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Approximately 114,000 residential and commercial structures were damaged during the Northridge Earthquake, that struck California in 1994. Don Shropshire, National Director of Disaster Services with the Canadian Red Cross, urges families to plan ahead and take responsibility for their own emergency preparedness so that they are ready if disaster strikes.
A category F5 tornado (upgraded from initial estimate of F4) viewed from the southeast as it approached Elie, Manitoba on 22 June 2007. To better equip the community to deal with emergencies, Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) – an international disaster planning, risk management and crisis response agency – launched Disaster Preparedness Week in May across the United States and in June in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, in partnership with the Ismaili Councils in those regions, and their Regional Disaster Management Teams (RDMTs).
Disaster Preparedness Week challenges everyone to ask the obvious question: “Are we prepared?” Individuals and families of all types and sizes – whether single, married, with or without children, young or elderly, healthy or with special needs – must know where to go, what to do, and how to survive and help others in the event of a disaster.
During the week, information resources are distributed to assist individuals and families to be better prepared for a disaster or emergency. An aerial photograph taken on 13 September 2008 shows flooding in Galveston, Texas, in the wake of Hurricane Ike.
Be informed about the hazards and risks in the city in which you live and those of the neighbouring areas. A family emergency plan will help you and your family to be prepared in case of an emergency. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what actions to take in case of an emergency.
Think about how to help the sick, those with special needs, the vulnerable or elderly in an emergency; what to do with pets, how to contact each other if phones lines are down. Find out about the disaster response plans made by your local community, neighbourhood, workplace, school and city emergency services. It may be easier to dial a long-distance number rather than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be a better point of reference to communicate among separated family members. You may also want to familiarise yourself with emergency plans at work, day-care and school. Copies of important documents: driver's license, Social Security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, etc.
Unique family needs such as prescription medications, pet supplies, infant supplies or any other unique need your family may have. Complete lists of what goes in a kit by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Government of Canada. The Australian Government has prepared a checklist of items to make up an emergency kit [PDF 390KB]. An online step-by-step form family emergency plan by the Government of Canada that helps families know what to do in case of an emergency. This FEMA poster provides visuals and descriptions so that homeowners can identify and fix at-risk areas of their homes to reduce future earthquake damage and disruption.
The Canadian Red Cross offers three free educational programmes geared to children to educate them on risks, and how to prepare themselves and their families to respond to a changing global environment.
Natural disasters are brought about by change in natural phenomenon or what is known as acts of God. Whether the disaster is natural or man-made, the manner in which action is taken goes a long way to determine how people fair from the experience. Among the massive problems that the entire world is currently dealing with is global warming.
Creating a disaster preparedness plan is recommended so that everyone will know what to do in the event of a quake, flood, or other emergency. In your disaster preparedness plan, categorizing different types of disasters such as earthquake, flood, and more is a must.
In establishments like schools, offices, and even regular homes, disaster preparedness drills must be implemented. Lastly, before a disaster hits, be sure to move your furniture and safe-keep things that are really valuable. If there is a situation of a chemical or hazardous waste spill, stay inside your house and close all windows and doors to prevent the foul smell to get inside your house.
In order to prepare yourself in cases that you must evacuate your houses, make sure to pack things you will immediately need like clothing, cash, non-perishable food and water. After the disaster hits and you return home, check the surroundings of your house first for any possible hazardous impact that may cause further accidents.
These are just some of the things you have to keep in mind in order to be safe when disasters happen. What is the origin of Red Cross? It all started during the Battle of Solferino, which is the battle of French Army against the Austrians. Here are some more very informative videos that I have been posting on my page that teaches us the basics of first aid that may help us save lives in the future or help ease suffering.
Sunod-sunod na calamities ang dumating sa bansa natin lately, and bilang tugon, nag-host ng isang seminar-training ang org namin about sa Emergency preparedness. This fully-updated master class gives you 12 hours of detailed instruction on all aspects of a Hyper-V based virtualization environment.
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Science, Technology and Medicine open access publisher.Publish, read and share novel research. Disaster Management Discourse in Bangladesh: A Shift from Post-Event Response to the Preparedness and Mitigation Approach Through Institutional PartnershipsC.
Raising the level of expertise of the Disaster Management SystemsCapacity-buildingMDMR and Implementing Agency1. Recognizing the need for vulnerability reduction for effective disaster management, the failures of a top-down management approach have become evident. This organization, directly supported by DMB and DRR, remains the pivot and is destined to channel and coordinate all communications and activities between and among all the partners in the loop. The four stages of disaster preparations are mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. There are many countries like Taiwan have suffered from debris flow disasters, such as China, Japan, Philippines, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala. Copyright © 2011 Soil and Water Conservation Bureau (SWCB) , Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan. The Ministry of Tourism participated in both the inauguration and closing ceremony of the awareness program conducted by the National Disaster Management Center in collaboration with Gili Lankanfushi Resort and Spa on “Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction”, a program designed to enhance disaster awareness and preparedness among all stakeholders and employees in the Tourism Sector of the Maldives”. Tremors were also reported in some US states, including Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Jersey and New York. Significant damage was caused to buildings, cars were shaken and displaced from their parking spots and residents ran to the streets.
