Disasters strike regularly and wreak havoc on vulnerable communities. Disasters can inflict severe interruptions in a community’s or society’s functioning. It leads to human, financial, social, and environmental losses and damages. Disasters can be natural or artificial catastrophes. The community’s or society’s capacity to prevent or cope with the disaster with available resources is often minimal. Disasters are the result of a confluence of risks and vulnerabilities.
Hazards that strike in low-vulnerability locations will not turn into disasters. The developed countries pay keen attention to vulnerability analysis in disaster management. It allows them to identify the potential risks and hazards. Vulnerability analysis equips the developed countries to identify the potential hazards. It helps them develop strategies to mitigate the effects of a possible disaster. So, it is essential to know what vulnerability analysis is in disaster management.
What Are The 4 Main Types Of Vulnerability In Disaster?
Following are the four main types of vulnerability in disaster:
1. Physical Vulnerability
Physical vulnerability pertains to the geographic closeness to the source or origin of disaster. For example, those regions near the sea are vulnerable to tsunamis. Similarly, regions situated on fault lines are susceptible to earthquakes. These regions are more vulnerable to disasters. Disasters can cause a lot of damage to infrastructure and communication. It can create difficulties in gaining access to water resources. Disasters can also disrupt communication lines. People who live in such physical locations are vulnerable to disasters. They face extreme difficulties if any disaster occurs. It bars them from accessing hospitals, grocery stores and main highways. Hence they don’t leave anything but get assignment help services.
2. Economic Vulnerability
Economic vulnerability means disruptions caused in the economy by a disaster. Disasters impede the economic activities of a region and affect businesses negatively. People with meagre resources are more vulnerable to disasters. It is because they don’t have enough means to cope with it. Economic vulnerability also encompasses loss of workforce due to injuries and death toll. It can lead to short-term and long-term economic losses. As a consequence, it requires capital intensive measures to rebuild the community.
3. Social Vulnerability
The social vulnerability pertains to the social impediments in mitigating the impacts of a disaster. Underdeveloped countries are more vulnerable to disasters because they have rigid social structures. They lack the organization and leadership to withstand a disaster. It is because of the social factors embedded in the community. These social factors are discriminatory and unequal. These societies lack the social capital to cope with the losses incurred by a disaster. People lack the decision-making abilities and cannot take appropriate measures to prevent losses. In some societies, a disaster becomes an opportunity for demagogues. They exploit people due to the vulnerability caused by the disaster.
4. Environmental Vulnerability
Environmental vulnerability means the negative impact of a disaster on the environment. Regions vulnerable to disasters face the disruption of ecological zones, sedimentation and pollution. Disasters can destroy flora and fauna of the region. It can potentially wreak havoc on the ecosystems and biodiversity in the region.
5. What is disaster vulnerability analysis?
A disaster vulnerability analysis is a method for identifying all potential dangers that could harm a certain community. It pertains to evaluating the risks associated with each hazard. Analysts consider the likelihood of a hazardous event and the repercussions for the population. After the analysis, the analysts use the information to create a prioritized list of potential vulnerabilities. They assess the possible impact of a disaster on a certain population. Disaster vulnerability analysis evaluates the potential impact of a natural or artificial disaster. It requires assessing the harmful impact on the infrastructure, economic activities, human and animal population and as well as on the environment. Analysts prioritize and rank the disasters as per their potential to inflict damage. They classify disasters into natural and artificial hazards.
What is vulnerability assessment in disaster management?
Vulnerability assessment in disaster management pertains to identifying the potential threats from the disasters. It includes assessing the possible impact on the infrastructure and population. Vulnerability assessment comprises the following steps:
- Classification of available assets and resources (material and immaterial) in a particular community or a society
- Classification of the important resources and ranking them according to their value
- Vulnerability assessment of resources in the event of a potential disaster
- Developing strategies and coping mechanisms to prevent and minimize the harmful impact of a disaster on resources
Analysts conduct vulnerability assessments at the community or national level. Hospitals occupy a central role in assessing the risks associated with the impact of a disaster. In the event of a disaster, hospitals are at the forefront to respond to human fatalities and injuries. Disaster Management literature emphasizes the role of hospitals as community organizations. The reason behind that is the primary importance of hospitals in disaster management. They are at the forefront of treating injured people, providing healthcare, and preventing the outbreak of epidemics due to the damage caused to sanitation during a disaster.
Vulnerability analysis differs across countries based on their external geographical and environmental conditions. Analysts do some brainstorming to identify the potential threats a particular region faces. They classify the disasters in the following manner:
- Natural Disasters that occurred due to climate change and increased population rates. Natural disasters also encompass earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes, droughts, and epidemics.
- Unnatural disasters include terrorist attacks and technological hazards. One such example is the nuclear disaster that occurred in Chernobyl.
Vulnerability assessment determines the probability of a potential disaster, its magnitude and strength. Analysts evaluate the impact of a disaster in the following manner:
Impact on the Population
Analysts conduct a vulnerability assessment of a potential disaster and its impact on the human population. They try to ascertain the death toll and injuries if a disaster strikes.
Impact on the Infrastructure
Analysts determine the impact of a potential disaster on the infrastructure of a particular region or community. They make assessments of the damages that can occur in the event of a disaster. It includes assessing the damage to buildings, highways, equipment, supplies, and transportation. Analysts also try to determine the costs necessary for rebuilding measures. It helps them allocate the appropriate resources to mitigate or minimize the impact of a disaster.
Countries with robust disaster management authorities’ systematically conduct vulnerability analyses of a disaster. These countries have an advantage in mitigating the harmful impact of a potential disaster—countries where disaster management bodies are weak and susceptible to the harmful consequences.