Phases of a Disaster Management

Pre-disaster planning

Pre-disaster planning is the term used to describe the comprehensive range of efforts made to reduce the destruction and disruption by a disaster before it occurs.

This Pre-disaster planning comprises of three types of activities

a.Disaster Prevention

It focuses on the hazard that causes the disaster and tries to eliminate or drastically reduce its direct effects. The best example of disaster prevention is the construction of dams to prevent flooding. Generally, prevention is expensive and the results are often far less than hoped for.

b.Disaster Mitigation

This focuses on measures that can be taken to minimise the destructive and disruptive effects of a hazard and thus lessen the magnitude of a disaster. Mitigation, by far, offers the best and most cost-effective option for dealing with disasters. With good planning, most mitigation measures can be integrated with normal development activities at a minimal cost;

E.g. strengthening buildings to make them earthquake resistant, planting of crops that are less affected by disasters and development of diversified economies so that losses in one sector can be absorbed by other sectors.ctors.

Steps in Mitigation

To reduce the harmful effects of natural disasters, actions are required on three fronts, viz.

  • Reducing vulnerability of the physical settlements and houses.
  • Reducing vulnerability of the economy.
  • Strengthening of the social structure of a community, so that coping mechanisms can help absorb the shock of a disaster and promote rapid recovery.

c. Disaster Preparedness

In preparedness planning, the following points are considered

  • Risk areas are determined and mapped.
  • Vulnerable settlements are identified.
  • The responses that would be possible in the event of a disaster are examined.
  • The resources required for responding to a disaster are estimated and the deficiencies listed.
  • The development of an implementing instrument is made. This is usually in the form of a disaster preparedness plan, which is a formal document that sets out the sequence of activities and the responsibilities of each participant. Normally, activities are divided into parts, so that resources can be marshalled at each critical place and stage.
  • Development of tools necessary to respond and implement the plan. These include the establishment of communications networks, transport capabilities, action plans, procedures, and checklist for specific areas, the establishment of evacuation routes, etc.
  • Strategic placement of resources to be used in the response.

The final step in preparedness is training followed by a drill drill. A preparedness plan and the tools of preparedness are of little value unless people know how to use them effectively. Performance is enhanced first by training and then by regular drills, which are designed to make each activity routine and thereby help reduce the response time.


Disaster Management Plan

The need for counter-disaster plans has been well-illustrated internationally. Nations, where plans did not exist, suffered more seriously than they would otherwise have, had there been a plan. The purpose of planning is to anticipate future situations and requirements, thus ensuring the application of effective and coordinated counter measures. Moreover, there should be a flexibility of approach while planning for disasters. Most countries nowadays gear national development to a series of time bound plans, e.g. five year plans. The obvious merit of this kind of system is that it provides considerable flexibility for adjustment to unscheduled or unexpected events.


The Format of Plans

There is no rigid or standard format of disaster management plans. In fact, the reverse applies, in that the format needs to fi t the circumstances in which the plan is being made and the requirements which it is designed to meet. However, certain common features tend to apply to most plans. These include:

Clarity of aim

The aim needs to be carefully and accurately selected, because it determines the entire thrust and scope of the plan.


The plan must be realistic, in the sense that it relates to an accurate assessment of the disaster threat and that it takes into account the scale and capability of counter-disaster resources that are available.

Level of the Plan

The plan must be accurately related to the level with which it is concerned, i.e. whether it is at the community level, state level or national level.


This is required because disaster circumstances do not follow set patterns. Planned decentralisation, where appropriate, is a useful adjunct towards achieving flexibility.


This is a key factor in counter-disaster activities. All arrangements covered by the plan should be made, keeping in mind the co-ordination factor.

Definition of Responsibility

Clear and unambiguous definition of responsibilities at the planning stage is of critical importance. This reduces the possibility of misunderstandings and duplications when it comes to execution of the plan.

Ease of Execution

The plan should be formulated in a manner that facilitates ease in execution. References within the plan should be clear and readily identifiable.




Internal External

  • Headquarters
  • Govt. offices
  • Rescuers
  • NGOs
  • NGOs citizens


Information Co-ordination

Collection of Dissemination of Information Information Analysis Means

  • Newspapers
  • Radio Arranging the
  • TV required information
  • Telephone / Mobile phones(Charts)
  • Megaphone / Siren
  • Information Placards
  • Internet Constant Update
  • Ham Radio
  • Walkie-talkie
  • Public Address System at Bus stops, Railway stations

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