Many injuries during earthquakes are caused by poorly secured furnishings, such as bookcases and big screen TVs that get displaced. All family members, from young children to the elderly, must understand the plan and be ready to follow through in the event of an emergency. Designate places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighbourhood.
Your emergency supply kit should include items such as canned or dry non-perishable food, a can opener, bottled water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries.
It was launched in July 2007 as part the commemoration of fifty years of Mawlana Hazar Imam's Imamat. The answer is this: If we do so, we could save lives, resources, industries, infrastructures and a lot more.
The costs associated with handling of the man-made and natural disasters run to billions of pesos every year and this negatively affects the economy of the country. The negative effects it brings to plants and animals are quite scary and the consequences it can bring on us humans are even a lot more frightening. These forms may be fire, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, typhoons, atomic bombing caused by war, and many more.
Knowing whether they live in a place which lies in the tropical convergence zone or in the earthquake prone area would really be a plus. Emergencies come in many forms and having the right checklist, supplies and kit for any possible contingency can aid in making you and your family safe. Take down notes of where you’ve kept certain items and what to do after the disaster. The building floor-plans, with locations of cut-off switches and valves, inventory of holdings, list of names, addresses, and home telephone numbers of personnel or students, trained conservators and control services, equipment and suppliers, funding emergencies, and copies of insurances must be up-to-date.
At least every year, a fire drill or an earthquake drill must be executed to practice and train the people.
Remember that your house might get flooded with water in the event of extremely heavy rain so you also have to consider keeping important documents like certificates (birth, marriage, working permit) and the like in a box resistant to water and fire. Remember that floods and heavy winds may cause your electricity supply to be inefficient so it is advised to plug out appliances which are not currently used.
Turn off your air-conditioner and electric fans as well to minimize circulation of the smell.
If inside your house or any building, stay inside but stay away from metallic items and those that can reflect light.
Keep in mind that you must wisely consume your bottles of water so that it will last until the day you’re going back to the house. Look around for any broken electrical posts and wires, fallen trees, debris and wrecked beams. Go around your house and check if all your furniture and electronic appliances are still intact.
Life is so important that it is why we always need to protect ourselves from these kinds of harm and danger. But what if you need to evacuate or shelter in place because of a hazardous chemical spill? Protect yourself and your family by learning about the risks now, before a disaster happens. Produced by the Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee with funding support from the Kansas City Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee’s Urban Area Security Initiative grant. About 300,000 soldiers fought in this battle and a number of them died and got badly wounded on the field. Katuwang namin ang mga magigiting na rescuer ng ERA (Emerrgency Rescuer Association of the Philippines). As recent cyber-attacks and natural disaster events have shown, the need for IT disaster recovery preparedness has never been greater.
Organizational structure and institutional arrangements for disaster management at the national level and field level3.2. The ministry was renamed the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR) in 1993 and then again renamed the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management (MoFDM) in 2002.
This coordinated process, particularly during non-crisis periods, is expected to result in the shift of focus from post-disaster to pre-disaster risk management. The maximum length and the average width of Taiwan is about 395 kilometers and 144 kilometers respectively.
The rainy season in Taiwan is caused by rainfall along a persistent stationary front between spring and summer; and typhoons are influencing Taiwan mostly in the summer and autumn. Meanwhile, the SWCB is keen on the international exchanges for debris flow disaster prevention.
As the old saying “ prevention is better than cure,” the SWCB has set up a website for the adult, and the children to enhance debris flow disaster education.. Secure heavy furniture and fixtures, store flammable liquids in the garage and shut gas lines off in an emergency.
These disasters occur so often in the Philippines that citizens of the country already expect these to arrive eventually.
Philippines has experienced the worst disasters and calamities ages ago – natural and man-made. On the other hand, man-made disasters are influenced by humans and they are often a result of negligence and human error among other factors. Global warming greatly affects the world and it brings about the following: rising sea levels, drought, and heat waves, which result to more floods and more storms.
Also, attend seminars from certain organizations such as Red Cross to help and guide you in preparing yourself when disaster comes.
Training of people is important so they would know disaster response techniques and identification and marking on floor-plans and enclosures of irreplaceable and important material for priority salvage. The disaster may not happen right now but it is better to prepare your things ahead rather than be sorry later. If authorities say that it is mandatory to evacuate your home, then do as they say, for they know what is best for you. If you must evacuate, contact your family relatives immediately to tell them about your evacuation and the location of where you will be evacuated. Again, plug out your electrical appliances especially since lightning can break down electric supply in a snap. Aside from clothing, food and water needs, also pack a flashlight, portable radio and a foldable sleeping bag.
Also, check if the ends of the electrical wires have already touched the floods because there were cases wherein people were electrocuted for being unaware.
