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Essay Generating Awareness Disaster Management

CHAPTER 3

AWARENESS AND EDUCATION

The key to reducing loss of life, personal injuries, and damage from natural disasters is widespread public awareness and education. People must be made aware of what natural hazards they are likely to face in their own communities. They should know in advance what specific preparations to make before an event, what to do during a hurricane, earthquake, flood, fire, or other likely event, and what actions to take in its aftermath.

Equally important, public officials and the media — television, radio, and newspapers — must be fully prepared to respond effectively, responsibly, and speedily to large-scale natural emergencies. They need to be aware, in advance, of procedures to follow in a crisis that threatens to paralyze the entire community they serve, and they need to know how to communicate accurate information to the public during a natural disaster.

Special efforts must also be made to reach and plan for the care of particularly vulnerable segments of the population — latch-key children, the elderly, individuals in health care and correctional facilities, people with disabilities, and those who do not speak English — with information about possible disasters and what to do in an emergency.

The Committee recommends that community-wide awareness and educationprograms about natural disasters be made a national priority.

To achieve this goal, the Committee proposes that information campaigns and educational efforts be developed and that their effectiveness be evaluated and, where possible, continually improved:

  1. Home. Household survival plans should provide basic information on what hazardous events are most likely to occur in particular communities, what emergency equipment and supplies should be on hand, what precautions should be taken to limit damage, and what preparations should be made for escape and evacuation. Such information might best be conveyed graphically, both in print and on television. Dramatic, easily recognizable graphic symbols signifying each natural hazard should be created and widely publicized to identify impending emergencies and quickly alert the public to the degree of seriousness and the imminence of danger.

    To stimulate public awareness, brochures, posters, games, calendars, museum exhibits, public service announcements (for print, radio, and television), and even entertainment programming should be used. Materials produced by the American Red Cross, FEMA, the National Weather Service (NWS), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and other government agencies as well as insurance companies and other private sector entities are already available for such campaigns. (See Figure 2.) Organizations in the private sector, including the Advertising Council, public utilities, public relations firms, advertising agencies, and voluntary organizations, should be enlisted to create, produce, and disseminate new information materials.

  2. The community. Community-wide planning and education should be encouraged. Schools, government organizations, community and church groups, business and neighborhood organizations, hospital and medical groups, and the news media should all be involved. Checklists, information handouts, and training videos should be created and widely distributed to convey such information as the location of nearby emergency resources and appropriate use of the 911 system both during and after a disaster. Regional and community demonstration programs, disaster day exercises, volunteer courses, and conferences should be undertaken and evaluated for their effectiveness.

Disaster Management: Types, Awareness and Schemes for Disaster Management!

Geological processes like earthquakes, volcanoes, floods and landslides are normal natural events which have resulted in the formation of the earth that we have today.

They are however disastrous in their impact when they affect human settlements. Human societies have witnessed a large number of such natural hazards in different parts of the world and have tried to learn to control these processes to some extent.

Table. Frequently Occurring Natural Disaster in India

Sr.No.

Type

Location/area

Affected pollution

1.

Floods

8 major river valleys spread over 40 million hectares of area in the entire country

260

2.

Droughts

Spread in 14 states

86

3.

Earthquakes

Nearly 55% of the total area of the country falling in the seismic zone IV and V

400

4.

Cyclones

Entire 5700 km long coastline of Southern Peninsular India covering 9 states

10

5.

Landslides

Entire Sub-Himalayan Regions and Western Ghats

10

Major such disasters include a devastating earthquake which hit Bhuj Town in Gujarat caused massive damage. Earth-quake generated water waves called Tsunamis caused tremendous damage in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Types of Disasters:

There are two types of disasters:

(i) Natural Disasters:

The disasters that are caused by nature are termed as natural disasters e.g., earthquake, cyclone etc.

(ii) Man-made Disaster:

The disasters which are caused as a result of human activities are termed as Man-Made Disasters e.g., Road accident, terrorist attack.

Natural Disasters:

1. Earthquake:

Earthquake is a sudden and violent shaking of ground causing great destruction as a result of movement of earth’s crust. An earthquake has the potential to tsunami or volcanic eruption.

Earthquake of magnitude 9.2 on the Richter’s scale in 2004 in Indonesia is the second largest earthquake ever recorded. The deadliest earthquake happened in Central China, killing over 800,000 in 1556. People during that time and region lived in caves and died from the caves collapsing.

Earthquake mitigation strategies:

a. Existing critical facilities built on reclaimed land should be inspected and retrofitted if necessary to ensure earthquake resistance.

b. Future critical facilities should not be located on reclaimed land because of the high potential for liquefaction.

c. Older unreinforced masonry buildings should be inspected and retrofitted if necessary to increase earthquake resistance.

d. Older unreinforced masonry buildings should not be used for critical functions.

2. Cyclone:

Cyclones (or more properly called Tropical Cyclones) are a type of severe spinning storm that occurs over the ocean near the tropics.

The most famous Australian historic cyclone was Cyclone Tracy, December 1974, where around 11 people died in Darwin, Northern Territory. The direction they spin depends on which hemisphere they are in. In the Southern hemisphere they spin in a clockwise direction and Northern hemisphere they spin in an anti-clockwise direction.

Cyclone mitigation strategies:

a. Future critical facilities should not be located in areas of accelerated winds.

b. The most significant aspect of structural damage to buildings by high velocity wind results from roof damage. The roofs of existing buildings should be inspected and if necessary retrofitted to adequate standards.

c. The roofs of existing critical facilities should be retrofitted to a higher standard to ensure wind resistance.

d. Building openings such as windows and doors also suffer damage from high velocity winds. These openings if not constructed of wood or metal should be protected with shutters or temporary covers of adequate design.

