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School of Music ​this is session 2 which is an introduction to disaster risk management the objectives of the session are first to present the basic concepts of disaster which are hazard disaster vulnerability capacity and disaster risk we will also look into another new idea called exposure second we will describe disaster risk management which is a process and third we will describe the risk profile of the asia-pacific region so let's begin with describing disasters a disaster is a serious disruption or interruption of the functioning of a society or a community it involves widespread deaths illness material economic or environmental laws and impact with this will exceed the ability of the affected community or people to cope using its own resource so what we have here is a very serious situation so serious that people are unable to cope on their own now let's compare it with the description of the hazard a hazard is a dangerous phenomenon substance human activity or condition it may cause loss of life injury or other health impacts you may cause property damage loss of livelihoods and services social and economic disruption or environmental damage in other words a hazard is not a disaster but it can trigger a disaster just because an earthquake has struck or a typhoon has passed through does not mean that we have to have a disaster it will lead to disaster if we are not prepared for it let's look at the categories of hazards we have three general types natural technological and environmental degradation the natural hazard category is further subdivided into three we have what we call hydro-meteorological disaster hazards these will include typhoons also known as tropical cyclones storm surge wind rain blizzard lightning drought storms temperature extreme flood landslides and Avalanche the second sub category is geological this will include earthquakes and then volcanic eruptions the third category is biological and these are caused by bacteria hazards pest infant station ok now for technological we have industrial accidents so and pollution radioactivity toxic waste dam failure vehicular accidents explosions fires and spills chemical spills and for environmental degradation we have deforestation desertification wildland fires and the loss of biodiversity these are just some of the examples of the various categories of hazards as I said these are not disasters yet but they may trigger the disaster so now we will look at the other components that can lead to a disaster we have what we call exposure this is when we have people property systems or other elements that are present in hazard zones they have to be present in a zone where hazard may occur and therefore they will be subject to potential loss if we look at the two photos in the slide one flow shows a very poor settlement made of unsafe materials and the second photo at the bottom shows a very well built a set of apartment buildings but they are both next to bodies of water and these bodies of water let's say they are both rivers that means they are both exposed to the potential rise of a river and the damage that flooding may occur when flooding may occur so no matter what kind of settlement we're talking about if they are both present at an area where a hazard may occur then they are both exposed to the hazard ok so this is a critical element as disaster risk managers we try to reduce exposure to move people livelihoods and settlements out of the way we're a hazard may occur third is the concept of vulnerability these are the characteristics and circumstances of a community system or asset that make it susceptible to the damaging effects of a hazard just as a paper may burn just as a plastic pen may melt just as a person can fall ill from poor nutrition that means we can all be damaged and we can all be destroyed there is something inside us something intrinsic that makes us vulnerable to certain things as a person I will be vulnerable to a flood if I cannot swim and I am in over my head in moving water as a person I may be vulnerable to an earthquake if I am standing within a structure and there are things that can fall on top of my head wild an earthquake is occurring so this means that I am in my nature weak weak to certain kinds of hazards but as a person I may also be stronger against it if I learn how to swim then I stand a better chance of surviving a flood if I wear protective helmet on my head I said I stand a better chance of surviving an earthquake that hits a building this means that even though we are originally vulnerable we can do things to protect ourselves vulnerability also changes with time with age a pregnant woman is more vulnerable than after she has given birth a child who is not taught to protect himself or herself is more vulnerable than a child who later on learns in school how to swim how to duck and cover if there's an earthquake how to evacuate from the school building if there's a fire so vulnerability can change over time but even if I am trained in all of this if I grow old and I become feeble or if I become infirm and I cannot run as fast as I used to or swim as fast as I used to or perhaps I become disoriented because of my age then I am again vulnerable so vulnerability is a social characteristic and it's an intrinsic biological characteristic and it changes over time and it's something that we are constantly supposed to monitor now we look at the concept of capacity this refers to the combination of all the strengths attributes and resources that are available within a community within an organization within a society and


