Disasters and their management generally get discussed in their aftermath but practically it should result in planning and preparing the strategy to tackle and mitigate disasters in a responsible and effective manner. Disasters, both natural and unnatural, are macro level events or processes, which induce disturbances and turmoil for a prolonged life-threatening environment for a community.
Disaster management is essentially a dynamic process. It comprises the classical management functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling. It also involves many organizations, which must work together to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from the effects of disaster. Disaster management would therefore include immediate response, recovery, prevention, mitigation, preparedness and the cycle goes on.
A pro-active stance to reduce the toll of disasters in the country requires a more comprehensive approach that comprises both pre-disaster risk reduction and post-disaster recovery. It is framed by new policies and institutional arrangements that support effective action. Such an approach should involve the following set of activities:
- Risk analysis to identify the kinds of risks faced by people and development investments as well as their magnitude;
- Prevention and mitigation to address the structural sources of vulnerability;
- Risk transfer to spread financial risks over time and among different actors;
- Emergency preparedness and response to enhance a country’s readiness to cope quickly and effectively with an emergency; and
- Post-disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction to support effective recovery and to safeguard against future disasters.