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Importance of Disaster Management today

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Fire, rain, wind, and earth are four elements of nature that can be either extremely helpful or catastrophic. When you play with these elements more than you should, it causes havoc which sometimes cannot be redeemed. With a lot of changes in climatic and weather conditions lately due to overuse of our natural resources, has caused a string of events all over the world that has left everybody with little or no time to make amends. This can be witnessed with the recent disasters that have plagued the world.



Disaster Management
An earthquake that wrecked havoc and caused huge damage to people and property in India; Image Courtesy: khushicentre.in


In 2016 alone there has been a locust swarm in Argentina, floods in North Korea and contradictorily a drought in Brazil, and to add to the 2016 disaster list is the recent Hurricane Matthew which hit Florida, United States. Previously in August, an earthquake of 6.2 magnitude hit Italy. Since June, the monsoon season began in India and surrounding countries, and let’s just say monsoon this year decided not to take a ‘rain-check’. With a heavy rainfall this year, India’s disaster management units and infrastructure was put to test. While some of us survived it with minimal damage, there were some parts of the country that were not so lucky. Disaster Management teams were maxed out in helping people out in the rain-hit areas in these parts of India.

Also read: Disaster Management Courses and Colleges

The latest tragedy to hit India was that of the Telangana floods. The floods have already killed 11 people in the state and currently disaster management plans are underway to prevent any casualty in case a disaster of this magnitude hits Telangana again. People were evacuated from the surrounding regions and help is underway for anyone still stuck in those areas.

This brings us to the concept of disaster management. To understand this concept, one needs to understand what a disaster entails. A disaster is an event that causes profound damage to life and property. Disasters are also classified into different categories according to their origin, nature of disaster (natural or man-made), and their severity. The categories are,



  1. Water and Climate

  2. Geological

  3. Biological

  4. Nuclear and Industrial

  5. Accidental


To prevent these disasters from causing a major impact, to the best of human ability, certain precautions are taken and this process is called as Disaster Management. There are a lot of factors that are relevant to disaster management like weak infrastructure, poor planning of land use, inadequate laws and laidback perspective of people. That boils down to the difference between a hazard and a disaster. A hazard is an event that cannot be controlled or monitored by humans whereas a disaster is an event that is caused as a consequence of a hazard by lack of planning and other factors.

Also read: Disaster Management related career scope

In India, to prevent and mitigate the impact of a natural or manmade disaster, two institutes were setup – National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Disaster Management - Rescue Operations

The Army and Special Forces assist in the rescue operations in the flood-hit area; Image Courtesy: news18.com


The National Disaster Management Act of 2005 outlines certain measures that need to be taken, that require planning, coordination, and implementation.

  1. Prevention of threat of a disaster

  2. Mitigation of the risk attached to disaster and its severity/consequences.

  3. Building our capacity to carry out the above two

  4. Preparedness to handle a disaster of any magnitude

  5. Prompt or quick response to such a situation

  6. Assessment of the severity, magnitude or effect of a disaster

  7. Evacuation and relief operations

  8. Rehabilitation and reconstruction of the disaster-hit area



About Ileana Sharangpani

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