Disaster Management can be defined as the administration and organization of responsibilities and resources for dealing with all human centered aspects of emergencies, in particular preparedness, action and recovery in order to reduce the effect of disasters. A disaster can be described as an abrupt, calamitous event that
This essay focuses on the overall idea of how to manage effectively disasters and emergence cases on a national level so as to minimize losses to people and property. The main objective is to reduce the outcome of the disaster on people,the environment and property. To effectively control events,stop escalation and rehabilitate the affected persons or population in order to speed up recovery. In order for this objective to be archived several measures have to be undertaken and strictly implemented.
Being prepared for emergencies is of paramount importance since disaster can strike quickly and without warning. Four major steps need to be followed so as to come up with a comprehensive plan that will tackle disasters and emergencies effectively. First of all is the issue of putting in place appropriate public policies and plans that either adjust the repercussions of disasters or lessen their effects on people, property, and infrastructure. This will include proper installation of a coordination,organization and command structure along with efficient competent and capable personnel.
In order to reduce the effects of inescapable disasters measures such as carrying out vulnerability analyses updates, following the laid out building codes and regulations,setting up preventive health care and public education have to be set. All these measures have to be integrated in the national and regional development planning and its proficiency will rely on the accessibility of information on hazards,sudden risks and countermeasures to be taken. These plans are put in place in anticipation of a disaster .
The second step is to set up preparedness plan in order to achieve a reasonable level of readiness to counter any emergency situation
Preparedness can also take the form of ensuring that strategical reserves of water, food, medicines, equipment, and other fundamentals are maintained in cases of national or local calamity. During the preparedness phase, organizations, individuals and governments,build up plans to save lives, reduce disaster damage, and strengthen disaster response operations. Preparedness measures include preparedness procedures; emergency exercises/training; warning tactics; emergency communications machinery; evacuations procedures and training; resource inventories; emergency personnel/contact lists; collective aid agreements; and public education.
The third step is the human centered action and it normally involves the humanitarian agencies which are often called upon to deal with instant response and recovery. To be able to act effectively, these agencies must have well versed leaders, competent personnel, sufficient transport and logistical support, pertinent communications, and guidelines for carrying out emergencies. If the needed preparations have not been made, the humanitarian agencies will not be able to handle the imminent needs of the people.
There is also the issue of response which aims at providing instantaneous assistance so as to maintain life,encourage the morale of the affected community and enhance health Such contribution may range from providing specific but limited aid, such as helping refugees with transport, impermanent shelter, and food, to establishing temporary settlement in camps and other locations. It also may involve primal repairs to damaged substructure. The main focus of this step is to meet the basic needs of the population until more lasting and sustainable solutions can be established.
Ashman, John. (1995. ). The final stage of the disaster management plan is the recovery stage. As the emergency is brought under manageable levels, the affected population is notable of embarking on an increasing number of activities targeted at restoring their lives and the substructure that helps them. There is no particular point at which instant relief changes into recovery and then into long-term bearable development. There will be numerous opportunities during the recovery period to enhance anticipation and increase readiness, thus lessening vulnerability.
Ideally, there should be a smooth change over from recovery to on-going development. Recovery activities go on until all systems are back to normalcy or better. Recovery plans, both long and short term, include returning crucial life-support systems to minimal operating standards; semi-permanent housing; public information; adequate health and safety education; rebuilding; counseling programs; and economic effect studies. Information resources and services include data collection and review related to reconstruction, and documentations of lessons acquired. Ashman, John.(1995. )Feinstein, R. (1989/90, 5(1) ).
The capacity of human resource involved in a disaster management program especially on a national level can not be quantified. There are numerous stakeholders that are involved and must be integrated for it to be a success such as decision makers,policy makers, professionals ,administrators, (architects, engineers and others at various levels) financial institutions (banks,house financing institutions, insurance,) and NGOs and voluntary organizations. The same applies to financial and material resources which are vast.
In the case of finances professional accountants should be involved so that they can clearly evaluate th possible extent of financial damage resulted by different types of disasters including the verification of estimates and valuation of disaster affected assets. They evaluate the different options of coping with disaster from the financial perspective and advise, devise and evaluate different procedures for assuring that resources would be available for disaster mitigation at the right time and place needed.
The accountants should also advise on alternative strategies for post-disaster management and rehabilitation with specific regard to assuring financial security to the affected, availability and proper use of financial resources for bringing forth new economic opportunities etc. Institute of Education, Library and Media Services,(June 1996. )