A disaster can come in a flash making you lose not only your hard-earned investments and properties but even worse, your most precious treasures – your family. In a bat of an eyelash, everything and everybody could be taken away from you. The worst part is that, this can happen to anybody – at no special exception at all.
Disaster management is defined as the discipline of avoiding risks through proper and systematic mitigation strategies. Perhaps, for most households, disaster management is deemed as a minor concern. What are the odds of getting hit by a hurricane anyway? Or, our location is not on a flood plain so why should I be bothered? This common misconception has been considered as one of the biggest triggers to why the concept of disaster management came about. Most people ignore the possibilities of disaster. Either they think that for as long as they have built a home and have saved money, they have already done enough or that a volcano eruption is simply far from reality – whichever perception you have, you remain in the wrong side.
To level off this discourse on disaster management, try to answer the questions below.
- What are my chances of surviving if a flash flood hits my village at this very moment?
- What are my children's chances of surviving if an earthquake begins to shake our home at this very minute?
- What do I need to do first?
- What or who do I need to save first?
- If we get trapped inside this building, do we have enough supplies to help us survive?
- Who do I call to for help?
- Am I ready to leave this home and all of my properties?
- Am I ready to accept loss?
- Am I ready to lose my loved ones?
- Am I ready to die?
Were you able to give ready answers? If not, let's take it to a more thorough discussion. Listed below are factors why you should consider a disaster management plan. By the end of this article, you should be alarmed or at least be open to the idea that disasters are real and in a minute or two, you have all those hard-earned properties to lose and that you and your loved ones lives and safety could be jeopardized.
- Your family. You go to work everyday and force yourself to attend countless business meetings at the aim of becoming a good provider. The quantity and the quality of what you can provide, however, will stop to matter in the event of an unexpected hurricane. You could lose your family in a whip of a strong wind. You could lose your life and all your hard work will be put to nothing in an instant. Disaster management will give you a chance to at least reduce the risks of casualties through a thorough and systematic preparation. In the event of an unexpected disaster, you and the rest of your family members will know what to do. Planning ahead of time on how to go about disaster management will give you the opportunity to practice drills with your wife and kids, making the possible mishap easier to face and battle with.
- Increased vulnerability. This is a result of unpreparedness or lack of a sound disaster management plan. For instance, in the event of an unexpected flash flood with an unprepared mindset, we become too vulnerable to fatalities. What needs to be done first? What's the next step? What will I do with the kids? Vulnerability is always an issue of unpreparedness.
- Increased casualty. As a result of the vulnerability mentioned above, you and your family needs to face a big chance of getting hurt. Whether it's physical, home structure or properties, casualty is sure to hit you, the family and your entire future.
- Increased loss. Unpreparedness can also aggravate property losses. Disaster management will give you the chance to plan on alternative safe keepers for your valuables and important documents.
- Physical, mental and emotional readiness. Perhaps one of the major reasons why disaster management is highly encouraged and willingly pursued by some households is that it can reward some families with peace of mind and security. Being prepared will give the privilege of being at peace all the time. You would not need to worry too much about having to face unexpected mishaps and the like.
- Disaster management reduces anxiety and fear. Everybody – be it in the community, family or personal level – should know what to do in case of a sudden disaster. Every citizen should know where to seek shelter in the case of a tornado or volcanic eruption. Hot lines and other important numbers should be readily available. Each family member should be ready to leave the comforts of their homes and evacuate to public shelters.
- Planning ahead for disaster management will help reduce the impact of disasters. Everyone can have the chance to “move a home” out of harm and secure all valuable items such as social documents, identification cards, contracts, photographs, jewelry and the like. Disaster management simply avoids complete danger.
- If a disaster strikes your community, sure there will be several disaster-relief organizations that will extend help. Your local government would also be ready to assist you but you need to be ready at a family and personal level as well. Rescuers will not be able to reach out to you right away or other families might be more in need of help than yours.
- This is reality: Disasters disrupt thousands of lives yearly and every disaster that strikes your community has lasting effects – not just to properties but to people more importantly. Fact reveals that more and more people are losing lives and properties because of unpreparedness.
- Organizations and individuals perform better during a disaster if there has been prior planning on disaster management. Self-help preparedness will surely increase every person's ability to mitigate his own emergency needs. This is also reflected in how he could be an asset at the community level.
- An effective response to disasters requires a systematic planning and well-delegated tasks of everybody involved, be it private businesses, volunteer groups, schools, churches, government and the whole community at large. All these institutions can serve as a very crucial resource for as long as there is ample training and information. With disaster management planned ahead of time, all of the above-mentioned institutions could be capable of performing all emergency and necessary functions both during and after a disaster has occurred.
- Disaster management includes knowing how to respond to all disasters that have a great possibility of occurring in your area. Again, this does not only require training but also needs a number of necessary information and the right contact persons. Disaster management should start at a personal level moving to a family level and finally, at a community level. Checklists and supplies have to ready before a disaster strikes.
- One objective of disaster management is to be self-sufficient for at least three days. Have a first aid kit, ample supply of water, food, shelter and clothes. This cannot be done in an instant. There has to be an ahead-of-time preparation. Keep in mind that rescuers or relief goods may not come early.
- Preparation and disaster management becomes more effective when properly incorporated into the political and social level. In such case, all institutions can work conveniently, fast and effectively.
- Save your life. This is definitely the most sensible and honest reason to consider disaster management. This situation is even more difficult for the disabled community – which is why we want them to be involved and to be cautiously considered by institutions planning on disaster management. They need extra care for the proper handling of adaptive equipment. Getting them involved throughout every procedure of disaster management will help them to become responsible for themselves in the event of a sudden mishap. Keep them equipped not just with all necessary transport, hearing or sight facilities but also with enough information as well as guidance, emotional and moral support.
The need to prepare is real – and this is because disasters coming in your least expected moments are for real. Implementing disaster management plans do not completely guarantee safety of people and possessions. Events can happen very quickly without any hints or so. Planning ahead of time however, keeps the disaster situation at a tolerable or mitigated level.
Disaster management will not prevent a flash flood or a hurricane. It will not completely save a life either. But it will help reduce the risks of loss and of anxiety. With a timely acceptance, a willing mindset and a calm yet brave attitude – there is no reason why you cannot knock down a disaster.
Plan ahead of time and consider disaster management to reduce your vulnerability to loss – not just of properties but even more importantly, you and your loved ones' lives.