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Disaster Operations

Updated on October 8, 2015


We are all conversant with the word "disaster". Daily on the streets, towns and nations there is a general fear relating majorly to disaster of all kinds. Lack of operational plan for application at the responsible administrative level(local, provincial and national) often results in public authorities being faced with numerous problems when trying to deal with the aspects of disasters.

In view of this fact and having in mind the United Nations General Assembly resolutions:

No 2034: Inviting the Governments to set up appropriate national planning and operation machinery most suited for their own conditions and designed to determine the degree and character of the relief required and to give unified direction to relief operations.

No 2435: Reiterating the importance of adequate pre-disaster planning and inviting Governments to make national preparations to meet natural disasters and organizations concerned to encourage preventive and protective measures.

Disaster is a situation in which material destruction and damage threatens human life and health over a determined area and the personal and means available to the protection, rescue and relief organizations in the area affected are no longer adequate to deal with the disaster with the assurance of the existing agency and using current procedures.

There is a marked disproportion between the need to save the largest possible number of human lives and largest amount of property on one hand, and the practical possibilities and available means on the other. It is necessary for public authorities to employ personnels and means required to eliminate e effect of the disaster by forms of action, which differ in their form and rate of application from normal activities.


The type of relief and degree or urgency depend on the type and category of disaster. There are various criteria for the classification of disaster which can be grouped according to the cause (fire, water, earth quake, storm, volcanic eruption, radioactivity and toxic materials, contagious disease, explosion etc.). According to the size of area affected (extent of the zone affected or directly threatened)

Disaster can also be classified according to whether they are caused by natural forces or by voluntary or involuntary human actions.

Therefore a disaster is:

1. A natural disaster( earthquake, volcanic eruption, flood, avalanche,landslide, hurricane, tidal wave etc.)

2. A technical disaster(fire, explosion, traffic accident, collapse of a dam, mime accident, industrial or nuclear plant accident, mass poisoning, etc)

3. Epidemics and pandemic of contagious diseases, epizootic diseases.

4. Armed conflicts: War with the use of conventional weapons, war involving mass extermination weapons nuclear, chemical or biological and other conflicts.


Certain disasters affect property more than humans. Others are of local nature, whereas some involve more extensive territory. Although the organization of protection, rescue and relief has to deal with many unknown factors, it is possible to draw up classification of the problems which arise whenever a disaster occurs.

1. Protection and rescue of human life and health locating and removing of buried victims, transport of injured and sick and the provision of medical aid, preventive medical measures, solution of medico-social, medico-mental and psychiatric problems.

2. Protection and rescue of property, repair of dwellings and other buildings destroyed or damaged, repair the installations of the public services and other material action (town planning, building, of defense structures, extinguishing of fires and rescue in flooded area).

3. Protection and rescue of threatened domestic animals (ventenary assistance, elimination of sources or epizootic diseases, and prevention of their development etc.)

4. Restoration of disruption communication systems.

5. Setting up of reception, accommodation and supply services for homeless person or persons evacuated from threatened areas; especially certain categories of the population, such as pregnant women, nursing mothers or mother with young children, sick exhausted or old persons etc.

6. Reception and distribution of relief.

7. Clearing of the area affected(identification and burial of the dead persons, burial of dead animals, disposal of dangerous materials, decontamination etc.)

Have you experienced any disaster of recent?

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