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How to Be Prepared for and Manage Disaster

Due to the migration of people from rural to urban areas, cities and municipalities all over the world are at risk because of the development of tall buildings, thicker population, more overhead power cables, and crowded living conditions. This situation together with rapid industrialization, more oil storage tanks and oil pipelines, occurrence of natural calamities such as earthquakes leads to a great disaster to come. The way people respond and their level of preparedness vary in some parts of the world that experience different disasters. In the concept of mitigation, activities and measures included are put in place in order to minimize the disaster’s effects and impact. In addition to this, the physical, economic, and social effects or impacts of disaster to a given population or area are covered. 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. The categorization of these measures are known as structural and non-structural.

These measures of preparedness that mitigate disasters, both structural and non-structural, are further classified into active or passive. 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. This is supported by the fact that city planning rules and codes which are based on the law are not that effective unless they are vigilantly implemented coupled with the strong participation of the building owners. One way to promote the implementation of safety measures in constructions is to provide subsidies and decrease insurance premiums.

When disasters happen, the government and the local authorities need to have preparedness efforts to clear structures for handling. To have a good disaster preparedness and management unit, it is imperative that the plans and policies should be simple and easy. It is required that the public and members of organizations be educated and that aside from a well planned use of the land, the warning systems must also be placed properly and constantly serviced. Lack of good planning will result in the difficulty of the fire truck and ambulance to get through and fires that cannot be controlled. If pre planning is not done or made, it would be difficult and challenging to respond to disaster like post disaster management.

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