Disaster Management Preparedness Introduction

A Lesson From Hurricane Katrina

One of the worst hurricanes that ever struck the United States is Hurricane Katrina. It is a category 5 storm that happened last August 29, 2005, in the Gulf Coast. Eighteen hundred people died while another eighteen hundred were classified missing. The storm surge resulted in torn homes, ravaged infrastructure, massive flooding, and more. The Bush Administration had to ask for a hundred and five billion dollars to tend to reparations, but there’s still no accounting for how deep the economic and environmental impact was.

The main lesson from Hurricane Katrina is how important it is to be ready as an individual and as a local government unit. The two must work hand in hand in order to survive such catastrophes. The response from the emergency respondents must be timely because every second of delay narrows the gap between life and death.

The hurricane left thousands of families with barely any food and water. As such, local officials shifted their attention from emergency response to mob control. New Orleans faced widespread looting as the citizens strived to survive.  It’s very important to teach yourself and your family members the basics of disaster preparedness.

Don’t Rely On The Government

Yes, the government is obligated to help its citizens brave any environmental catastrophe, but they can only do so much. Citizens have their own obligation to prepare to the best of their abilities. There are a few simple disaster preparedness tips that can lift a huge burden from the government’s shoulders. This also makes all the difference between life and death.

Emergency Preparedness And Disaster Management

It’s important to take full responsibility for your own emergency preparedness and disaster management. It’s very dangerous to rely on your neighbors or the government, especially if you’re up against a powerful force of nature like a storm surge or a hurricane. It’s in your best interest to preserve your welfare in every way possible.

Disaster preparedness allows you to help yourself. It also means having the chance to lend a helping hand to other people. This is important because some emergency response teams take a long time to reach your area due to debris and other obstacles in the way. At least you could help yourself in the meantime.

Types Of Disasters

There are two main types of disasters:

  1. Man-made disasters that result from human activities
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Acts of war
  • Civil disturbances like mobs and riots
  • Major accidents that involve dangerous or toxic substances
  • Water pollution or oil spills
  • Shortages or misallocation of essential resources
  • Political unrest or coup d’etat that made the government fail
  • Economic blows or collapse (hyperinflation, depression, recession, etc.)
  • Man-made environmental disasters (genetically modified organism, broken infrastructures, etc.)
  • Other man-made disasters
  1. Natural disasters
  • Epidemics
  • Tornados, storm surges, and hurricanes
  • Flooding
  • Earthquakes
  • Crop failures
  • Droughts
  • Forest fires
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Asteroids or meteoroids
  • Severe climate changes

These disasters can further be divided into the following sub-categories. These are according to the scope of the disaster.

  1. Local disasters
  2. Regional disasters
  3. National disaster
  4. Global disaster

Step 1: Action Planner

An action planner is any notebook or planner that you’ll use to house all your notes on how to be a survivalist. You can use the action planner as a place to jot down everything you’ll learn from this website.

On the first page, make a list of the disasters or emergencies that will likely happen in your area. Form two columns to separate the man-made catastrophes from natural disasters. This will help you get a clearer picture of what you’re up against. Make sure to only include the disasters that will likely occur where you live. For example, if you live near volcanoes, you might want to take extra time to prepare for a possible volcanic eruption.

Magnitude Of Disasters

This refers to the scope of the disaster. The bigger the scope, the more serious the catastrophe is as it affects more individuals. There are four main sub-categories.

Local Disasters

This is if the disaster is limited to your private property of the local community. The most common example is a tornado. It might damage your house, your private properties, as well as the infrastructures in your area. Another example is a derailed freight train which will definitely damage the track as well as the neighboring properties. Floods and forest fires may likewise be classified as local disasters if they are contained.

Regional Disasters

Compared to local disasters, regional disasters affect a larger area but are only limited to one region of a specific country. Hurricane Katrina is a prime example of a regional disaster. Earthquakes, crop failures, and crop failures are other examples.

National Disasters

National disasters involve the entire country. This includes war, economic depression, severe stock market crash, or the collapse of a particular currency.

Global Disasters

This type of disaster involves more nations than one. It extends to affect most of the planet. One example is a global economic collapse which may just quickly result from a national economic collapse. For example, the previous economic depression in the US made the worth of the dollar plummet, negatively affected trading partners, and affected other countries’ economies in the process. Global disasters are much harder to recover from because it requires a collective effort from all the parties involved.

Your emergency preparation must be based on the aforementioned types of disasters because they indicate severity. The more individuals are involved, the more dispersed government assistance will be. The emergency response will also be slowed down.

Step 2: Scope And Duration

Go back to your list of disasters on your action planner. Indicate the category. Do you expect it to be a local, regional, national, or global disaster? If you’re unsure between two categories, go for the more severe one. It’s better to be overly prepared than underprepared.

The next step is to indicate the expected duration of each disaster. This will help you plan out how much resources you’ll need to stock up. This will also depend on the scope or magnitude of the emergency. A local disaster may stretch for a few days. Regional disasters can go from weeks to months. Global disasters can go on for months until everything stabilizes.