Disaster Mitigation

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Prof Priyanka


What is Disaster?
A disaster is a natural or man-made hazard that has come to fruition, resulting in an event of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life, or drastic change to the environment. A disaster can be defined as any tragic event with great loss stemming from events such

as earthquakes, floods, catastrophic accidents, fires, or explosions. It is a phenomenon that causes huge damage to life, property and destroys the economic, social and cultural life of people.

What is Disaster Management?
Disaster management can be defined as the organization and management of resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian aspects of emergencies, in particular preparedness,

response and recovery in order to lessen the impact of disasters.

Types of Disaster
There is no country that is immune from disaster, though vulnerability to disaster varies. They are • Natural disasters include floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and volcano eruptions that can have immediate impacts on human health, as well as secondary impacts causing further death and suffering from floods causing landslides, earthquakes resulting in fires, tsunamis causing widespread flooding and typhoons sinking ferries. • Man made disasters include war, arson, riots, terrorism, accidents , industrial hazards, ecological disasters, HIV/AIDS and life style diseases


Meaning of Disaster Mitigation
Disaster mitigation is the term used to refer to all actions to reduce the impact of a disaster that can be taken prior to its occurrence, including preparedness and long-term risk reduction measures. It includes both the planning and implementation of measures to reduce the risks associated with known natural and human-made hazards, and the process of planning for effective response to disasters which do occur.

Mitigation means taking actions to reduce the effects of a hazard before it occurs. The term mitigation applies to a wide range of activities and protection measures that might be instigated, from the physical, like constructing stronger buildings, to the procedural, like standard techniques for incorporating hazard assessment in land-use planning.

Natural Disaster Mitigation Strategies

• Check for hazards in the home • Identify safe places in each room • Locate safe places outdoors • Ensure all family members know how to respond after an earthquake • Teach children when and how to call 9-1-1 • Have disaster supplies on • Develop an emergency communications plan in case of separation during the earthquake • Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the family contact

• If indoors: Take cover under a piece of heavy furniture or against an inside wall and stay inside • If outdoors: Move into the open, away from buildings, street lights, and utility wires and remain there until shaking stops • If in a moving vehicle: Stop quickly, stay in vehicle, move to a clear area away from buildings, trees, overpasses, or utility wires

After the Disaster
• Be prepared for after shocks • Help injured or trapped persons and give first aid where appropriate • Listen to a battery operated radio for emergency information • Stay out of damaged buildings and return home only when authorities say it is safe

Before the Disaster
• Install window air conditioners • Install temporary reflectors to reflect heat outside • Consider keeping storm windows up year round • Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation

During the Disaster
• Protect windows that receive sun by hanging draperies or shades • Conserve electricity • Stay indoors as much as possible; eat well-balanced light meals and drink water regularly • Limit intake of alcoholic beverages • Dress in loose fitting clothes • Allow body to get acclimated to the heat w/in the first few days of a heat wave, avoid sunshine and use sunscreen if needed • Avoid extreme temperature changes • Reduce, eliminate, or reschedule strenuous activities

After the Disaster
• First Aid for conditions after a drought/extreme heat: • Sunburn (skin redness and pain, possible swelling, blisters, fever, headaches) - shower using soap to remove oils that may block pores. If blistering occurs, apply dry, sterile dressings and get medical attention. • Heat Cramps (painful spasms in leg and abdominal muscles) - Place firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water, however if nausea occurs, discontinue. • Heat Exhaustion (heavy sweating, weakness, skin cold, pale, and clammy, weak pulse, fainting and vomiting may occur) - lay victim down in a cool place, loosen clothing and apply cool, wet cloths. Give sips of water, however if nausea occurs, discontinue. Seek medical attention if vomiting occurs. • Heat/Sun Stroke [high body temperature (+106?) , hot and dry skin, rapid pulse, possible unconsciousness, no perspiration] - Call 9-1-1 immediately to get victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.

