Disaster Management Natural Disasters Such Term Paper

  • Length: 15 pages
  • Sources: 15
  • Subject: Weather
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #40012885

Excerpt from Term Paper :

A b) Event management

People react differently when faced with disaster, some may respond and follow the disaster response plan without a problem, other may forget key instructions and follow their own plans, the most dangerous situations however, are when individuals freeze and fail to act when disaster strikes. Response before, during and after a disaster can be the difference between life and death. (Bridegan et al., 1997) Failure to heed a tornado warning when in open spaces can be disastrous, for example, there is no plan or emergency option that can help if an individual does not follow the instructions. Very often, adventurers and risk takers will try and approach the disaster region to try and experience the phenomena. Tornado chasers for example can be at high risk due to their fascination with tornadoes.

It is important that efficient and reliable plans for rescue and relief operation be put in place. In reality, however, most rescue and relief efforts are implemented after the occurrence of the disaster. Due to he high level of emotional and mental trauma at the time, the plans and rescue efforts might not always be the best suited for the purpose. Foresight and use of empirical and real data is essential for the formulation of a foolproof plan. It is conceptually very difficult to identify all the different scenarios that can occur as the result of any single catastrophic event. While planning is important, it is essential to realize that the plan will only serve as a road map in the case of an actual disaster and people will have to use their judgment and instinct to protect themselves and their loved ones in cases of emergencies.

A c) Post event procedures

Researchers in the field of disaster prevention and planning focus their efforts on disasters that they feel are the most likely to occur in the future. It is practically impossible to plan for all disasters and eventualities as the cost effect of the planning and implementation can be prohibitive. Even within a natural disaster, there could be a chain of other related disasters that could occur for which the original plans might be ineffective.

Communication is critical to saving lives in times of disasters. In recent times, a number of research and development programs have focused on being able to isolate and predict disasters. The ability to save lives however, depends on how quickly and effectively the warnings are transferred to the general public. A good and efficient support system is required to transmit and record information in a manner that can be easily retrieved and documented for future use. Giving people enough of time to find shelter can be the difference between life and death in the case of a tornado and post disaster evaluation can evaluate the time that the warning was given before disaster struck.

IV. Estimation of damage to homes, business & infrastructure

Map out damage path

It is very difficult to state the dollar value of the damage that a tornado can inflict. The pictures shown below at http://www.cycloneroad.com/2007april21.htm. show the extent of damage that can be caused as a result of a tornado. The true financial cost of any natural disaster is often difficult to estimate.

Assessment and cost of damage

This study has been undertaken as a literature review of the destruction and damage that a tornado can cause. It is beyond the scope of this report to collect data and analysis the events as they occur. This study is based on theoretical and secondary research methods.

Loss modeling to determine the impact that any disaster can have on a city has been used extensively to evaluate the cost of damages if a disaster occurs in the region. It is observed that between 1950 to 1995 Texas lost about $43 million a year to tornado damage. (CNN, 2000)

Concerns over environmental safety and preservation have introduced the ISO 14000 standard for industries. This standard has been established to provide organizations with guidelines for conducting environmental impact assessment, environmental management and auditing according to a recognized standard, to maintain integrity of the immediate biological and ecological environment and the global environment as well. These guidelines also encourage industries and companies to plan for safe construction for natural disasters and precautions that should be taken with respect to hazardous products and their safe keeping during tornadoes.

V. Debris removal for the purpose of regaining a) Operational status of infrastructure

Tornadoes while not as destructive as earthquakes, can cause serious damages to transportation infrastructures. Roads can get ripped and bridges blown off as a result of the strong winds that the tornado generates. A clean up task force will also have to be set up to help clean and restore the area to as near as possible, its pre-disaster state. Sufficient funds will have to be allocated to keep the emergency response team properly outfitted. An emergency fund may also be required to be set up to take care of the clean up activities that may be required. This fund would have to be very liquid so that it can be accessed quickly at any time.

Disasters often reinforce the need for new innovations that can serve as better indicators and predictors of conditions. (Maher and Beven, 1998) Many states also have multiple level of emergency planning and warning levels based on the scope and magnitude of the emergency and the availability of personnel and other resource. After a disaster occurs, the immediate response is to save lives, protect property, and meet basic human needs, recovery and mitigation during the initial stages is secondary. Decisions made involving mitigation operation during a disaster can either enhance or hinder subsequent mitigation activities. The use of risk management plans throughout the rescue and recovery operations will determine both the short-term and the long-term effectiveness of any plan.

A b) Municipal solid waste, household waste and vegetative debris also will get generated as a result of the tornado. The streets will have to be cleared of all debris and material from falling buildings to facilitate movement of the police and law enforcement officials. The state and the city/county will have to determine the areas where the debris can be moved to after the disaster. This becomes especially tricky as multiple locations might be required to plan for many different scenarios.

Cities and towns depend on waste disposal for their garbage and sewage systems for the liquid waste. In the case of natural disasters, these services can get disrupted and result in unsafe living condition for the population of the region. The ability to clear out waste and get the people to their homes in the shortest possible time is also good for the morale of the population.

Construction and demolition and industrial debris

Facilities in the U.S., that deal with hazardous material are by law expected to disclose the substances to the environmental protection commission of the state in which it is located. In addition, they are also expected to provide governmental agencies with information of the facility's emergency response plan. In some critical areas, the local government might also expect the organization to conduct mock drills to evaluate the preparedness of the rescue mission and identify the potential bottlenecks that can occur in the process.

Risk management is also important at the time of clean up. Risk management also involves the issues of costing. This includes the cost of evacuation in case of a disaster, the cost of rebuilding or relocation of the facility and the equipment and loss of revenue as a result of the disaster.

Every emergency response plan is not the same; and, the conditions that exist within facilities can differ significantly. Response plans and rescue efforts should therefore concentrate on the uniqueness of the situation and the possible options that are available to the organization. "Recovery plans should be written to include emergency recognition and prevention, escape procedures, reporting requirements and contact personnel. These plans should be widely available throughout the organization; common steps include distributing manuals to all employees, hanging posters that summarize key response steps and making recovery information available on a corporate intranet." (Shimek, 2003) the heavy metals and solid waste removed from lower grade crude oil are also often stored within the refinery site before they can be safely disposed. and, these could seriously impact the safety of the population in the region.

VI. Taking care of the people impacted by the tornado a) Planning and coordination

The public should be encouraged to have a contact person outside the city, county or state where they reside. Families should identify this person to all members of the family -- "in cases of emergency all members can contact this individual thereby reducing worry and tension about the safety of the family members who are away at work or school. All the…

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