IMPACT OF DISASTERS ON ENVIRONMENT, INFRASTRUCTURE & DEVELOPMENT
Disasters are now recognized as one of the major contributors to underdevelopment, and underdevelopment is one of the major contributors to disaster. It has
also been recognized that if disaster response is mishandled, many years of progress can be wiped out and the chances for further progress set back. Disasters can alter agricultural patterns, settlement patterns, patterns of migration, work habits, diets, and even basic family structures. If disaster management is well planned and development oriented, a disaster can provide opportunities for accelerating the pace of development. Constructive changes can then be made.
All disaster-related activities are divided in-to distinct time periods.
Phases Of Disaster Response (Natural Disasters)
The Preparatory Phase. Activities carried out in the preparatory phase include organization, legislation, development of procedures, inventories of resources, and establishment of response plans. These activities are broadly classified as disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.
Warning Phase. By monitoring events, we look for indicators that tell when, where, and what magnitude the event may be. This is known as prediction or forecasting. Warning is possible for droughts and famines, cyclones and most severe weather phenomena, volcanoes, large scale fires, and in some cases earthquakes.
Emergency Phase This phase include search-and-rescue, first aid, emergency medical assistance, and restoration of emergency communication and transportation networks. Sometimes, it also necessitates evacuation from areas still vulnerable to further disaster events and provision of temporary shelter, food, and water.
Rehabilitation (Or Transitional) Phase. In this phase, people begin to return to work, to repair infrastructure, damaged buildings and critical facilities, and to take other actions necessary to help the community to return to normal.
Emergency relief measures must be discontinued during this phase so that people can begin to regain their self-reliance.Reconstruction Phase. During this period people reconstruct housing and other community facilities, and agriculture returns to normal. The actual time span is often very difficult to define.