these can be used to achieve agreed goals in order to reduce disaster risk and be prepared for disaster events so if we look at the image we can see there are people dressed in orange they are practicing for conducting rescue in a river so this is part of capacity this is disaster preparedness these are skills and search and rescue that we can learn so that we can help save each other just as in schools we teach children to cover their heads during the an earthquake and duck under their tables or we teach them how to file in an orderly manner and evacuate following their teacher if the fire bell alarm sounds off we can raise the capacity of every organization every community until an entire nation is full of people who are trained to know what to do whenever there is a particular event that is happening that can threaten their survival so capacity is a positive aspect in disaster risk management so this brings me to the concept of disaster risk itself if you look at it as an equation it is a function of the kind of hazards that we are looking at how severe it is how freaking happen it is a function of our exposure are we immediately in the way of the hazard or we further away from the hazard it is a function of the vulnerability of the Society of the elements of the society and it's a function of our capacity therefore if we put it all together it is a potential in terms of disaster loss lives health status livelihoods assets and services which could occur to a particular community or society over a specified period of time so you can look at it as a probability sometimes it is expressed as a probability but it is actually a potential the next slide shows a way in which it can be expressed as an equation where you have hazard and vulnerability on the top on the numerator that means the greater the degree of hazard and the greater the frequency and even the greater the exposure to the hazard then the higher the risk of disaster the more vulnerable is a person or a community or a country than the greater the risk of disaster however as a denominator we have capacity this means the more capacity we have to respond to a disaster to recover from a disaster to mitigate to mitigate the disaster then the lower the risk of disaster so this equation is not meant to be taken literally it is just a way of organizing our ideas about how to reduce the chances that a disaster may occur in your community and in your country disaster risk management is therefore a process of using administrative directives organizations operational skills and capacities to implement strategies policies and improve coping capacities in order to lessen the adverse impacts of hazards and the possibility of a disaster so this is a process that requires coordination of many organizations both within and external to government this slide shows the phases of disaster risk management there are four phases and they are non sequential rather they occur usually simultaneously we encourage that we look at the different phases and be prepared for each phase so in the mitigation phase here we try to lessen their limit the adverse impacts of hazards and related disasters if you are studying engineering and you are learning proper engineering techniques and you are learning how to keep your building safe then you are part of mitigation in preparedness this is the knowledge and capacity set that we developed in order to anticipate respond to recover from the impacts of a likely disaster okay so then here we set up for example volunteer groups who can do search and rescue and perform first aid here we set up evacuation centers we set up evacuation routes from homes and workplaces to evacuation shelters and we have a disaster preparedness plan disaster response this is the provision of emergency services and public assistance during or immediately after a disaster has started this is done in order to save lives reduce health impacts ensure Public Safety and meet the basic subsistence needs of the people who are affected preparedness and response are two sides of the same coin whatever you have planned for under preparedness you execute in response and the quality of response will be greatly improved by the by the amount that you have prepared finally we have recovery recoveries the restoration and improvement of facilities livelihoods living conditions of those who are affected by disasters and this includes efforts to disaster to reduce disaster risk factors that means if after an earthquake has struck communities are leveled their houses their places of work are destroyed roads are destroyed infrastructure or destroyed utilities are destroyed then we need a process of recovery to start rebuilding rebuilding infrastructure rebuilding buildings and hopefully rebuilding lives and livelihoods in the center is a concept called disaster risk reduction this is an approach where we reduce disaster risks through efforts to analyze and manage the causal factors of disasters including reducing exposure to hazards and lessening vulnerability that means we will tackle difficult problems such as evacuating people from very very unsafe zones to safe zones this includes looking at factors of poverty and poor education in order to raise the capacity of the ordinary person to respond to a disaster and cope and then later on recover and be even stronger after an event now we are looking at a slide which shows a figure with a yellow line that is supposed to be a development trajectory if we assume that we are doing things right in our society then we are continuously project progressing along this yellow line going upward however if a disaster happens then this development is interrupted by an event and then our level of development usually goes down during a disaster and so we have to undertake efforts to be able to climb out of the problem and go back to our previous development track or even improve on our development track if certain development activities led to creating disaster risk then going better building back better living better means we avoid whatever we were doing in the past that was wrong so disaster mitigation and disaster


preparedness are done simultaneously during the development phase the event of the disaster disaster response dominates the zester risk management face and then afterwards during disaster recovery that is the process of climbing back out back into the regular development phase so the role of ICT in disaster risk management is in terms of enhancing the compilation dissemination and use of disaster risk reduction information it is best if this information is used during the face of disaster mitigation and disaster preparedness but also during regular development activity so that I would like to have some points to remember that the for you to keep in mind and then after this we will look at the disaster profile the asia-pacific region so first remember that hazard does not equal to disaster second hazards alone do not lead to disasters third when the occurrence of a disaster of a hazard interacts with vulnerabilities disaster may result so now we are looking at a paradigm shift from emergency response to disaster risk management so that we can lower vulnerabilities and reduce exposure to hazards finally let us look at the disaster profile of the asia-pacific region the graphs you will see are taken from the prevention web website this first graph shows the recorded disaster events that have occurred in Asia this is for the period 1982 2008 so most of the events have hydro-meteorological triggers you can see that the blue shading is very very much higher than the pink and the purple so the second most frequent our geological triggered disasters followed by biological triggered disasters we can also see that over time the frequency of occurrence of hydro-meteorological disasters have been increasing the next figure is a pie chart showing in what type of disasters have more people been killed for the period 1982 2008 four to eight percent of deaths are during earthquake disasters and the second leading cause of deaths during disasters are storms such as typhoons or tropical cyclones at thirty three and a half percent finally in terms of damages for the same time period this bar graph shows that earthquakes and floods are both produced the most damage a close to two hundred fifty billion US dollars each so I hope you have found this session interesting and i look forward to guiding you through the rest of the primer thank you Brooklyn Law School.

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