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What is an Emergency?

emergencyWe hear time and time again about ‘the government’ not being prepared for disasters. When will we come to the realization that the government cannot be prepared for everything? We’ve seen Chernobyl, 9/11, Katrina and now the BP oil disaster and yet I still hear, “Why isn’t the government fixing it?” The reality is that it is up to YOU and YOUR community to be prepared.

What constitutes an emergency?

An emergency is a situation that poses an immediate risk to health, property, environment and life.

Definition of disaster

A disaster is a perceived tragedy that can be natural or man-made. A hazard is a situation that poses a level of threat to life, property, health or can affect society or an environment. Disasters can be consequences of inappropriately managed risks or natural phenomenon that no manner of planning can stop. Hazards that occur in areas with low vulnerability are not considered disasters if the region is uninhabited. A disaster can be defined as a tragic event that brings on a great loss.

Types of natural disasters

  • Tornadoes
  • Hurricanes
  • Ice Storms

Types of man-made disasters

  • Oil spills
  • Terrorist attacks

Risk management is the identification, assessment and prioritization of risks.

Risk is the potential harm that may arise from a future event.

A hazard is a situation that poses a level of threat to the environment, health, property or life.

Classifications and disaster research

Disaster research center or DRC was the first social science research center in the world dedicated to the study of disasters. It began at Ohio State University and moved to the University of Delaware in 1985. The Center conducts field and survey research on group, organizational and community preparation for, response to, and recovery from natural and technological disasters and other community-wide events.

Studies in the field of Disaster Research are supported by many diverse sources, such as: