Disaster Management: Pre-disaster and Post-disaster Phases

Disaster management is fundamentally disaster risk management. Sum total of all activities, programmes and measures which can be taken up before, during and after a disaster with the purpose to avoid a disaster, reduce its impact or recover from its losses is called Disaster Risk Management. There are three stages of the disaster risk management which are collectively called Disaster Management Cycle.  Broadly, there are six phases in Disaster Management Cycle viz. Prevention, Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, Recovery and Reconstruction.

While Prevention, Mitigation and Preparedness include Pre-disaster activities focussed on reducing the human and property losses caused by a potential hazard; Response, Recovery and Reconstruction include the Post-disaster initiatives taken in response to a disaster with a purpose to achieve early recovery and rehabilitation of affected victims and communities.

Disaster Prevention and Mitigation

Disaster prevention and mitigation refers to the activities which are undertaken to prevent or mitigate the adverse effects of a disaster in short and long term. On the one hand they include political, legal, administrative and infrastructural measures; while on the other hand it includes educating vulnerable communities influencing their lifestyle and behaviour in order to reduce their disaster risk.

Disaster Preparedness

The intention of Disaster preparedness is to prevent or minimize the losses and damage in case of a disaster. This would include the preparedness of all civic bodies such as civil administration, fire-brigade, hospitals, police etc. Preparedness denotes the third phase of emergency management.

Response, Recovery and Reconstruction

The response phase includes the search and rescue; fulfilling basic humanitarian needs of victims ; assistance by regional, national and international bodies etc. Recovery phase starts after the immediate threat to human life has subsided. The immediate goal of the recovery phase is to bring the affected area back to some degree of normalcy. During reconstruction, the location or construction material of the property is considered.