Natural disaster management
Disaster management is the process of creating strategies aimed at limiting vulnerability to hazards and manages disasters such as natural disasters. Due to geographic, climatic and demographic changes in our surroundings, several countries such as India and Japan are prone to severe natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, heat and cold waves, landslides, fires and epidemics among others. Despite that, they do not occur routinely, when they occur, they result in detrimental consequences that require efficient management plans that incorporate strategies of prevention, preparedness, relief, and recovery.
The management of natural disasters begins with prevention. Prevention strategies involve designing measures that facilitate permanent protection from disasters and since prevention is impossible, limiting of their consequences is paramount. Such measures include environmental planning and designing to reduce projects that elicit potential harm, such as buildings that can collapse in the event of floods or an earthquake and introducing superior evacuation plans especially for persons living in risky areas. Moreover, environmental degradation is linked to several natural disasters such as floods, and landslides. Hence, the implementation of strict regulations that limit the misappropriation of natural resources and promote its protection is necessary.
Preparedness in natural disasters involves the adoption and devising of plans that ensure minimal losses and damages. Preparedness incorporates activities such as first, optimization of awareness of the occurrence of a natural disaster achieved by ensuring timely communication of information, managing, and sharing of information across different departments. Secondly, is by developing strong and reinforced communication networks that can weather the disasters and ensure their security. Thirdly, evacuating people in potential hot zones of the disaster is to minimize the fatalities. Moreover, by the government allocating funds to support the process of preparation and providing administrative support such as the establishment of an Information and Research Disaster Management Centre to monitor and train persons on the efficient methods of managing the disasters.
The relief perspective involves the collaborative efforts of various agencies such as rescue agencies, the government, and relief agencies such as Red Cross working together to minimize the effects of a natural disaster and its potential extended effects. Relief activities include rescuing of persons from the areas the disaster hit, relocating residents of areas likely to be affected as well, provision of necessities such as foods, water, clothing and shelter and prevention of ailments through medication, and vaccinations. Additionally, repairing of crucial services such as means of transportation, health care facilities, homes and communication facilities is vital.
Disaster recovery occurs after the implementation of initial relief efforts after a disaster. Recovery targets the introduction of plans aimed at promoting normalcy of life. The strategies include rebuilding of infrastructures such as transportation, communication, and health facilities by investing in innovations that can weather future disasters. Secondly, is by utilizing rehabilitation efforts that will rejuvenate the culture and way of life of the people to encourage them to move on. Thirdly, is by incorporating innovations and creative technological advances in communication tools and disaster management strategies to enhance preparedness in future. Finally, by revitalizing the business community to accentuate the recovery of the country and give hope to the population.
In conclusion, the economic cost attributed to natural catastrophes is at an all time high. Therefore, since they are unpreventable, management strategies that incorporate mitigation measures to reduce their onset, putting preparation mechanisms in place, engaging in organized and informed relief efforts and implementing recovery are valuable in enabling countries to move on beyond the disasters.
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