18 Apr 2022


Natural Disaster Management

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Coursework

Words: 771

Pages: 2

Downloads: 0

Difference between a hazard and a disaster

Hazards and disasters are phenomena that occur to communities at one point or another. A Hazard is a condition that poses danger to environment, life, property or health. Despite the current advanced level of technology, hazards still cause extreme damage whenever they happen. Most disasters are natural and when they occur, humans have little to do about preventing them. Hazards can either be physical, chemical, biological, radiation, or psychological. Examples of hazards include wildfires, floods, droughts, and tsunamis among others. 

A disaster is an occurrence that interrupts a community’s normal way of life, hence directly causes environmental, economical, and human losses. When hazards occur in populated areas, they result in heavy loses such as burning down of towns or sweeping away of houses by hurricanes and tsunamis. High scale earthquakes also bring down big towns causing heavy loss of property and lives. 

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Vulnerability is the lack of sufficient capacity for a community to cope with or recover from the effects of a disaster. People who are vulnerable to disasters are often weak economically of technologically. Developing countries and poor people are for instance vulnerable to disasters since they do not have enough finances to develop strategies and means to minimize the impacts of disasters. Vulnerable communities find it difficult to go back to their initial state of life once a disaster strikes. Other vulnerable people during a disaster include children, elderly, pregnant women, and the sick. 

How a society may contribute to the development of a disaster

Disasters can either be natural or man-made. Some natural disasters can occur as a result of human interference. In developing countries for instance, people carry out massive forest destruction as they expand their farm lands or harvest trees to make timber. If the forests are not replaced, such areas become bare and chances of floods increases when there is heavy rainfall. The loose soil and lack of soil cover increases run off hence landslides and flashfloods are experienced. These disasters cause massive destruction to property and even lives if they occur in inhabited areas. 

Risk in relation to hazard

The concept of risk relates to the consequences that the occurrence of a hazard cause as a result of people’s vulnerability. The extent of a risk is dependent on the nature of the hazard, the level of people’s exposure and their vulnerability level. Some hazards may cause intensive risks that are characterized by events that have high impacts while others cause extensive risks associated with events that cause low impacts.

Risk communication 

Risk communication can be difficult in a large and diverse population because individuals in the population have different levels of vulnerability hence difficult to separate those who are highly vulnerable from the entire population. Accurate risk assessment is also hindered since the predictors of the risk vary greatly within a diverse population. A small and homogeneous population on the other hand can be easily handled in terms of risk communication because the risk indicators are uniform hence information cuts across all the individuals.

Accepted risk and acceptable risk

Acceptable risk is the amount of possible losses that a community finds tolerable given the prevailing political, technical, social, economic and environmental conditions while accepted risk is a risk that requires reasonable cost to manage its impacts compared to the cost of avoiding it. Acceptable risks however, do not have a uniform standard as it depends on a community’s beliefs or capacity.

Why insurance is not always an easy solution to managing hazard risk

Hazards by nature affect a large number of people at a given time. Insurance companies go for risks that do not involve massive claims at the same time since they largely make profits from unclaimed insurances. It is, therefore, difficult to have insurance in matters relating to hazard risk because profit margins are almost zero.

Why disaster relief is sometimes considered a part of the problem rather than solution for disaster losses

Disaster relief is basically focused on providing assistance to communities affected by a disaster. In disaster rescue operations, more damage is made rather than reducing the impacts. In areas where an earthquake for instance destroys buildings and buries people, machines used in rescue operations may case more deaths. Another reason why relief operations can be considered a problem is when the cost of rescue is high to a point that it is insignificant in improving the lives of the people.

Difference between direct and indirect economic costs of disaster

Direct economic losses are loses that are as a result of the physical lose of property or cost incurred in treatment of affected individuals. Direct costs can be easily evaluated since cost of property of repair can be calculated. Indirect costs on the other hand are those costs that are incurred as a result of the disaster. Indirect costs are difficult to measure since the connection with the disaster is indirect. Direct cost of a hurricane for instance is the cost of repairing a power line it destroys while indirect loss is the amount of losses that a business incurs due to power loss caused by the hurricane.

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Natural Disaster Management.


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