A natural disaster is a catastrophic/adverse event that is caused by natural processes. Each year, natural disasters affect different parts of the world in various forms. Natural disasters often result in loss of lives and money.
Flood, earthquake, hurricane, volcanic eruption, landslides, tsunami, wildfire, tornado, blizzard, avalanche etc are examples of natural disasters. They occur due to natural processes.
Despite being so technologically advanced, humans have had trouble facing natural calamities. Hurricane Harvey proves this fact very well. Hurricane Harvey’s impact was so bad that people had to leave behind their homes and run for cover!
Humans can’t really control natural calamities. We can’t stop earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards or tsunamis from occurring. However, we can take preventive measures to minimize their impact on our lives.
We possess technology that predicts the possibility of a natural calamity to strike. For example, we have the technology to monitor weather conditions and predict the possibility of a hurricane. We have tsunami warning system that warns seashore areas about the arrival of a tsunami.
With the help of technology, we can minimize the impact of natural calamities on human lives. Calamity warning systems, coordinated rescue efforts and well trained disaster management teams can help save many lives during a natural calamity.
Such events test the grit, adaptability and spirit of people. For example, after the Nepal earthquake, help poured down from all parts of the world. Neighboring countries sent volunteers and army to help the victims by clearing the debris. Monetary help came from around the globe.
During Hurricane Harvey, people were seen helping each other out, sticking together. They shared food and shelter and showed the true spirit of USA!
During recent natural calamities, social media played a very positive role. Social media had been used extensively to help people, coordinate rescue events and raise money for the victims.
Natural calamities result in mounting death tolls. People also get displaced and missing during such an adverse event. Apart from that, natural calamities also cause huge economic losses.
For example – Hurricane Harvey has destroyed countless homes, public structures and factories. It stopped businesses from conducting their operations. Transportation was seriously affected and it resulted in business operations coming to a halt!
This has resulted in a loss of Billions of Dollars! So, natural calamities not only pose threat to human lives, they also have a negative impact on the economy.
The after effects of a natural calamity are not pleasant either. They leave behind destroyed property and many harmful substances. This makes it more difficult for people to rehabilitate after the calamity is over.
Take Hurricane Harvey for example. The hurricane brought with it sediment and mud. The thick mud, slime and sediment got deposited everywhere – open spaces, inside homes and literally everywhere.
On testing the mud sample in a lab, it was found that it consisted of high levels of dangerous metals, bacteria and other harmful substances. Due to the presence of mud and slime inside homes, people have been unable to move back to their homes!
Similarly, floods leave behind dirt and mud. After a flood, it is not uncommon to see an outbreak of communicable diseases in that particular area. Thickly populated areas are prone to such outbreaks.
How do we tackle natural calamities effectively? The answers is – through Disaster Management. Disaster management is the need of the hour.
Disaster management is not just about rescue operations. It involves town and infrastructure planning, disaster prevention, precautions and rescue operations.
We must be prepared for natural disasters. We must train ourselves to adapt to different situations. The Government should also take time and reevaluate things like town and infrastructure planning, disaster management resources and rehabilitation process of victims.