Before the Disaster
• Learn warning signs and community alert systems • Stockpile emergency building materials • Install check valves in sewer traps to prevent flood waters from backing up in sewer drains • Plan and practice an evacuation route • Have disaster supplies on hand • Develop an emergency communication plan in case of separation • Ask an out-of-state relative to serve as the "family contact" • Teach family members how and when to turn off the gas, electricity, and water and teach children how and when to call 9-1-1 • Ask your insurance agent about flood insurance

During the Disaster
• During a flood watch: • If indoors: • Turn on battery operated radio to get latest emergency information • Get pre-assembled emergency supplies • If told to leave, do so immediately. • If outdoors: • Climb to high ground and stay there • Avoid walking through any floodwaters. • If in a car, turn around and go another way; if your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground. • During an evacuation: If advised to evacuate, do so immediately to avoid flooded roads, being sure to follow recommended evacuation routes and listen to radio for evacuation instructions

After the Disaster
• Don't return home until authorities express express it is safe to do so • Help neighbors whom may need assistance • Use extreme caution when entering buildings • Inspect foundations for cracks or other damage and examine walls, floors, doors, and windows to make sure that the building is not in danger of collapsing • Watch out for animals, especially poisonous snakes, that may have come into your home with flood waters • Watch for loose plaster and ceilings that could fall • Take pictures of damage for insurance claims • Look for fire hazards • Throw away all food (including canned) that has come in contact with flood waters • Pump out flooded basements gradually (~ 1/3 amount of water per day) to avoid structural damage

Before the Disaster
• Plan an evacuation route and learn safe routes inland • Have disaster supplies on hand • Develop an emergency communication plan in case of separation • Ask an out-of-state relative to serve as the "family contact" • Teach family members when and how to turn off gas and electricity • Trim back dead or weak branches from trees • Check into flood insurance • Teach children when and how to call 9-1-1 • Make arrangements for family pets because some emergency shelters may not allow pets

During the Disaster
• Hurricane Watch (conditions within 24-36 hours): • Listen to battery-operated radio for progress reports; check emergency supplies • Fuel car • Bring in outdoor objects • Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows • Remove outside antennas • Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings

• Hurricane Warning (conditions expected in 24 hours or less): • Listen to radio for instructions • Tie down mobile home and evacuate immediately • Store valuables in waterproof container • Avoid elevators. • If at home: • • Stay inside, away from anything glass • Keep a supply of batteries and flashlights • Avoid open flames as a source of light • If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power "surge." • If evacuation is necessary: leave ASAP, avoiding flooded roads and washed-out bridges

After the Disaster
• Stay tuned to radio for information, returning home only when authorities advise it is safe to do so • Help injured or trapped persons and give first aid where appropriate • Avoid loose or dangling power lines and report them to the power company or fire department • Beware of snakes, insects, and animals driven to higher ground by flood water • Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home • Check refrigerated foods for spoilage • Take pictures of the damage for insurance claims • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges • Use telephones only for emergency calls.

Before the Disaster
• Find out if your house is in danger and know the height of your street above sea level • Be familiar with warning signs (earthquakes, ground rumbling, or rapid rise and fall of coastal waters) • Ensure all family members know how to respond • Make evacuation plans with more than one route and pick an elevated inland location • Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1 • Have disaster supplies on hand (flashlight, extra batteries, portable batteryoperated radio, first aid kit, emergency food and water, nonelectric can opener, cash and credit cards, and sturdy shoes) • Develop an emergency communications plan in case of separation during the earthquake Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the family contact.

During the Disaster
• Listen to radio for emergency and evacuation information • Climb to higher ground as soon as warning of a tsunami is released • Stay away from the beach - if you can see the wave, you are too close to escape it • Do not assume that one wave means the danger is over - the next wave may be larger than the first • Stay out of the area and do not return until authorities say it is safe to do so

After the Disaster
• Stay tuned to radio for emergency information • Help injured or trapped persons and give first aid where appropriate • Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury • Stay out of damaged buildings • Enter home with caution, checking for electrical shorts and live wires • Do not use appliances or lights until properly checked by an electrician • Open windows and doors to help dry the building • Shovel mud while it is still moist to give walls and floors an opportunity to dry • Check food supplies, throwing out all fresh food that may be contaminated and have tap water tested by local health department.

Before the Disaster
• Learn about community warning systems and of disasters that can come from volcanoes (earthquakes, flooding, landslides, mudflows, thunderstorms, tsunamis) • Make evacuation plans to higher ground with a backup route • Get a pair of goggles and a throw-away breathing mask for each member of the household teach children how and when to cal 9-1-1 • 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) • Develop an emergency communications plan in case of separation during the earthquake Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the family contact.

