What is Disaster Management?
Disaster is a condition that is caused either naturally or by man-made activities that cause a vast disruption to human and animal life. These disasters could be either floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, or could be biological or chemical weapons to create havoc in society by some notorious human elements. Special teams are designed to either prevent these disasters or provide immediate relief to the survivors who have been affected by them. This process of helping the affected lives is called disaster management.
Introduction to Disaster Management
According to the Disaster Management Act 2005, disaster management can be defined as an integrated process of planning, coordinating, organizing, and implementing measures that are necessary for
- Rehabilitation and reconstruction
- Prompt response to any threatening disaster
- Mitigation of any disaster or its consequences
- Preparedness to deal with any disaster
- Evacuation, rescue, and relief of the survivors
- Capacity building
- Assessing the severity of the after-effects of any disaster
Types of Disasters Management
Disasters can be broadly classified into two types on the basis of their origin: natural and man-made disasters.
- Natural Disasters: Natural disasters are those which occur naturally due to a difference in the climate or the concerned body (water/earth). The natural disaster caused may be a result of steady or rapid disturbances in nature that have an impact on livelihood. These disasters can be harmful to both life and property. Earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, epidemics, and wildlife fires are some of the common examples of natural disasters.
- A Man-Made Disaster: As the name suggests, man-made disasters are caused by the disturbances created by some notorious elements in society, or they can be to meet the lifestyle requirements of humans, which results in environmental degradation. Bomb blasts, biological weapons, deforestation, pollution, accidents (rope-way, passenger bus), etc are some of the man-made disasters to human lives.
Phases of Disaster Management
Disaster Management has come up with a Disaster Management phase model to deal with the disasters and come up with the appropriate management in terms of emergency. This is also known as the life cycle of Disaster Management. As per the Disaster Management, there are four phases of disaster and these are:
- Mitigation: Mitigation can be considered as the pre-disaster management that involves measures to reduce the vulnerable impact of a disaster. It includes the options like revised zoning, public infrastructure strengthening, land use management and similar ideas that can reduce the after-effects of a disaster.
- Preparedness: This phase includes outreaching the community, educating them about the impact, and training them on how to respond to and recover from a disaster. These disaster preparedness activities guide provides more information on how to better prepare an effective organization and the business community that can deal with a disaster.
- Response: Response involves all the necessary information regarding the threats that are possessed by a disaster. This also involves the establishment of a Business recovery center as in later terms, the focus shifts from saving lives to meeting humanitarian needs and completing the clean-up process.
- Recovery: Recovery is the last phase of Disaster management that is responsible for the restoration of the community and normalizing the local economy. During this phase, the impact again becomes stable in environmental, physical, social, and economic terms.
Causes of Disasters Management
There can be various reasons that cause disasters. They can be due to the following-
- Industrialization: Industrialization is a major cause of disaster as it results in global warming, which leads to more extreme weather conditions.
- Environmental Degradation: Shading down the trees to build tall buildings and infrastructure eventually leads to deforestation, which results in soil erosion that leads to natural calamities like floods.
- Political Problems: The cold and severe wars among the countries lead to extreme conditions where weapons like nuclear weapons are used, which create a wide range of disasters in a particular place.
- Developmental Problems: Growth of the population Rapid urbanization and exploitation of land eventually lead to the removal of trees and other natural elements, which cause disasters.
National Disaster Management Act, 2005
The National Disaster Management Act 2005 was passed by the government. (Rajya sabha passed this act on 28 November 2005, Lok Sabha on 12 Dec 2005, and was assented by the Indian president on 23 Dec 2005). The aim was to provide relief to the survivors affected by any disaster and to ensure efficient management conditions before and after the occurrence of any disaster. Under the disaster management Act 2005, several governing bodies were constituted to take a look at it. These bodies are
NDMA-National Disaster Management Authority
It prepares policies and guidelines for disaster management to combat the severe effects of disasters. As per this act, the NDMA can have 9 members including a chairperson with a tenure of 5 years.
NEC—National Executive Committee
It prepares the national disaster management plan for the entire country and ensures its review every year.
SDMA-State Disaster Management Authority
It keeps a close look at all the states with regard to the pre-planning of the disaster management plans as guided by national authorities.
NDRF-National Disaster Response Force
This is a special force constituted to help and assist the survivors during disasters.
National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009
National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009 aims to promote an impactful culture of preventing and resilience at all levels via education, innovation, and knowledge. The key points of the National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009 are:
- The National Policy on Disaster Management 2009 was prepared in the pursuit of the Disaster Management Act 2005 with the aim of organizing a roadmap to handle the disasters in the country.
- It was constituted with the vision of safeguarding the people from disasters and creating a smart technology-oriented strategy to combat the extreme conditions.
- The National Policy on Disaster Management deals with the overall disaster management plan like financial and legal arrangements, reconstruction, rehabilitation, recovery, etc.
The National Disaster Management Plan, 2016
National Disaster Management Plan, 2016 is the first-ever initiative by India to work for disaster management in the country. This plan was prepared by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). It was aligned with the Sendai framework and aims to silence the country’s disaster that would reduce the assets and lives lost. The major key points of the National Disaster Management Plan, 2016 are:
- The National Disaster Management Plan was first initiated in 2016, aiming to make the country a disaster-free country and limit the aftermath of a disaster.
- The national disaster management plan 2015 works on the vision to "Make India a disaster region across all the sectors, and achieve substantial and inclusive disaster risk reduction by building local capacities, starting with the poor and decreasing significantly the loss of life, livelihoods, and assets in different forms, including economic, physical, social, cultural, and environmental, while enhancing the ability to cope with disasters at all levels."
The National Disaster Management Authority
National Disaster Management Authority is the leading body to manage the Disaster in the country. It is headed by the Prime Minister of India. The Authority is responsible to approve the National plan and lay down the necessary policies for managing the Disasters:
- The National Disaster Management Authority is an apex body that is headed by the Prime Minister of India.
- The Disaster Management Act 2005 makes it compulsory to establish the NDMA for institutional mechanisms at district levels.
- The NDMA is specifically tasked with laying out the policies and guidelines for disaster management.
- Prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and response are the key factors in India's disaster management development.
- The National Disaster Management Authority is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Kamal Kishore is the member secretary of the National Disaster Management Authority.
Disaster Management UPSC
Disaster management UPSC is an important topic in the syllabus of GS1 in the IAS exam. The questions of disaster management are mostly asked in UPSC Mains Exam and hence it becomes an integral part to learn for scoring purposes. You can get the UPSC syllabus for the main exam and download the UPSC study material essential for the IAS exam and UPSC Mains examination.
Disaster Management UPSC Previously Asked Question
A significant number of questions have been asked from Disaster Management in the UPSC mains examination. Few among them are:
Question 1: (UPSC Mains, 2021) Describe the various causes and the effects of landslides. Mention the important components of the National Landslide Risk Management Strategy. (Answer in 250 words)
Question 2: (UPSC Mains, 2020) Discuss the recent measures initiated in disaster management by the Government of India departing from the earlier reactive approach.