Hazard is a dangerous phenomenon, substance, human activity or condition that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage.
Vulnerability is the characteristics and circumstances of a community, system or asset that make it susceptible to the damaging effects of a hazard. There are many aspects of vulnerability, arising from various physical, social, economic, and environmental factors. Examples may include poor design and construction of buildings, inadequate protection of assets, lack of public information and awareness, limited official recognition of risks and preparedness measures, and disregard for wise environmental management. Vulnerability varies significantly within a community and over time. This definition identifies vulnerability as a characteristic of the element of interest (community, system or asset) which is independent of its exposure. However, in common use the word is often used more broadly to include the element’s exposur
Risk is the combination of the probability of an event and its negative consequences. The word “risk” has two distinctive connotations: in popular usage, the emphasis is usually placed on the concept of chance or possibility, such as in “the risk of an accident”; whereas in technical settings the emphasis is usually placed on the consequences, in terms of “potential losses” for some particular cause, place and period. It can be noted that people do not necessarily share the same perceptions of the significance and underlying causes of different risks.
Disaster risk is the potential disaster losses, in lives, health status, livelihoods, assets and services, which could occur to a particular community or a society over some specified future time period. The definition of disaster risk reflects the concept of disasters as the outcome of continuously present conditions of risk. Disaster risk comprises different types of potential losses which are often difficult to quantify. Nevertheless, with knowledge of the prevailing hazards and the patterns of population and socio-economic development, disaster risks can be assessed and mapped, in broad terms at least.
According to Section 2 (d) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 “disaster means a catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence in any area, arising from natural or man-made causes, or by accident or negligence which results in substantial loss of life or human suffering or damage to, and destruction of, property, or damage to, or degradation of, environment, and is of such a nature or magnitude as to be beyond the coping capacity of the community of the affected area.”
Disasters are often described as a result of the combination of: the exposure to a hazard; the conditions of vulnerability that are present; and insufficient capacity or measures to reduce or cope with the potential negative consequences. Disaster impacts may include loss of life, injury, disease and other negative effects on human physical, mental and social well-being, together with damage to property, destruction of assets, loss of services, social and economic disruption, and environmental degradation.
Section 2 (e) of the Disaster Management Act 2005, describes “disaster management” means a continuous and integrated process of planning, organizing, coordinating, and implementing measures which are necessary or expedient for:
Prevention of danger or threat of any disaster.
mitigation or reduction of risk of any disaster or its severity or consequences.
preparedness to deal with any disaster.
prompt response to any threatening disaster situation or disaster.
assessing the severity or magnitude of effects of any disaster.
evacuation, rescue and relief.
rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Adequate supplies of medications that you or family members are taking.
Crescent and pipe wrenches to turn off gas and water supplies.
First-aid kit and handbook.
Flashlights with extra bulbs and batteries.
Portable radio with extra batteries.
Water for each family member for at least 3 days (allow at least 1 gallon per person per day) and purification tablets or chlorine bleach to purify drinking water from other sources.
Canned and package foods, enough for several days and mechanical can opener. Extra food for pets, if necessary.
Camp stove or barbecue to cook on outdoors (store fuel out of the reach of children).
Waterproof, heavy-duty plastic bags for waste disposal.
Please dial toll-free 108 number for medical, fire, and police emergency. No local code is required to do so. You can also dial the district disaster control room i.e. toll-free 1077 number by adding the district code. Alternative 100 number for police and 101 for fire can be dialed.
The victims of disaster or their dependents as may be the case are provided relief as per the HP Emergency Relief Manual and guidelines issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate of the area is competent to sanction the cases prepared under the manual. He is also competent to provide immediate relief and rescue assistance. For details about the type and quantum of relief please read the MHA guidelines which are appended below.