If by chance flood and rain water enters your house, make sure to dry the soaked and wet appliances and furniture. Take the time now to learn when and how to shelter in place, and when and where you should go if you need to evacuate.
Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for up to 72 hours following a disaster.
At that time also, Jean-Henri Dunant, a Swiss businessman and a Christian, was also travelling to Italy to meet the French emperor, Napoleon III. However, research indicates that less than half of all companies have a disaster recovery plan in place, and even fewer have actually tested their plans to see if they will work as expected.
New MDMR allocation of business and organogram reflecting broader responsibilities in disaster risk management3. A better understanding of disasters and losses also brings to light the fact that the increased occurrence of disasters and disaster-related loss has been due to the exponential increase in the occurrence of small- and medium-scale disasters. After the formation a new government in 2008, this name of this ministry went back to its previous title as the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR).The primary function associated with disaster management is outlined in the government’s Rules of Business which are undertaken by the DMB and the DRR. Reducing vulnerability via these structural measures has been quite effective in coastal Bangladesh.
However, the MoDMR must ensure the transparency of its own and all other agencies involved in developing the partnership for disaster management. Since the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake (ML=7.3) occurred, the frequency of the disasters, which are caused by landslides, complex landslides, debris flows and soil erosion, has increased more than before. The life and economic losses can be reduced by building the public awareness of disaster prevention. But even though Filipinos are very used to natural and man-made disasters, suffering from these again and again could still happen.

We’ve always seen in the news that flames, floods, quakes and monstrous winds enrapture a city, leaving it nothing but a pile of damaged beams and flown-away roofs.
Despite the difference between these two, it is ideal to note that they can cause irrevocable damage if the right measures are not put in place. Being familiar with the emergency and fire exits of your office, school, or any other infrastructure is fundamental. In some instances it may be several days before vital services can be prepared and surviving this period may be difficult.
The disaster preparedness plan should also include an emergency contact of each family member and each member should have a copy of this. Know and commit to memory the emergency hotlines numbers of the authorities and your neighbors. Light up some candles instead but make sure that you place them in proper candleholders and somewhere not fire-hazard.
Lastly, before evacuating your home, unplug and switch off all electronic appliances, including the LPG and the switches in the electrical panel.
If one is determined and willing to do whatever it takes to save his and his family’s life, he is surely to achieve that.
At that time, he witnessed the battle and was devastated to see the conditions of thousands of soldiers together with the fact that there is a lack of medical attention to them. Developments in the Institutional Framework: Introduction to the Comprehensive Disaster Management Plan (CDMP)Table 1. IntroductionThe discourse of disaster management has undergone significant changes in recent decades and their effects have been profoundly felt in the developing world, particularly in terms of reduction in the loss of human lives. As a result, numerous scholars and stakeholders feel that it is important to adopt a new strategy that directly involves vulnerable people in the planning and implementation of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery measures. The Rules of Business have been revised to reflect the current MoDMR approach of comprehensive, community-based vulnerability reduction and risk management. There is clear evidence that these embankments along the coastal areas provided an effective buffer during the storm surge associated with Cyclone Sidr.
Public disclosure and documentation should be mandatory for all the stakeholders and must be published by this pivotal agency on a regular basis.
The mountains in Taiwan are high and steep, and the terrain is highly variable, as well as the elevations. It did, however, serve as a reminder of the risk and seriousness of such natural disasters.
Natural disasters cannot be prevented, but safety measures can be taken to eliminate or reduce the possibility of trouble, accident, or damage. At the end of the disaster, a number of lives have been taken; a number of buildings and houses have been shattered and a number of resources have been put to waste. Any pets should also have an emergency plan in place; animal shelters are often poorly equipped to care for them. If you are outside and caught in an open area, crouch down with your feet together and head bowed down. You would not want unexpected explosions or burning of your appliances and electrical sockets.
You can be certain of the nonexistence of gas leaks by smelling the surroundings of your house.
Discard items not worth retaining, and replace items not justifying special conservation treatment. Natural disasters, though occurring more often in the country than before, can be less of a catastrophe if people are knowledgeable enough when it comes to safety preparedness. In this chapter, we concentrate on the evolution of disaster management approaches in Bangladesh and the method of their implementation by mobilizing institutions as a case in the developing world. This bottom-up approach has received wide acceptance because it considers communities as the best judges of their own vulnerability and capable of making the best decisions regarding their well-being. The result is that though there has been a declining trend in loss of lives and property, particularly from cyclone disasters, flood damage has tended to rise because of the large spatial extent of floods, their increased frequency and the expanding economy.Government documents and the NGO literature indicate that there is a wide recognition that effective disaster response at the local level is not possible by government agencies alone and that the cost of management needs to be shared by all stakeholders. Lives were saved, and damages and property losses were much lower where embankment structures had been properly maintained.
