Disaster Management: Good Preparation is Half the Work

Disaster management aims to reduce or avoid the potential losses from hazards, assure prompt and appropriate assistance to the victims of disaster and achieve rapid and effective recovery.

The disaster management cycle illustrates the ongoing process by which governments, businesses & civil society plan for and reduce the impact of disasters, react during and immediately following a disaster, and take steps to recover after a disaster has occurred. Appropriate actions at all points in the cycle leads to greater preparedness, better warnings, reduce vulnerability, or the prevention of disasters during the next iteration of the cycle.

The complete disaster management cycle includes the shaping of public policies and plans that either modifies the causes of disaster or mitigate their effects on people, properties and infrastructures.

A great article by Amitabh B, an expert in disaster management and safety consultant with Consult 2050.

Guiding Principles for Strategic Programming:

All the activities in operationalizing the national disaster management policy must consider the following crosscutting core principles and mainstream them into national development:

  • Service delivery
  • Capacity Building
  • Community/local empowerment
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Integrated planning and programming
  • Partnership and Alliance Building

For any disaster and risk reduction management program, following features are essential for any success:

  • Self-help and citizen-based social protection at the neighbourhood level.
  • Trust between the authorities and civil society.
  • Investment in economic development that explicitly takes potential consequences for risk reduction or increase into account.
  • Investment in human development.
  • Investment in institutional capital (e.g., capable, accountable and transparent government institutions for mitigating disasters.)
  • Good coordination, information sharing and cooperation among institutions involved in risk reduction
  • Attention to lifeline infrastructure.
  • Attention to the most vulnerable.
  • An effective risk communication system and institutionalized historical memory of disaster.
  • Political commitment to disaster management.
  • Laws, regulations and directives to support all of the above.

Key Stakeholders

The stakeholders involved in the implementation of this strategy are numerous and can be categorized as follows:

  • Government including local authorities
  • NGOs including civil society organizations
  • Private sector
  • International development partners
  • Local communities
  • Women and Youth groups
  • Other vulnerable groups such as children and the physically challenged

Priority Areas for Action

The following priority areas will be the disaster management agency’s building blocks to championing disaster management and risk reduction issues in the country:

  1. Development of institutional framework and structures capable of preventing, preparing for and responding to disasters at National, Regional and Local levels. Interventions in this area will aim at creating institutional environment for addressing disaster and risk reductions. This will involve the establishment of a National Office and related technical committees at national, regional and local levels, and the strengthening of capacities of all actors: government, civil society, organized private sector, decentralized agencies, state institutions and development partners.
  2. Integration of disaster risk reduction into sustainable policies and plans. Establishing the necessary linkages and capacity building will be among the key activities. Interventions in this area will aim at building capacity at all levels and develop and implement an effective resource mobilization mechanism and necessary follow ups. Mechanisms will be developed for mainstreaming disaster issues in overall development plans and policies.
  3. Creation of a body of knowledge that is useful to support government, humanitarian organizations and other partners; to anticipate, plan for and manage disasters effectively. Interventions in this area will aim at developing and improving on effective early warning systems, development of a comprehensive data-base, system development, conduct surveys and develop communication channels.
  4. Create broad and effective partnership among government, humanitarian organizations and other partners, to engage in disaster risk reduction activities and addressing the underlying factors in disasters. The national disaster management Office’s intervention will focus on ensuring that the necessary platform or structures and processes exist for genuine partnership and concerted efforts in disaster risk reduction. The interventions will focus on policy dialogue and establishment of effective linkage with the environmental impact assessment process.
  5. Develop an efficient response mechanism to disaster management and make available the necessary resources. Interventions in this area will aim at building capacities at all levels; develop strategies for resource mobilization and for monitoring and evaluation.
  6. To strengthen national capacity in the timely detection, prevention, control, investigation and reporting of diseases within animal and human populations. Interventions in this area will focus on training livestock, wildlife and health personnel and other critical partners for early diagnosis and reporting. It also emphasizes the need to provide basic supplies and also strengthen laboratory diagnostic capabilities.

How Consultants Can Help Out

Disaster Management aims to reduce or avoid the potential losses from hazards, assure prompt and appropriate assistance to the victims of disaster and achieve rapid and effective recovery.

Good preparation is half the work and distaster management experts can help out !

Disaster management consultants like Amitabh B can provide expert advice to help governments and businesses to better prepare for potential disasters.