Table. Classification of cyclone based on speed

Category

Strongest Guse (Km/h)

Typical Effects (Indication Only)

1 (Tropical Cyclone)

Less than 125 (Gales)

Negligible house damage. Damage to some crops, trees and caravans. Craft may drag moorings.

2 (Tropical Cyclone)

125-169 (Destructive winds)

Minor house damage, Significant damage to signs, trees and caravans, Heavy damage to some crops. Risk of power failure. Small craft may break moorings.

3

(Srvere Tropical Cyclone e.g., Roma)

170-224 (Very destructive winds)

Some roof and structural damage. Some caravans destroyed. Power failure likely.

4

(Srvere Tropical Cyclone e.g., Tracy)

225-279 (Very destructive winds)

Significant roofing loss and structural damage. Many caravans destroyed and blown away. Dangerous airborne debris. Widespread power failures

5

(Srvere Tropical Cyclone e.g., Vance)

More than ‘280 (Very destructive winds)

Extremely dangerous with widespread destruction.

3. Tsunami:

Tsunamis are giant waves, initiated by a sudden change, usually in relative position of underwater tectonic plates. The sudden jerk is enough to propagate the wave; however, its power can be enhanced and fed by lunar positioning and boundaries that focus its energy.

Tsunami mitigation strategies:

a. In some tsunami-prone countries earthquake engineering measures have been taken to reduce the damage caused onshore.

b. Japan, where tsunami science and response measures first began following a disaster in 1896, has produced ever-more elaborate countermeasures and response plans. That country has built many tsunami walls of up to 4.5 metres (15 ft) to protect populated coastal areas.

c. Other localities have built floodgates and channels to redirect the water from incoming tsunami.

4. Volcanic eruptions:

Volcanic disasters are caused by lava flows, volcanic mudflows and pyroclastic flows triggered by volcanic activities such as eruptions. It covers extensive areas; volcanic disasters can cause a large-scale damages and serious personal injury. Secondary disasters such as debris flows are often triggered by rainfall after a volcanic eruption.

In the 1815, the Indonesian eruption threw rocks more than 100 cubic km of ash killing 92,000 people. The greatest volcanic explosion occurred in Indonesia in 1883, which resulting in rocks hurling 55 km up into the air. The explosion was heard in Australia and generated a 40 m high tsunami, killing 36,000 people.

Volcanic disasters mitigation strategies:

a. Learn about community warning systems and of disasters that can come from volcanoes (earthquakes, flooding, landslides, mudflows, thunderstorms, tsunamis)

b. Make evacuation plans to higher ground with a backup route.

c. Have disaster supplies on hand (flashlight, extra batteries, portable battery-operated radio, first aid kit, emergency food and water, nonelectric can opener, cash and credit cards, and sturdy shoes)

5. Floods:

Flooding is the unusual presence of water on land to a depth which affects normal activities. Flooding can arise from: overflowing rivers (river flooding), heavy rainfall over a short duration (flash floods), or an unusual inflow of sea water onto land (ocean flooding). Ocean flooding can be caused by storms such as hurricanes (storm surge), high tides (tidal flooding), seismic events (tsunami) or large landslides.

Flood mitigation strategies:

a. Watercourses which pass through significant settlement areas should be properly configured and lined with concrete.

b. Existing bridges should be inspected to determine which ones are too low or which have support pillars within the watercourse channel. Where possible these should be replaced as these features restrict water flow and cause the channels to be easily blocked with debris.

c. Future bridges should not be built with these undesirable features.

d. Buildings constructed adjacent to watercourses should be elevated by at least one meter to prevent potential flood inundation.

e. Critical facilities should not be located adjacent to watercourses.

Man-made Disasters:

1. Road Accidents:

Road accidents are common in India due to reckless driving, untrained drivers and poor maintenance of roads and vehicles. According to Lifeline Foundation, the Ahmedabad based organization working for road safety, India accounts for 13 per cent of road accident fatalities worldwide.

With 130,000 deaths in 2007, India tops in the number of people killed in road accidents, surpassing China’s 90,000. Most of these deaths occurred due to bad road designs and lack of proper traffic management systems to separate different streams of traffic.

2. Building and Bridge Collapse:

Building collapses are frequent in India where construction is often hastily done, with little regard for safety regulations, particularly in the western part of the country.

3. Terrorist Attack:

Devastating acts such as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon have left many concerned about the possibility of future incidents in the United States and their potential impact. Terrorism may involve devastating acts using weapons of mass destruction ranging from chemical agents, biological hazards, a radiological or nuclear device, and other explosives.

Mitigation strategies for man-made disasters:

a. For road accidents, traffic rules and regulations need to be followed strictly.

b. For building and bridge collapse, standard building materials should be used.

c. Moreover, more and more public awareness should be made to minimize the effects of man-made disasters.

If a Terrorism-Related Event Happens:

a. Stay calm and be patient.

b. Listen to a local radio or television station for news and follow the instructions of emergency service personnel.

c. Be vigilant. If the incident occurs near you, look out for secondary hazards such as falling debris or additional attacks.

d. Check for injuries and summon help for seriously injured people.

Awareness through Mass Media:

a. Media plays a significant role in educating the population about] disaster and its management.

b. Without media we could not aware people about disaster in remote areas of the country.

Central Sector Scheme for Disaster Management:

a. Human resource Development

b. Setting up of National Centre for Disaster Management (NCDM)

c. Setting up of Disaster Management Faculties in States

d. UNDP is a united nation’s global development programs working in 166 countries.

e. Programs for Community Participation and Public Awareness

f. Observing National Disaster Reduction Day

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