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How to Be Prepared for and Manage Disaster

Risks in urban areas all over the world have arisen such as more tall buildings, more people to populate the area, addition of overhead power cables, and informal housing units because of the influx of migrants from rural areas who are job hunting. This condition, plus more industries, oil pipelines and storage tanks and occurrence of natural calamities such as earthquakes and landslides causes an impending big disaster. Recently, we have seen that in several parts of the world that experienced a lot of disasters, people have varying levels of preparedness and ways of responding to these disasters. To minimize the effects and impacts of disaster, mitigation takes place which now includes activities and measures which are put in place. Covering of the physical, economic, and social effects or impacts of disaster to a given population or area is also one of the features that mitigation has. Due to previous experience, we have seen that a certain level preparedness can to a large extent, mitigate the effects of these disasters as compared to areas without proper preparation. Depending on the locality and the community concerned, this can involve a lot of aspects and angles. These measures are categorized into structural and non-structural.

Further, these preparedness measures of mitigating disasters, whether structural or non-structural, may be either passive or active. Active measures specifically include giving incentives for the reduction of disasters such as correct planning of informal living quarters like in slum areas, or giving rewards to building owners for making the units ready for disaster. Unlike the passive measures which depend on guidelines and controls, the active measures are found to be more effective. As often observed, the fact that the law based planning codes and rules lack effectiveness unless strongly implemented together with the cooperation of building owners. Giving subsidies and lessening premiums for insurance for safer constructions can be effective.

The government and the local authorities must aim on handling disasters when they occur, and to do so, the government and the local authorities must possess a trait of preparedness in order to clear structures. It is important to have simple and easy plans and policies for implementation by the disaster preparedness and management unit. Increasing the awareness of the public and organization members should be required and that warning systems should be properly placed and regularly checked, including the proper planning of land use. Lack of good planning will result in the difficulty of the fire truck and ambulance to get through and fires that cannot be controlled. Pre planning must always be made or done because without it, the disaster response post disaster management will be one of the most challenging and difficult part or task.

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