It is extremely difficult to describe ‘Disaster Management’ in short. The best gist can be organization, planning and application of measures preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters.

However, this is an area of perpetually shifting goal posts and hence, Disaster Management as in India is vastly different from Disaster Management as in America. In fact, disaster management in my locality may be vastly different from disaster management in yours.

Disasters themselves are of two main types-natural disasters and man-made disasters. Sometimes, the lines between these two are blurred.

In recent times, the Joshimath situation is raising national and international concerns. It is a situation where the location is on a seismic faultline - that is the natural part, but constructing cheek to jowl houses over there, is a man-made invitation to disaster that has gone on for a long time. Today, things have come to a climax stage where saving lives and limbs have become a national problem of gargantuan proportions.

The focus should be on training and teaching people, from professionals to common folk about risk prevention and management in the concerned area/locality of activity. Disaster Management does not concern only the government or only disaster managers or you or me. It concerns all of us. A step you take today needs to take into account how it will help or harm in the near or far future. The long and the short term are both equally important in the scheme of things. If the first squatter in an illegal hut or jhuggi was evicted then and there, the massive illegal slum that is a major health risk, fire risk, crime risk and accident risk today, would not have come up in the first place.

Think about it, because if you are not part of the solution; you are a part of the problem.


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