MANAGING DISASTERS BEFORE THEY MANAGE YOU
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MANAGING DISASTERS BEFORE THEY MANAGE YOU. Dr. David Ratnavale. December 26, 2004 WHAT HAPPENED ?. WHAT IS A “TSUNAMI”? Japanese, for “ Harbor Wave ” Sweep the oceans when earthquakes occur at the bottom of the sea Disturbance emanates below sea level

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MANAGING DISASTERS BEFORE THEY MANAGE YOU

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Managing disasters before they manage you

MANAGING DISASTERS BEFORE THEY MANAGE YOU

Dr. David Ratnavale


Managing disasters before they manage you

December 26, 2004

WHAT HAPPENED ?


Managing disasters before they manage you

  • WHAT IS A “TSUNAMI”?

  • Japanese, for “Harbor Wave”

  • Sweep the oceans when earthquakes occur at the bottom of the sea

  • Disturbance emanates below sea level

  • Pulses are massive walls of water.

  • Could travel at 800 kilometers per hour

  • Overall force so great causing damage in

  • Indonesia Sri Lanka Thailand India, Maldives, Malaysia, Seychelles, Kenya and Somalia


Managing disasters before they manage you

Statistics: Sri Lanka

About:

38,000 people dead

6,000 missing

1,060 children lost both parents

3,414 lost one parent

150,000 families displaced

160 Km of railroad tracks damaged

hundreds of miles of coastal highways damaged or destroyed

1,117,000 houses damaged or destroyed

161 schools damaged or destroyed

22,600 households lost power

80% of coastal fishing areas destroyed


Managing disasters before they manage you

  • In an article “Apocalypse”, a Lanka journalist notes:

  • The tsunami was a revelation

  • Showed how powerless we are in the face of natures’ forces

  • How unprepared we were in the face of a crisis of unprecedented dimensions

  • What divine or bestial levels humanity can rise to or sink to


Managing disasters before they manage you

What are the lessons identified?

What was the total response and the relief effort to date?

What have we learnt?

What must we do?


Managing disasters before they manage you

WHAT IS A DISASTER?

Two words,

“DIS” = failure or opposite, and

“ASTRUM” = Astrological notion, “ill starred”,

Major planetary upset.

Like Disease, Displaced and Disconnected,

we have Disaster

STRESS REACTIONS:

Individual and collective responses

Extreme fear can neither fight nor fly (Shakespeare)


Managing disasters before they manage you

  • DEFINING

  • Sudden event causing:

  • Great damage

    • Ecological disruption

      • Suffering

        • Loss of human life and property

  • Circumstances?

  • Needs exceed the coping capacity of communities and require external assistance


Managing disasters before they manage you

ASSYMETRIC THREATS

Markedly disproportionate to the effects they bring;

ChemicalBiologicalDigital

RadiologicalNuclear

USA in the context of 9/11 - A small group attacking a big country in a way that harms thousands.

Physical or Mental and Psychological

Fear and anxiety rapidly spreading through the society:

Spreading Rumors…suicide bombing impacting large groups or poisoning source of water or food


Managing disasters before they manage you

  • “ALL-HAZARD” APPROACH TO DISASTER MANAGEMENT

  • An integrated hazard management strategy - incorporates planning for and consideration of all potential disasters

  • Natural and technological hazard threats, including terrorism

  • September 11, 2001 (9/11) and December 26th 2004 (12/26), reveal that the critical issues and lessons identified are basically the same?

  • NEEDS OVERWHELM AVAILABLE RESOURCES


Managing disasters before they manage you

COMMON DENOMINATOR

The crisis is of such magnitude that the available resources for prevention and resolution are inadequate.Therefore, to be unprepared is to be deficient in available resources.

Existing resources within an individual, a community or nation may be temporarily unavailable (inaccessible) during the throes of a disaster

Local Disaster Management Capacity – level of preparedness

Extent of infrastructure disruption

Leadership stress and political stability

The speed of delivery of external aid

Local conditions for aid distribution

Disaster side effects


Managing disasters before they manage you

DISASTER VULNERABILITY

Compare - Developing Countries versus United States

Of the nearly 2500 disasters in the 20th century, nearly 84% occurred in developing countries.

People have far fewer resources to help them cope

Death toll and damage is greater

High population density

Poverty

United States: Exposed to a wide range of natural hazards.

Extraordinary natural, climatic, and geographical diversity - $20 billion annually, that includes;

Loss of life and property

Disruption of commerce

Response and recovery costs


Managing disasters before they manage you

  • IN DISASTER CIRCUMSTANCES

  • Routine procedures and resources are insufficient to meet the demands

  • Lack of reliable information and limitations on accurate assessment of need compromise relief capability

  • Incremental increase in the number and types of responding groups, agencies and jurisdictions

  • Requires alterations in traditional divisions of coordination among responding participants


Managing disasters before they manage you

  • IN DISASTER CIRCUMSTANCES

  • Multiple organizations, disciplines and volunteers operate under high tension and fluctuating conditions

  • Often results in flawed command control and communication

  • Duplication of effort

  • Turf issues get very heated over chain of command and weak linkages

  • Omission of essential tasks

  • Some activities could actually worsen the situation

  • A wrong decision may lead to an ill-timed strategy

  • Obstruction

  • Overreaction could compromise community safety


Managing disasters before they manage you

IMPACT

Individuals and also the societies in which they live will experience various forms of

Stress reactions

Physical

Mental

PSYCHOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT:

The psychological “footprint” exceeds the size of the medical “footprint”

Psychological Footprint

Medical Footprint


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