A disaster is a natural or man-made hazard resulting in an event of substantial extent causing significant physical damage or destruction, loss of life, or drastic change to the environment. A disaster can be often defined as any tragic event stemming from events such as earthquakesfloods, catastrophic accidents and fires. It is a phenomenon that can cause damage to life and property that destroy the economic, social and cultural life of people.

 

Disaster Management Department of Bangladesh:

The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) would be a vibrant department of excellence for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) mainstreaming into Disaster Management Programme; vulnerability reduction of people, specially the poor and disadvantaged from different impacts of disasters; knowledge, research and capacity building on the whole cycle of disaster management in the light of Disaster Management.

http://www.ddm.gov.bd/

 

What is Natural Disaster?  

A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the earth; examples include floodsvolcanic eruptionsearthquakestsunamis, and other geologic processes. A natural disaster can cause loss of life or property damage, and typically leaves some economic damage in its wake, the severity of which depends on the affected population's ability to recover. An adverse event will not increase to the level of a catastrophe if it occurs in an area without vulnerable population (150.5 millions, BBS) of Bangladesh. In a vulnerable area, however, an earthquake can have disastrous consequences and leave long lasting damage, requiring years to repair.

 

Types of Disaster

The nature of disaster has two faces: (i) the Natural Disasters and (ii) Man-made Disasters. The affect of both the natural and man-made disasters is ill-omened.

 

Examples of Disaster

Natural Disaster: Rural disasters include agricultural diseases & pests, drought and water shortage, earthquakes, extreme heat, floods, hail and tropical storms, thunderstorms, lightning, tsunamis, wildfire, civil fire, and severe winter etc.

 

For pre-cautions of flood and post flood preparations:

http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/climatechange/bangladesh-preparing-flood-disaster

Emergency contacts for medical help and relief during flood:

http://medicineclub-bd.org/emergency-relief-for-flood-affected-people/

What should we have to do during and after an earthquake:

http://www.geo.mtu.edu/UPSeis/bda.html

Contacts of Fire Service and Civil Defence stations and their contacts:

http://www.dronibd.com/emergency/fire_service.htm

 

Urban Disaster: The Urban disasters are deforestation, landslides, ozone hole, global warming etc. These cause upset monsoons and wind whirls. Excessive use of chemical fertilizer makes the fertile lands into infertile. Contamination of river water by industrial wastages, dropping radio active waste in sea, unsafe treatment of nuclear reactors, excessive dependability on natural resources, air pollution due to black smoke of vehicles and CFC gas are the real phenomenon of disasters.

 

Earthquake, Tsunami, Tornado, Hurricane, Heavy Rainfall

An earthquake also known as a quake, tremor or tremble is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves.

A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake.

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as cyclones although the word cyclone is used in meteorology, in a wider sense, to name any closed low pressure circulation.

Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by names such as hurricane.

Bangladesh is very much prone to heavy rainfall. Therefore, awareness is necessary for self protection of the people. This rainfall destroys agricultural production and creates suffering of the rural community.

Earthquake, Tsunami, Tornado pre-cautions:

http://www.cdmp.org.bd/Upload/Earthquake_Preparedness.pdf

http://www.nthmp.tsunami.gov/taw/downloads/tsunami-factsheet.pdf

http://www.env.go.jp/en/earth/ap-net/.../15th/bangladesh_rws1_050913.pdf

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/

http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2012/07/17171059/rainfall-variability-occupational-choice-welfare-rural-bangladesh

 

Measures for Disaster Mitigation

Construction of cyclone shelters, embankments, dykes etc. are no doubt necessary for disaster mitigation but such structural measures cannot be taken by themselves. As a result, their produces can not be driven desired results unless the community as a whole of a disaster-prone area which is fully conscious about disaster risks and the way for disaster preparedness and mitigation. Training and public awareness building are the major components of non-structural disaster prevention and mitigation programs. The objective of Public Awareness Program is to promote an informed, alert and self-reliant community, capable of playing its full part in support of, and in co-operation with government in all relevant Disaster Management matters. Media can play a vital role for awareness and disaster mitigation for the welfare of the rural community.

 

Awareness and motivational initiatives for disaster affected rural community:

    1. Introducing people with different disasters and make them understand how they are getting back to the contribution of national growth

    2. Making them aware of pre-cautions of several storms and swirling winds through radio and mobile messages

    3. Evacuating them from the big river banks which are under erosion

    4. Inspiring them for taking shelters to the cyclone centers before any catastrophe near the coastal part of Bangladesh

    5. Giving free radios to the fishing trawlers and fishing boats or small ships for cautionary steps

    6. Agricultural insurance may be introduced to the farmers for their crop loss due to climate hazards if happened.

    7. They may be given house loans with very low interest rate for rebuilding their houses if they become victims.

    8. For restarting their production after attack, good seeds may be given with low price

    9. If their fishing trawlers are damaged after sea storm, interest-free loan may be given to them.

    10. If they lose their relatives while fishing, they may be given financial support for marrying their female adults off.

    11. The people of coastal belts are brave enough to fight against natural calamities but post financial and mental supports are needed to motivate for reproducing agricultural items.

 

The list of NGOs working for poverty alleviation and disaster mitigation in Bangladesh:

http://www.ngoab.gov.bd/Files/NGO_LIST.pdf

 

Bangladesh is a tropical country in the South Asian region which has a huge population to bear with. The natural disasters hit directly on the rural community in our country. It is painful that the climate is grim on them. The disaster mitigation in Bangladesh is highly appropriate now. To mitigate disasters in Bangladesh, private and government partnership work is needed. The Government alone can not do this huge task. Besides, we have to train up our local public representatives (like upazilla and union chairmen, members/ward commissioners, councilors, local elites, teachers and students). Through awareness, the rural community may find a way out of this risk. The loss of disasters may be lessened by the pre-cautions and preventive measures. The donor agencies of home and abroad can also help in covering this huge population for mitigating the environmental and man made disasters.