Disaster Management Science Notes

Important Points

→ Disaster is the incidence that occurs suddenly causing heavy damage to life and property. The disaster can be man-made or due to natural reason.

→ On September 2019, there was a heavy downpour in Pune. This disaster has been experienced recently.
On 26th November 2008 there was attack at several places by the Pakistani terrorists. The stories about the deaths and damage caused by this disaster were seen in films and learnt about this from our elders.

→ Due to a heavy downpour in Pune, there was waterlogging in all the shallow areas. All the transport systems collapsed on that day. Large trees fell down injuring the people. The water logging causede condition like floods. Schools, colleges and offices were shut down. People were caught in troublesome situation.

→ On 26th November 2008 many innocent people lost their lives. There was tremendous damage caused to some of the important places like Taj Palace Hotel and Chabad house.

Disaster :

  • Hazardous event that suddenly takes place in the surroundings is called disaster.
  • The definition of disaster as given by United Nations : The sudden event that leads to the huge loss of life and property is called disaster.
  • Natural disasters : Floods, wet and dry famine, cyclones, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. are caused due to sudden change in the environment causing great damage.
  • Since these disasters are due to nature’s wrath, they are called natural disasters.
  • Man-made disasters : When mankind needs natural resources for developmental purpose, environment gets damaged. Such disasters are due to man-made actions and thus they are called man-made disasters.

Social Health Science Notes

Effects of disasters :

  • The great loss to life and property of the people.
  • Different areas of life like economic, social, cultural, political, law and administration, etc. are affected due to sudden disasters.
  • The life in the affected area is totally disturbed.
  • Nature and duration of each disaster is different. The period of disaster decides whether it is short term or long-term.
  • Disasters are caused due to different reasons. Each disaster has its own environmental impact.
  • According to preliminary classification of disasters there are two main types of disasters, natural and man-made.

Second method of classifying disasters :

  • Catastrophic disasters : Cyclones in Odisha, catastrophic earthquakes of Gujarat and · Latur, frequently buzzing cyclones in coastal Andhra Pradesh, etc.
  • Disasters making the impact for long duration : Famine, various problems of crops, strikes of workers, rising levels of oceans, desertification, etc.

Social Health Science Notes

Disasters can be classified depending upon following main criteria.

  • The extent of the damage caused.
  • The period of disaster.
  • The long term effects.
  • The reason for the disaster.

Types of disasters :

There are three types of disasters, viz. geophysical, biological and man-made.

Geophysical :

  • Geological : Earthquake, volcano, tsunami, landslides, landfall, erosion, alkalization, flooding, etc..
  • Climatic: E.g. Hot and cold waves, snow storms, snowfall, cyclones, hailstorm, drought, flood, meteorite, sunspots, etc.

Biological :

  • Animal-origin : Infectious viruses, bacteria (cholera, malaria, hepatitis, plague), insects,
    bite of venomous animals, etc.
  • Plant-origin: E.g. Forest fire, fungal disease spreading (Blister), weed (aquatic, carrot grass, common grass).

Man-made :

  • Accidental or Unintentional : Toxic gases, ; Atomic test, Unplanned action, Accident.
  • Intentional : War, fire, bomb blast, forced migration, terrorism, rapes, child labour.

→ The flood waters uproot the trees, the houses collapse due to surge of water. The fields get waterlogged. The water does not recede. The cattle die of asphyxiation by drowning. Since everything is under water, the process of decomposition begins at a higher rate. This may spread the epidemics of the diseases.

Social Health Science Notes

→ In dry famine, there is scarcity of water. The crops die as there is no proper irrigation. There is severe food shortage. Due to dearth of water, the cattle die and human beings are forced to migrate.

→ The earthquake is responsible for large scale devastation. The houses collapse. The roads are damaged making the transportation impossible. The electricity and water supply is disrupted due to damage. There is large scale damage to lives and property.

→ The largely spread fire of the dry grass, shrubs and trees in the forest due to heightened temperatures is called forest fire. The effect of forest fire on the environment is greatly devastating. Biodiversity is lost. Plants and animals die due to fire. The vegetation becomes dead as the plants turn into ash. The atmosphere is full of smoke and hence causes air pollution.

Effects of disasters :

Actual effects :

  • Effects of every type of disasters are different.
  • Floods : Collapsing of bridges, flooding of coastal villages, shortage of food.
  • Earthquake : Collapsing of houses, developing cracks in land.
  • Forest fire and drought : Adverse effect on the environment.

Social Health Science Notes

Effects on the economy of the nation and local leadership

  • Huge expenses on the reconstruction of the destroyed structures.
  • Long term effect on the economy.
  • If local leadership is weak, the victimized citizens become confused.
  • During disasters administrative problems arise.
  • Local governing bodies too are affected.
  • The Government departments also are unable to solve the problematic situations caused by the disaster.
  • Entire system collapses as all the concerned departments are affected by disasters.