People who are aware and know what to do before, during, and after a disaster hits can significantly reduce deaths, accidents, and property damage. Millions to billions of pesos will be spent on reconstructions and rehabilitations of places hit by disasters. Before a disaster hits, every house, office, or any other establishment must have emergency supplies like canned goods, water, blankets, candles, matches, first aid kits, and medicines. So once again, listening to the news and leaving to a safer place as soon as possible is best. Remember that the more you minimize your contact with the ground, the more you prevent yourself from being electrocuted on the ground. Call the local firetruck station or any local government service for they could help in repairing minor wreckage inflicted by the disaster. Formed by IT business, government, and academic leaders to address these concerns, the DRP Council's mission is to increase DRP awareness, and improve disaster recovery practices. The geographical location of Bangladesh in South Asia, at the confluence of three large river systems – the Brahmaputra, the Ganges, and the Meghna – and north of the Bay of Bengal, renders it one of the most vulnerable places to floods and cyclones. The search for the newer approach led to the formulation of the Community-Based Disaster Management (CBDM) strategy.The aim of CBDM is to reduce vulnerabilities and to strengthen people’s capacity to deal with hazards and cope with disasters. Still, the major lacuna in the institutional framework continues to be a lack of functioning partnerships among the stakeholders. Just imagine how much and how many can we save if we start making projects that moves to lessening damages. People of the household, including children, must learn how to turn off gas, water and electric outlets. But remember, driving during a storm is not advised for this may cause further damage and harm.
Think positively; always have a mind-set that you will get out of this disaster safe and alive. If in any case you’re in your car, park your car away from tall trees and electrical posts that may possibly fall any time.
A thorough assessment of a community’s exposure to hazards and an analysis of their specific vulnerabilities and capacities is the basis for activities, projects and programs that can reduce disaster risks. The massive flood of July 2004 showed that there were no partnerships functioning and there was little coordination.
More than 90% of our survey respondents observed that coastal embankments had saved their lives and property from Cyclone Sidr. Each of the DDMC in the risk-prone areas can be equipped with a Geographic Information System (GIS) Cell as a planning tool for managing development and disaster reduction activities.
Knowing the safe spots in every room - under sturdy tables, desks or against walls, and knowing the dangerous spots - windows, mirrors, hanging objects, fireplaces, and tall furniture would be a plus to avoid harm. Climate models have revealed that the effects of climate change are not only affecting individual countries, but resulting in increased climate variations at regional levels [4]. Review of the development project appraisal processes and integration of disaster risk management3.
Because a community is involved in the whole process, their real and felt needs, as well as their inherent resources, are considered. The Local Consultative Group (LCG) concluded that massive shortcomings existed in the forecasting, preparedness and coordinated response to the crisis [22]. They also registered that coastal plantations were another major living structural feature that reduced the velocity of the wind and the speed of tidal surges along with the cyclone and, in turn, saved their lives and properties. Large-scale training of staff at all levels, including the stakeholders, particularly from the media, NGOs and private sector, in team and motivational works and in how to prevent disasters; for the purpose, a Disaster Management Training Cell can be established at the DMB.
2) Impartiality, to give relief without making discrimination against their race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. This survey is designed to give business continuity, disaster recovery, compliance audit, and risk management professionals a measure of their own preparedness in recovering critical IT systems running in virtual environments.
Bangladesh, as part of South Asia, is likely to experience more variations in climate regimes, as well as more extreme weather events.Bangladesh is the most densely populated country in the world, except city states, with more than 1,000 people per sq km [5]. Therefore, there is a greater likelihood that problems will be addressed with appropriate interventions. As a result, the NGOs conducted relief and rehabilitation efforts largely without government directives and coordination. 3) Neutrality, to serve with fairness; with no special treatment to those who are rich or poor. Agriculture, which provides a quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP), depends largely on timely monsoon rainfall and regularity in seasonal fluctuations. Initially, the government appeared confident to deal with the post-disaster recovery singlehandedly. ConclusionsThe findings of our study reveal that, officially and legislatively, the government of Bangladesh in recent years has taken a comprehensive and integrated approach to disaster management. 4) Independence, although it abides by the laws of the government, it works independently from them. It is anticipated that the local community should be able to gain directly from improved disaster risk management. When things were getting worse, it made a flash appeal on 17 August 2004 through the UNDP, Dhaka, for international assistance. The cyclone of 1970, in the coastal areas of what was then East Pakistan, alone claimed over half a million lives. This in turn will contribute to a progression toward safer conditions and to the improved security of livelihoods and sustainable development.
Another report argues about the handling of 1998 floods, indicating that “limited evidence of government coordination was found in the recovery phase” [23].
However, in the absence of stable and transparent institutions, this strong institutional partnership approach remains largely on paper. Again, the 1991 and 2007 cyclones caused the loss of about 149,000 and 3,406 people respectively. This underlines the point that the local community is not only the primary actor but also the beneficiary of the risk reduction and development process [21].The implementation of CBDM requires consideration of many essential features. Save the Children (USA) also proclaimed that “there was a general lack of coordination among actors” [24]. Individual stakeholders continue to make significant contributions, but synergy and multiplier effects are still missing.
