Disaster Management

Disaster management aims to reduce, or avoid, the potential losses from hazards, assure prompt and appropriate assistance to victims of disaster, and achieve rapid and effective recovery. The Disaster management cycle illustrates the on-going process by which governments, businesses, and 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 lead to greater preparedness, better warnings, reduced 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 modify the causes of disasters or mitigate their effects on people, property, and infrastructure.

The mitigation and preparedness phases occur as disaster management improvements are made in anticipation of a disaster event. In this phase disaster risk reduction is integrated into developmental plans and capacity building through training of all stakeholders and community is undertaken to effectively confront a disaster. During disasters, Government and humanitarian organizations, become involved in the immediate response and long-term recovery phases. The four disaster management phases illustrated here do not always, or even generally, occur in isolation or in this precise order. Often phases of the cycle overlap and the length of each phase greatly depends on the severity of the disaster.

  • Mitigation - Minimizing the effects of disaster.
    Examples: building codes and zoning; vulnerability analyses; public education.
  • Preparedness - Planning how to respond.
    Examples: preparedness plans; emergency exercises/training; warning systems.
  • Response - Efforts to minimize the hazards created by a disaster.
    Examples: search and rescue; emergency relief .
  • Recovery - Returning the community to normal.
    Examples: temporary housing; grants; medical care.