are not independent of one another. They are intertwined and mutually beneficial. For example, during the reaction phase, recovery operations are expected to commence, and mitigation methods may be explored during the recovery phase.
Disaster prevention is the notion of participating in actions that aim to prevent or avoid probable negative consequences by taking action ahead of time, activities that are aimed to safeguard people from catastrophes.
Measures done to prepare for and mitigate the consequences of catastrophes, whether natural or man-made, are referred to as disaster preparedness. This is accomplished by study and preparation to try to forecast disaster-prone locations or regions.
The distinction between this response/relief stage and the succeeding recovery stage is unclear since it focuses mostly on urgent and short-term requirements. Some response efforts, such as providing temporary shelter and water, may last far into the recovery phase.
Disaster recovery refers to programs that go beyond providing immediate aid to help individuals who have been affected by a disaster in its entirety.
Disaster Management Policy
The Government of India (GoI) took a watershed moment on December 23, 2005, when it passed the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (hence referred to as the Act), which established the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), led by the Prime Minister.
It covers the entire country of India. The goal of this policy was to create a safe and disaster-resilient India by implementing a comprehensive, proactive, multi-disaster-focused, and technology-driven approach based on prevention, mitigation, readiness, and response culture.
At the national, state, district, and municipal levels, the Act establishes institutional, legal, financial, and coordinating structures. These institutions will not operate in a siloed manner and will collaborate closely. The new institutional structure is projected to usher in a paradigm change in disaster management, moving away from a reactive, relief-focused strategy and toward a proactive one that emphasizes preparedness, prevention, and mitigation.
The Disaster Management Act is founded on the idea that disaster-related loss mitigation is more cost-effective than relief and rehabilitation. The act has made breakthroughs in the following areas by building up plans for strategic alliances and courses of action to fight catastrophes of varying degrees. The Importance of the 2005 Disaster Management Act:
Disaster preparations must be planned and implemented.
To keep people out of disaster-affected regions or to lessen their impact
To respond to and recover from natural disasters
Management and coordination of disaster-affected regions
National and State Bodies for Disaster Management
National Disaster Management Authority: The Prime Minister leads the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), which is responsible for putting down policies, strategies, and guidelines for disaster management (as well as coordinating their enforcement and execution to ensure a quick and efficient response to catastrophes). The recommendations will aid Central Ministries, Departments, and States in developing their DM strategies. It will ratify the Central Ministries’/Departments’ National Disaster Management and DM plans.
State Disaster Management Authority: Each state’s disaster plan is drawn up by the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA). It is chaired by the Chief Minister and consists of eight members nominated by the Chief Minister. The SDMA is required under section 28 to guarantee that all state departments draught disaster management plans by the National and State Authorities’ requirements.
District Disaster Management Authority: The Collector, District Magistrate, or Deputy Commissioner of the district shall serve as the Chairperson of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF): The National Catastrophe Response Force is responsible for reacting to a disaster or a scenario that is comparable to one. The Director-General of the NDRF is appointed by the Central Government. In the past, the NDRF has played a critical role in rescuing people from disasters such as the Kashmir floods of 2014 and the Kerala floods of 2018.
Under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator, the United Nations Disaster Management Team (UNDMT) collaborates with a wide range of stakeholders, including key government departments, to integrate disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation objectives into broader development plans and programs, such as those relating to agriculture and natural resources, urban and rural habitats, infrastructure, and service delivery.
Geographical Information System (GIS)
A geographic information system (GIS) is an acronym for a geographic information system. It aids in navigating routes, identifying locations, and calculating distance. In terms of Locations and Directions, GIS may be used in a variety of ways. GIS is beneficial to a variety of industries, including government, travel and tourism, and many more. The GIS is also used by disaster management systems to alert us to natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and cyclones.
The first and most important responsibility of disaster management is to identify a country’s catastrophe-prone zones. Managers may use GIS to identify locations that are likely to be affected by a catastrophe, and this can be based on past data.
The disaster management department organizes the safety measures in the following method, using maps or any GIS tool:
Creation of maps for various catastrophes: As we all know, we can make customised maps. Thus, you may use any GIS program to make different maps for different regions depending on the disaster’s type.
Planning pre-disaster activities: Pre-disaster activities such as defining the number of construction sites and safety measures are determined using historical data, maps, and studies into places where adversity is very likely to occur.
Locating local medicals and hospitals for treatment: Locating nearby hospitals for the treatment of victims is possible.
People who become trapped in a disaster are rescued and evacuated by disaster management. GIS aids in planning evacuation and rescue routes, whether by road, sea, or air, depending on which is the safest.
Remote sensing techniques have the potential to reduce catastrophe risks and aid in the identification of hazardous zones and causes. As a result, this technology works wonders in catastrophe prevention and management.
The use of remote sensors allows for the detection and prediction of wind hazards. People living in the impacted region receive an early warning from these sensors, allowing them to shift to escape harm.
The commencement of an earthquake can be detected using remote sensors. As a result, they give important information that may be utilized to forecast damaged regions. This encourages vulnerable populations to relocate, so preserving lives and valuables.
Many locations remain inaccessible after a disaster, making it difficult to assess and manage the damage. The procedure, however, was covered by remote sensing technology. Because it is situated in the sky, it aids in catastrophe assessment and monitoring, giving vital information for relief monitoring activities.
Remote sensors are employed as a warning tool for early warning systems, providing information on regions impacted by fires, floods, and droughts. The early notice allows individuals to make appropriate arrangements in advance of the beginning of such situations.
Data analysis is necessary for every area. Data analysis is crucial in the disaster management sector since it may be used to anticipate the future incidence and magnitude of any natural tragedy. However, numerous data gathering technologies are used to get this data and information; the finest and major source of disaster assessment is remote sensing. Remote sensors, unlike other technologies, can record the magnitude and scope of the disaster, making data comparison easier.
The most often utilized methods for public warning are public sirens, electronic media, and workers from responsible organizations who go out on the streets and tell residents using proper speakers or megaphones. Every method of informing individuals has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, as well as new upgrades or alternative substitutes. Famines in Sudan and Ethiopia in the 1980s sparked the need for early warning systems to detect and avoid future food crises. When dealing with conditions like COVID-19, early warning systems developed for volcano, earthquake, tsunami, and flood hazards may look insufficient.
By identifying several early warning system models, the groundwork is laid for the construction of a holistic model that maximizes all of the benefits while minimizing all of the negatives. Early warning systems, as well as the technology and equipment that enable them to function, work best when they are integrated into society and are understandable, and relevant.
Short Message Service (SMS) (cellular phone text messaging), email, radio, television, and the internet are only a few of the communication means that are presently accessible for warning distribution. Early warning relies heavily on information and communication technology (ICT). During and after a catastrophe, ICT plays a critical role in disaster communication and information distribution to organizations responsible for reacting to warnings as well as the general public.
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