In recent years, the frequency of extreme floods has increased, as has the corresponding economic loss. Following Yodmani (2001), [21], the primary ones could be identified as: The local community has a central role in long-term and short-term disaster management and therefore the focus of attention in disaster management must be on the local community.
In the wake of the latest cyclone, Sidr in 2007, BBC reported, “Plenty of agencies, but not enough aid - too little, too late,” and further quoted a professional working in an affected area, “The reason why these people are not receiving enough help is because there is no coordination between the government and aid agencies” [25].
Our analysis shows that no, or only a very limited, culture of partnership in disaster management has yet been established. The flood in July 2004 was the most devastating – with an economic loss of about US $2.2 billion [5]. Disaster risk or vulnerability reduction is the foundation of CBDM; the primary content of disaster management activities revolves around reducing vulnerable conditions and the root causes of vulnerability.
Divisive partisan politics and the lack of good governance prevent partnerships among stakeholders.
In terms of GDP, this loss was less than what the world’s poorest countries faced during the 1985–99 disasters – a loss of 13.4% of combined GDP [10]. The primary strategy for vulnerability reduction is by increasing a community’s capacities and their resources, and by improving and strengthening coping strategies. Southkhali village in Shoronkhola upazila of Bagerhat district was one the worst hit areas in Sidr.
Therefore, in the following section we propose a partnership framework that outlines new roles and responsibilities for major players.
Disaster management must also establish linkages to the development process as disasters are viewed as unmanaged development risks and unresolved problems of the development process. During a visit immediately after the event to the area, the Indian foreign minister pledged his country’s intention to build all the houses in this and the surrounding villages. Implementation of the framework could lead to partnership in disaster management in Bangladesh. CBDM should lead to a general improvement of the quality of life of the vast majority of the poor people and of the natural environment. From then onwards, nominal government initiative was taken to give shelters to the affected people in this area, and a virtual official ban was put into effect on others, including NGOs and aid agencies, to build houses for the affected people. Government agencies, NGOs and policymakers need to understand the perspectives of local communities, the impacts of floods, and the levels of vulnerability to improve information, knowledge, resource support and services. Traditionally, the disaster management approach in the country has been to respond to disaster in the aftermath of the events. The pledged Indian support did not come in due time and even 100 days after the event people in this area were forced to live under the sky [26]. For this, there is a need for more “action research” involving communities and scientists from different disciplines and greater awareness about the integration of floods, cyclones and other natural disasters and climatic events into the development process among key actors, particularly, government agencies.Disaster management is a nationwide affair, involving each and every organization and citizen of the country.
Nonetheless, the ever-increasing human and economic costs have raised serious questions about such approaches.
Priority was accorded to focus on community-level preparedness, response, recovery and rehabilitation. As community is a key resource in disaster risk reduction, their role and interests must be recognized. The government of any country cannot do it alone because of the resource constraints as well as the wide scope of the tasks involved. Also, flood-disaster management has relied heavily on structural engineering and post-flood relief operations. Programs to train people living in disaster-prone areas were emphasized to improve their capability to cope with natural disasters.
The community is the key actor as well as the primary beneficiary of disaster risk reduction. Empirical Investigation of Cyclone Sidr Victims at the Local Level: Vulnerability of the Poor It is worth noting that the recent initiatives on community-based disaster risk management became subject to stern criticisms because of their general inadequacy in addressing the vulnerability of the poor to natural hazards and socioeconomic shocks. Therefore, a broad-based partnership involving all the stakeholders is a desirable and realistic approach to realizing the full potential at all stages of disaster management, namely, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery [31]. It promotes a culture of self-help and empowering people to be aware of the different disasters.
Overall, such a post-facto approach has failed to effectively deal with the problems of disaster loss.In recent years, there has been a shift to recognize the critical roles of non-structural measures as well as pre-disaster mitigation and preparedness. The Corporate Plan emphasized a series of broad-based strategies: First, disaster management involved the management of both risks and consequences of disasters, which included prevention, emergency response and post-disaster recovery. Within the community, priority attention is given to the conditions of the most vulnerable, as well as to their mobilization in the disaster risk reduction.

CBDM programs that aim at prevention and mitigation are few in low- and middle-income countries like Bangladesh and they are poorly funded and insignificant when compared to the financial capital spent by donors and development banks on humanitarian assistance, relief and post-disaster reconstruction. Experience that demonstrates the value of partnership in managing disasters is grounded in the mutual recognition of many different ideas and interests. Second, community involvement was a major focus for preparedness programs to protect lives and properties. The community must directly participate in the whole process of disaster risk management -- from situational analysis to planning and to implementation. Another weakness of such initiatives was that they were often taken up in the formal sector of the economy, and therein bypassed the poor and the most vulnerable sections of society. The approach, involving multi-modal communication and interaction, proposes to integrate the activities of different stakeholders into a functional partnership framework.