Nature and scope of disaster :

→ Some of the important aspects of the disaster become clear only when the nature and scope of the disaster is understood.

For this following aspects have to be studied thoroughly :

  • Exact nature of the disasters.
  • The changes in the nature before the onset of the disaster.
  • Time period of impact of disaster.

The scope of the disaster is dependent on the following facts :

  • Pre-disaster phase
  • Warning phase
  • Emergency phase
  • Rehabilitation phase
  • Recovery phase
  • Reconstruction phase

Social Health Science Notes

→ Three sensitive phases of the disaster:.

Phase of emergency Transitional Phase Reconstruction Phase
Maximum lives can be saved by quick actions. The rehabilitation work starts. Highly complicated phase.
Actions such as search and rescue operations, medical assistance, first aid, restoring communication services, removing the people from affected area, etc. Clearing of debris, restoring water supply, repairing roads, etc.


Begins in transitional phase. Reconstruction of buildings and roads and restoration of water supply facilities.
Estimating the gravity of disaster.


Bringing normalcy in public life. Restarting of farming practices.
Different institutes offer the monetary/ other help. This help is distributed to victims. Lengthy phase of reconstruction.
Victims are offered with the permanent means of earning livelihood.
Soothing the mental stress of victims.
Rehabilitation of the victims.

→ Most of the natural disasters have taken place in the Asian continent and region of Pacific Ocean, causing huge of loss to the life. These disasters are caused due to natural imbalances created by human beings, in the pursuit of development and the economic progress. Environmental degradation is the leading cause to natural calamities.

Social Health Science Notes

→ Population explosion has resulted into many problems. After the Second World War, the natural conditions on the earth have gradually changed due to human interventions. Different causes such as economic inequality, racial and religious differences have caused terrorism, abduction, social differences which in turn result into instability in nations and man-made calamities.

→ Atomic energy plants are used for generation of nuclear energy. But they emit hazardous radiations. E.g., the accidental leakage in atomic energy plant at Chernobyl, Russia. During production of atomic energy radiation leakage and allied accidents may happen.

→ Disaster management is the essential action that has to be undertaken by each nation and its citizens. By direct participation of citizens in disaster management and by different disaster management schemes, hazardous after effects are reduced. These schemes are dependent on every location, time and nature of the disaster.

Disaster management :

→ Effective short term or long term disaster management is necessary in minor and major disasters. The disaster management should involve public participation. Disasters are suddenly forcing us to deal with them, but by disaster management techniques, the losses can be minimized. In managing the after effects of disasters, there should be arrangements to cope up with disastrous effects or there should be ways to make citizens capable to face and fight against the consequences. .

Objectives of disaster management :

  • Saving human life from disasters. Helping them to move away from the place of disasters.
  • Essential commodities to be supplied to the affected people. This will help to reduce the gravity of disaster.
  • To bring back the conditions to normalcy.
  • Rehabilitation of the affected and displaced victims.
  • Protective measures for future in order to develop capability to face the disasters in future.

Social Health Science Notes

Disaster management :

→ Disaster management is divided into pre disaster management and post-disaster management. Through scientific and careful observations and analysis of previous data, suitable action plans are developed for the disasters that might come in future. Preventive measures, rehabilitation and reconstruction is included in such plans.

Pre-disaster management:

  • Pre-disaster management means measures taken to rescue people or to keep preparedness before the disaster strikes. It includes following points:
  • To identify the disasterprone areas.
  • Through predictive intensity maps and hazard maps, the information should be collected about the probability of future disaster’s intensity and probable sites of disasters, respectively.
  • Learning by ourselves and then imparting special training to people to tackle with future disasters.
  • Making general public aware about disaster management by training them through programmes. Spreading the message through mass media, etc.

Post-disaster management :

→ Post-disaster management means helping the victims of disasters in all possible ways, after they are affected. Rescue work is done by local survivors. Controlling centres and help centres are established according to the type of disaster.

→ Materials provided from the control centres for the victims are categorized, and distributed the same to victims with continuous review of the help.

Social Health Science Notes

Main aspects of disaster management cycle :

  • Preparation : For possible future disasters, a plan for minimizing the destruction is kept ready. This is called preparation for the disaster.
  • Redemption : Planning is done to minimize such damage when disaster strikes.
  • Preparedness : In case of disaster, the general public and administration should immediately rise for action. This planned action is called preparedness.
  • Impact of disaster : After the disaster recedes, its intensity is studied. Its impact is analysed along with disaster management.
  • Response : Just before the disaster and immediately after the disaster, the response of people is analysed in this step.
  • Resurgence: Resurgence is an important link between emergency measures and national progress. It is a step showing extent of welfare and rehabilitation work done after the disaster. The progress of nation also becomes clear after analysing resurgence.
  • Restoration : The return of the normalcy after the disaster is called restoration. The restoration time depends upon the type of disaster.

→ Natural disasters cannot be avoided. But by proper management, the loss can be minimized. Man-made disasters can be avoided if care is taken in our actions and behaviour. It is the ethical responsibility of all human beings, to help each other during disasters.