During the Disaster
• Follow evacuation order issued by authorities • Avoid areas downwind of the volcano If indoors: • Close all windows, doors, and dampers • Put all machinery inside a garage or barn • Bring animals and livestock into closed shelters If outdoors: • Seek shelter immediately • If caught in a rockfall, roll into a ball to protect head • Avoid low-lying areas where poisonous gases can collect and floods can be dangerous • If caught near a stream beware of mudflows. • Wear long sleeved shirts and pants • Use goggles to protect eyes and a dust-mask or damp cloth over face to help breathing

After the Disaster
• Be cautious when re-entering a burned wildland area - hot spots
can flare up without warning • Check the roof immediately and extinguish any sparks or embers and the attic for hidden burning sparks • Re-check for smoke and sparks throughout the home for several hours afterward • Breathe the air close to the ground through a wet cloth to avoid scorching lungs or inhaling smoke.

Before the Disaster
• Get a ground assessment of your property • Minimize home hazards (plant ground cover on slopes, build retaining walls, and in mudflow areas, build channels or deflection walls to direct flow around buildings) Recognize landslide warning signs: • Doors/windows stick or jam for the first time, new cracks appear in plaster or foundations, outside walks, walls, or stairs pull away from buildings, underground utility lines break, bulging ground appears at base of a slope, ground slopes downward in one direction and may begin shifting in that direction under your feet; faint rumbling sound that increases in volume as landslide nears • Make evacuation plans, planning at least two routes allowing for blocked and closed roads • Purchase flood insurance.

During the Disaster
If indoors: • Stay inside and get cover under a sturdy piece of furniture. If outdoors: • Try to get out of path of mudflow • Run to nearest high ground in a direction away from path • If rocks and other debris are approaching, run for nearest shelter such as a group of trees or a building • If escape is not possible, curl into a tight ball and protect your head. Be cautious of sinkholes: • Sinkholes occur when groundwater dissolves a vulnerable land surface such as limestone, causing the land surface to collapse from lack of support.

After the Disaster
• Stay away from slide area
• Check for injured and trapped persons and give first aid where needed • Listen to battery-operated radios for emergency information • Remember flooding may occur after a mudflow or landslide • Check for damaged utility lines and report damage to the utility company • Check the building foundation, chimney, and surrounding land for damage • Replant damaged ground as soon as possible since erosion caused by loss of ground cover can lead to flash flooding.

• Disaster mitigation measures may be structural (e.g. flood dikes) or nonstructural (e.g. land use zoning). Mitigation activities should incorporate the measurement and assessment of the evolving risk environment. Activities may include the creation of comprehensive, pro-active tools that help decide where to focus funding and efforts in risk reduction. • Other examples of mitigation measures include: Hazard mapping Adoption and enforcement of land use and zoning practices Implementing and enforcing building codes Flood plain mapping Reinforced tornado safe rooms Burying of electrical cables to prevent ice build-up Raising of homes in flood-prone areas Disaster mitigation public awareness programs Insurance programs

• For most of the risks associated with natural hazards, there is little or no opportunity to reduce the hazard. In these cases the focus of mitigation policies must be on reducing the vulnerability of the elements and activities at risk. • For technological and human-made hazards, reducing the hazard is, however, likely to be the most effective mitigation strategy. • Actions by planning or development authorities to reduce vulnerability can broadly be classified into two types-active and passive measures. • Active measures are those in which the authorities promote desired actions by offering incentives-these are often associated with development programs in areas of low income. • Passive measures are those in which the authorities prevent undesired actions by using controls and penalties-these actions are usually more appropriate for well-established local authorities in areas with higher incomes

• Community-based mitigation actions are likely to be responsive to people’s real needs, to mobilize local resources and use local materials and contribute to the long-term development of the community, though in engineering terms they may be less effective than larger-scale capitalintensive alternatives. • The range of mitigation actions which might be considered can include the following: – engineering and construction – physical planning – economic measures – management and institutional measures – societal measures • Engineering measures range form large-scale engineering works to strengthening individual buildings and small-scale community-based projects. Codes of practice for disaster protection are unlikely to be effective unless they are accepted and understood by the community. Training of local builders in techniques to incorporate better protection into traditional structures-buildings, roads, embankments-is likely to be an essential component of such measures.

• The linkages between different sectors of the economy may be more vulnerable to disruption by a disaster than the physical infrastructure. Diversification of the economy is an important way to reduce the risk. A strong economy is the best defense against disaster. Within a strong economy, governments can use economic incentives to encourage individuals or institutions to take disaster mitigation actions. • Building disaster-protection takes time. It needs to be supported by a program of education, training and institution building to provide the professional knowledge and competence required. • Mitigation planning should aim to develop a "safety culture" in which all members of society are aware of the hazards they face, know how to protect themselves, and will support the protection efforts of others and of the community as a whole

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