CBDM brings together the multitude of community stakeholders for disaster risk reduction, as well as to expand their resource base. 86) points out, “in the year or so between the occurrence of a disaster and approved national reconstruction plans, many vulnerable communities revert to coping with risk, often in the same or worse conditions than before the disaster actually struck” [27]. Since community members are the direct and most seriously affected victims, effective and sustainable partnership requires a change from a partnership approach based on equality to a focus on the community [16]. The local community-level institutions link up with the intermediate and national levels and even up to the international level to address the complexity of vulnerability issues. Therefore, in the current paradigm of risk management approaches, there is more room than ever before for addressing the issues of risk reduction for the poor. This is also consonant with the paradigm shift in mainstream development practice, which is now characterized by a focus on good governance, accountability and greater emphasis on bottom-up approaches [21]. There has been only very limited analysis of the shifting approaches and of how institutions at different levels are presently functioning in Bangladesh. Under the sub-program of Partnership Development, the government actively sought to achieve a multi-agency approach that encompassed the institutions of the government, NGOs and private sector in a collaborative strategy for the alleviation of disaster-induced poverty.
The CBDM is an involving and dynamic framework, and therefore its implementation must be monitored, evaluated and adapted to incorporate newer elements. This enhanced coordination and information-sharing among the various actors and thus maximized the efficacy of resource use for effective risk reduction.
Bangladesh has experienced several catastrophic environmental disasters during the last two decades; among these events, the April 1991 [28] and November 2007 major cyclones were the most catastrophic in terms of both physical and human dimensions [29]. Under the Community Empowerment sub-program, the government planned to further consolidate the empowerment process by expanding the program and by realizing community capacity-building through awareness and skill development and by expanding disaster management studies within the school system and staff training academies.Besides these, disaster risk reduction was incorporated as a component into the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) of Bangladesh as Annex-9 of Disaster Vulnerability and Risk Management [14]. The sharing of experiences, methodologies and tools by communities and CBDM practitioners continues to enrich practice.5. Cyclone Sidr struck the coast of Bangladesh on 15 November 2007 and was the most powerful mega-cyclone to impact Bangladesh since 1991. The preparation of the PRSP, funded by the World Bank, acknowledged a holistic approach to disaster management.4. However, the death toll (officially, 3,406 lives were lost) caused by Cyclone Sidr was significantly lower than comparable cyclones in previous years due to the improved warning system and evacuation. Shift from relief and response to disaster risk managementIn the last few decades, disasters have typically been viewed by the public institutions as numerous individual extreme events, and the responses included top-down-oriented government policies and efforts by local and international relief agencies that did not take into simultaneous account the social and economic implications and causes of these events.
As is evident from the institutional structure explained above, Bangladesh has developed quite an elaborate framework and disaster preparedness and response mechanism. Nonetheless, the damage to crops and infrastructure was considerable across 30 districts, 200 upazilas and 1,950 unions. With the significant advancement in the understanding of the natural processes that underlie the hazardous events, a more technocratic paradigm came into existence which conceded that the only way to deal with disasters was by the public policy application of geophysical and engineering knowledge and the associated interventions. Moreover, some policy and plan pronouncements in the recent past indicate that the government has begun to adopt an approach to disaster management that includes both risks and consequences. These approaches treated disasters as exceptional or “abnormal” events, not related to the ongoing social and developmental processes. Some progress has been made in enhancing the disaster management capacities during the last decades. MethodologyOur research examines whether the elaborate institutional mechanisms of disaster management in Bangladesh reflect the partnership of stakeholders.
Gradually, with recognition of the fact that these are not “natural events” per se, but directly linked with social structures and their dynamics [20], this structural engineering, technocratic approach shifted to an emphasis on preparedness measures, such as stockpiling of relief goods, preparedness plans and a growing role for relief agencies such as the Red Crescent [21]. Coastal and island people observed that the new, isolated, single-unit settlements were the most severely impacted by the cyclone and storm surge forces.
This evolution of public policy approach from “relief and response” to “risk management” has begun to influence the way disaster management programs are planned and financed.
The settlements near the coast and those which were in linear patterns along the coastal embankment suffered the most. Initiatives have been aimed more and more at reducing social and economic vulnerability and at investing in long-term mitigation activities. This type of settlement, which was more susceptible to cyclonic storm surges, was inhabited primarily by the poor of the coastal zones. To collect the primary data from local communities, we applied a case study approach which employed participatory rural appraisal tools, such as focus group discussions (FGDs), household interviews and key informant interviews, in two coastal communities of Bangladesh severely affected by Cyclone Sidr. The fragmentation of families and the building of new settlements also contributed to high cyclone disaster loss. We analyzed data procured from a total of 162 households distributed across eight villages, which were randomly selected to conduct the interviews and FGDs.
The soil of the new settlements was less cohesive, and in most cases, the properties had few or only very small trees. The houses of the linear settlements along the coastal and island embankment were made of straw, bamboo and other locally sourced materials. A random sampling procedure was followed to select households from the complete list of households in the selected villages for interview. Apart from high winds and storm surges, these houses were also vulnerable to breaches of the embankment that occur in major cyclonic storms.