Structure of Disaster Management Authority :

→ The Government has established an authority for management of disasters. Indian Government has also passed Disaster Management Act, 2005. The following chart shows control and coordination of disaster management carried out from national level to village levels :

Disaster Management Science Notes 1

→ District Disaster Management Authority: Planning, coordinating and controlling the implementation of rehabilitation programme is done by District Collector. He is responsible for such programmes and schemes.

Social Health Science Notes

Functions of Disaster Management Authority :

  • Giving the necessary instructions.
  • Assessing whether the instructions are followed or not.
  • Reviewing the entire system.
  • Controlling the actions.
  • Planning and executing the plans.
  • Designing schemes for each district, separately for each type of disaster and getting those sanctioned from state-level authorities.

District-wise Disaster Control Unit :

  • Establishment of district control unit is done immediately either after the impact of disaster or due to the warning of forthcoming disasters.
  • Help and guidance from various agencies like army, air force, navy, telecommunication
  • department, paramilitary forces, etc. is taken to review the various aspects of disaster.
  • The control unit also coordinates with various voluntary organizations that help in disaster management.

The international organizations that work in the field of disaster management :

  • United Nations Disaster Relief Organization.
  • United Nations Centre for Human Settlements.
  • Asian Disaster Reduction Centre.
  • Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre.
  • World Health Organization.
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Social Health Science Notes

National Disaster Response Force :

  • The army jawans constitute the National Disaster Response force.
  • It was established as per the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  • 12 divisions of this force work in the country, Its headquarter is located at Delhi and the army takes any required action throughout all the states of India.
  • In Maharashtra, Jawans of State Reserve Police Force carry out responsibilities of National Disaster Response Force.
  • Website : http://www.ndrf.gov.in gives the · information of National Disaster Response Force.
  • First aid is the primary help given to a sick or injured person until full medical treatment is available.

→ The injured person should be helped and kept in a resting position in which he or she is at ease. Depending upon the nature of the disaster, first aid given may be different. But the most important is timely rescue which can help the victim to survive.

First Aid and Emergency Action :

First Aid :

→ When suddenly any disaster takes place, the help given to the victims before the medical treatment is available, is called first aid. This knowledge of first aid becomes useful to save one’s life.

→ In day-to-day life, we come across many such disastrous incidences where such help is needed. Varieties of disasters like accidents, stampede, injuries in fighting, electric shock, burns, heat shock, snake bite, dog bite, fire due to electric short circuit, epidemic of any disease, etc. are the disasters in which first aid becomes essential

Social Health Science Notes

→ In disasters, the victim’s condition is to be taken into account before starting any furst aid. As per the condition, various transportation methods like cradle method, carrying on back, carrying on two hands are to be followed.

→ Sometimes we face the disaster due to our own unawareness. We have to watch out for the symbols that warn us against the potential dangers. Such symbols have to be taken into account.

→ First Aid Kit : Material necessary for first aid is kept in the first aid kit. Such first aid kit should be available at every place such as in schools, colleges and offices, etc.

The necessary material in first aid box :

  • For wrapping the wounds: Bandage strips of different size, Wound gauze, Triangular and circular bandage, Medicated cotton, Band aid
  • For cleanliness; Hand gloves, Clean and dry cloth pieces, Soap
  • Medicines : Antiseptic (Dettol/Savlon), Petroleum jelly
  • Safety pins, Blade, Small pins, Needle, Scissors
  • Thermometer, Torch.

Social Health Science Notes

Mock Drill :

Nature of mock drill :

  • Mock drill is the activity which is carried out by creating virtual or apparent situation of disaster.
  • It is carried out to check the preparedness if the disaster approaches.
  • The responses of the people, the quickness of actions, etc. can be analysed prior to the actual disaster happens.

→ Trained personnel check execution of plan designed for disaster redressal. They are responsible for the training of people in case of disasters. The whole exercise helps to check the efficacy of the system prepared for disaster redressal.

→ Mock drill is organized in various schools to create the awareness among the school children in case of disasters. Fire fighters, police force and some voluntary organizations organize mock drills.

Social Health Science Notes

Objectives of Mock Drill :

  • Evaluating the response of the common people to the disaster.
  • Improving the coordination between various departments that work for the disaster control.
  • Identifying one’s own abilities at the time of disaster.
  • Developing the ability to respond quickly to disaster.
  • Checking the competency of the planned actions.
    Assessing the possible errors and risks.

Important notes for our safety

  • Not to crowd and push each other while using staircase in the school.
  • Important help-lines should be remembered and used whenever need arises : Police 100, Fire fighting
  • force 101, Disaster Control Unit 108, Ambulance 102, Child helpline : 1028, etc.
  • Always follow the traffic rules. Looking first at left and then at right sides while crossing the road.
  • Not to touch any unclaimed object.
  • Not to spread rumours.
  • Not to cause chaos at the crowded places.

Science Notes