No country is immune to disasters. They can come with little warning and devastate lives, property, and livestock. When we see such events on the news, we show empathy for those affected, and maybe even contribute to Disaster relief fund donation. Once we do this, we tend to forget about this occurrence, we think our empathy and donations would magically solve the challenge.
What we don’t understand is the immense hardship and suffering the disaster-affected people face. When their homes, houses, livestock, and communities are destroyed, they have to arrange for alternative accommodation until their homes are constructed again. As their livelihoods disappear, they are dependent on aid for months and even years until things get back to normal.
Though we cannot stop a natural disaster from happening, we can lessen the impact it has on our homes, farms, communities, and public infrastructure. Here are some reasons why disaster management is crucial for all countries.
More people are vulnerable today
With increased populations and urbanization, more people are vulnerable to natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, cyclones, and extreme weather events. In fact, a study has estimated that more than 1 billion people live within 100 kilometers of the sea shore. Every year, more than 10 million people are affected by flooding. With global warming affecting weather cycles worldwide, there is the possibility of a greater number of people being affected by natural disasters.
Infrastructure improvement needed
Across the world, developing countries have faced a lot of problems with their infrastructure. Many times, they aren’t able to develop their critical infrastructures like roads, railways, community centers, hospitals, schools, and much more. When disaster strikes, these countries are the first to bear the brunt. This was seen in the Haiti earthquake in 2010, Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, and Cyclone Nargis in Burma and Sri Lanka. In these disasters, entire towns and villages were wiped out and casualties rose due to no timely medical help.
Better disaster preparedness is needed
Many poor and developing countries do not have the infrastructure or trained professionals to cater to disaster management. When a disaster strikes, there are very few people who know how to deal with it. For instance, if there is a flood, people do not know how to react to it and where to go if they need help. These countries have to depend on good Samaritans to help poor in need. Many such developing countries do not have the resources to train people or have the equipment needed to deal with disasters. The main impediment here is, again poor infrastructure.
Many people take disaster management casually until they are faced with the disaster themselves. Though things are improving and local governments are doing all they can to prepare for unexpected disasters, there will always be the need for outside support. The Catholic Connect Foundation has and will always help however it can to make sure disaster-affected persons get all the aid they need to restart their lives from scratch.