Households were proportionately selected according to the size of the villages, and household heads were interviewed. In our survey, we registered that most of the houses constructed using straw, bamboo, jute stalk, and corrugated iron sheets alongside of the coastal embankment had faced the sea. Eight FGDs were carried out by administering a semi-structured questionnaire to each village.For policy analysis, we relied chiefly on secondary data, which were supplemented by primary data. Such positioning of the housing structures also made them more susceptible to severe damage by the cyclones. Because Bangladesh has experienced numerous devastating cyclones, as well as long-lasting floods that have caused immense suffering to people and damage to properties in recent decades, we relied on secondary data on the relevant disaster response and management policies. In contrast, houses located in the interior mainland were usually clustered in groups of six or seven houses called Baris in dense tropical forest. Official documents from the government and donors, study reports from NGOs and other organizations, journal articles, newspaper clippings, TV reports and documentaries, and internet resources from reliable and responsible sources provided additional information for our analysis.
To ensure openness in discussing sensitive issues, we used informal discussions with stakeholders at different levels.
Through personal contacts and over the internet we collected reports and documents from government agencies, NGOs, and donors in Bangladesh, such as the Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Centre (BDPC), the Disaster Forum, the Disaster Management Bureau, the Sustainable Development Resource Centre, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Landless families tend to occupy coastal embankments illegally, as there are no public housing or welfare programs in Bangladesh for the landless. The respondents of our survey asserted that because of easy access to both land areas and the sea, they preferred to live on the embankment despite the well-known risks related to both illegal settlement and tropical cyclones (Figure 2).
Shifting approaches in disaster managementIn recent decades, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local communities in Bangladesh have undertaken various measures to mitigate the impacts of natural disasters, including floods and cyclones, on the people, economy and society.
The concept of developing national preparedness, as opposed to post-event response, to disasters like floods and cyclones evolved after the floods of 1988 and the devastating cyclone of 1991. Cyclone preparedness at the local levelCyclone preparedness programs that have been implemented in recent years in the coastal zones of Bangladesh have involved both non-structural and structural measures. The main argument behind this shift was that if people were well prepared for frequent disasters they would minimize their impacts, resulting in a reduced need for relief and rehabilitation.
Appropriate cyclone preparedness training and enhancement of awareness by campaigns and public education have been major tools for building a well-prepared and cyclone-resilient community. It was also strongly felt by the public institutions that if disaster preparedness could be integrated in the socio-economic development process at household, community, regional and national levels, it would build the long-term capacity of the community to mitigate risk and vulnerability to disasters [17]. Our field investigation revealed that only 31% of the local community members have received cyclone preparedness training during non-cyclone periods. The aim of the shift also included changing disaster management approaches and measures from structural engineering interventions to the social dimensions and community partnerships.The stated significant change in emergency and disaster management approaches demanded institutional restructuring in the governance portfolios.
Such training was chiefly provided by the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that were locally active (30% of the local community members received training from them); national and local government initiatives in this regard were nominal (only 1% received training from them) (Figure 3). Consequently, the government of Bangladesh, led by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, has undertaken various steps in the form of policy, strategy and programs considering the concept of disaster management through mitigation, preparedness, recovery and rehabilitation. Among the structural engineering measures, the construction of cyclone shelters and raised mounds (locally known as killa) to provide refuge during the onset of cyclones were the principal ones.
The expansion of coastal embankments and reforestation programs to protect settlements and properties from cyclone gusts and storm surges along the coast and estuary channels were among other significant structural measures.
Currently, the DMB has focused on risk reduction through community mobilization, capacity-building and linking risk reduction with the socio-economic development of the poor and vulnerable groups and with developing the DMB’s partnership with other government agencies, NGOs and international organizations.Alongside the development thinkers, international development partners (such as UNDP, DFID, Oxfam GB, USAID, Care International, Caritas) and local NGOs which are concerned with, and are experienced in, disaster management in Bangladesh, the government has promoted the approach of capacity-building and disaster preparedness at all levels. The majority (59%) of the community members took refuge in the designated cyclone shelters or in the masonry buildings of neighbors, friends, and relatives during the onset of Cyclone Sidr.
A call for institutional partnerships therefore stemmed from both the government as well as non-governmental and civil society organizations. A few key policy planners and senior government officials have also favored this new thinking and reflected this through the renaming of the Ministry of Relief and Rehabilitation to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief. In 1993, the Ministry of Disaster Management then established the Disaster Management Bureau (DMB) and the government set up a national council and various committees at national, district, upazila (sub-district) and union (local council) levels, for overall disaster management preparedness [17].
Our field research calculated that there were 34 cyclone shelters for 631,138 people (according to the 2001 population census) in the Burguna Sadar upazila, under Burguna district, implying that each cyclone shelter would need to provide refuge to 18,563 people.
