What is Disaster Management ?

Floods in Mumbai, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the devastating Tsunami in South East Asia, and the recent earthquake in South Asia have caused over a hundred thousand deaths in countries across the world. Disasters such as these are occurring with greater frequency necessitating the need for a proper disaster management policy and strategy to deal effectively with them and minimize the damage caused.

Disasters are either natural, such as floods, droughts, cyclones, and earthquakes, or man made such as riots, conflicts, refugee situations, and others like fire, epidemics, industrial accidents, and environmental fallouts. Often, the difference between them is marginal. Globally, natural disasters account for nearly 80 per cent of all disaster-affected people.

The 15th World Conference on Disaster Management held in June 2005 brought together experts from across the globe in order to listen and learn, plan and prepare, educate and exchange views on the lessons to be learned from all disciplines of disaster and emergency management. Following the tsunami of 26 December 2004, a Ministerial Committee and Task Force were set up by the Government of India and established a National Disaster Management Center to facilitate and coordinate emergency relief work.

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