The implications of this institutional restructuring were manifold, and evolved through a sequence of placing increasing emphasis on institutional partnership and community-based disaster management (CBDM). In Kalapara upazila, under Patuakhali district, there were 113 cyclone shelters for 202,078 people, implying that each shelter would need to accommodate 1,788 people during the onset of a cyclone. Our exploration into why a considerable population did not use cyclone shelters during Cyclone Sidr provided a number of explanations. Institutional Restructuring to Reflect a Shift in Disaster ManagementIn order to manage the consequences of natural disasters, formal public policymaking institutions in Bangladesh have formulated a well-developed mechanism (Figure 1) at national and field levels. All cyclone shelters were being used as civic facilities (such as primary schools or community centers) during the non-cyclonic periods but lacked adequate drinking water supply infrastructure and toilets.
A total of 87% of the cyclone shelter users identified low sanitation and inadequate drinking water facilities as major constraints to using these shelters. The common missions of these bodies have been to provide policy and management guidance and the macro-coordination of activities, particularly relief and rehabilitation.Presently, the lead actor in disaster management is the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR) until 2002. They also opined that low physical capacity (79%) and difficulty in maintaining privacy (47%) were other major problems in using the shelters (Table 2). It has the role of inter-ministerial planning of disaster management and coordination and of responding in the event of a disaster.
The poor dispersion of cyclone shelters and the lack of road access were other major concerns about the cyclone shelters. Under the MoDMR, there are two line agencies, the Disaster Management Bureau (DMB) and the Directorate of Relief and Rehabilitation (DRR). The degree of satisfaction about the cyclone shelters was very low among the local community members (only 6% were satisfied). The DMB is a small professional unit at the national level that performs specialist functions, working with district and upazila (sub-district) administrations and line ministries under the overall guidance of the IMDMCC. The examination of the use pattern of cyclone shelters at the local level revealed that although cyclone shelters saved many lives during Cyclone Sidr, many local people opted not to use them or they were simply unavailable in some localities. It is a catalyst for planning, for arranging public education, and for organizing the systematic training of government officers and other personnel from the national down to the union (local council) or community level.
Clearly, these cyclone preparedness and mitigation measures are testimony of institutional partnerships at various levels of governance and public services. Among all the other ministries, the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) plays a vital role in flood management. It is involved in the planning of water resources, including planning for water-related natural disasters such as cyclone protection, flood proofing, riverbank erosion control and drought management, although the mitigation of disasters remains beyond their mandate.
The Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (FFWC), under the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) of the MoWR, plays an important role in providing early warning about impending floods to the agencies involved.In the areas of both cyclone and flood hazards, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BRCS) and various donor agencies play important roles. The Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP) was established in 1972 following the devastating cyclone of 1970, under an agreement between the BRCS and the government of Bangladesh, with an aim to undertake effective cyclone preparedness measures in the coastal areas. Thus, as opposed to the structural measures against floods (like dams, river embankments, and flood control and drainage projects) and riverbank erosion control projects (like the building of hard points, canalization and revetment), the recent policies and plans have recognized the importance of participatory planning that focuses on sustaining people’s livelihoods.At the field level (Figure 1), disaster management and related mechanisms start with the district administrations covering all 64 districts of Bangladesh.
The District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) is chaired by the deputy commissioner, the chief civil administrator of the district. The members of the committee include departmental officers and NGO, BRCS and CPP and women’s representatives.
Likewise, below the district level, there are the upazila, union and village tiers of the disaster management committees. These local-level committees include representatives from almost all relevant interest groups in society (Figure 1).
Increasing roles and responsibilities of NGOsThe Disaster Management Bureau (DMB) has been assigned the role of coordinating the activities of NGOs. NGOs and CBOs are actively involved, among others, in disaster management, micro-credits, family planning, and human rights protection.
As a matter of fact, the advent of NGO activities in Bangladesh owes its origin to the rehabilitation works immediately after the devastating war of independence in 1971. Currently, about a quarter of foreign assistance to Bangladesh is channeled through the NGOs. Therefore, their contributions, particularly to the social service sector and the mobilization of the poor, are quite prominent. NGOs like the Grameen Bank and Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) have extended their development and disaster management programs at the international level as well.NGOs such as CARE-Bangladesh, OXFAM-Bangladesh, Action Aid, Intermediate Technology Development Group-Bangladesh, Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Center (BDPC) and Disaster Forum are particularly involved in various pre-, during and post-disaster activities.
Pre-disaster activities include advocacy, public education campaigns and training programs for personnel involved in disaster management from the national down to the union or local community level. It aimed “to reduce the level of community vulnerability to natural and human-induced hazards and risks to manageable and humanitarian levels.” This program was supposed to be implemented through a “program-based approach” that encompassed all aspects of risk management. The approach comprehended a transition from a single agency response and relief system to a holistic strategy involving the entire development planning process of the government. CDMP Phase II was launched in 2010 to institutionalize the adoption of risk reduction approaches, and to channel support through government and velopment partners, civil society and NGOs into a people-oriented disaster management and risk reduction partnership.

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