September 14, 2013

Some Important Terms for preparing questions of Disaster Management

Disaster Management: the  range   of activities  designed to  mitigate  the  effects  of disasters and  emergency situations and  to  provide  a  framework for  helping  people   at-risk  to  avoid  or recover   from  the  impact  of  the  disaster. Managing  disasters includes  steps to  be  taken   prior to,  during,  and  after  the  disaster, and  involve  preparedness,  mitigation, response and  recovery.

Disaster-proneness:  the   likelihood  of  a  place   being   affected  by  a  disaster

Natural Hazard: A  physical  event   or  phenomena which  may  cause   injury  or  loss  of  life, damage  to  property,  social  and   economic   disruption  or  environmental  degradation

Vulnerability: in simple  terms  is the  potential for loss  to  an  individual,  community  or  place because  of  a  disaster,  which  is  affected  by  geographical  as   well  as   social  conditions

Disaster Preparedness:
The  set  of activities  and  precautions that  a  community  collectively takes   before   a  disaster  occurs,   in  order   to  reduce  the   impact   of  a  disaster,  and   to  cope with  it  efficiently.

Community: People   who  live  together in  a  village  or  urban   area, who  can  be  identified as   a  local  group   with  a  common   way  of  life

First responders: The persons or group  of people  who are  immediately affected by a disaster, and  are  the  first  to  respond and  help  to  cope  with  it,  before  government or  relief  agencies
can   rush   to  the   area.

Faults: are   places   in  the   earth   where   the   rocks  are   broken   and   the   rocks  on  one   side have   moved   in  some   direction   relative   to  the   other.  Faults   are   planes,  not   lines

Normal rainfall: When  the   rainfall  for  the   monsoon season  of  June   to  September for  a place  is  within  +/-19% of  its  long  period  average, it  is  categorised as  normal.   When  the monsoon  rainfall  deficiency   exceeds 19%,  it  is  categorised  as  deficient   or  scanty.

Environmental  degradation:   in   simple    terms    is   the    reduction   or   deterioration    of environmental  resources  that   harms   us  in  many   ways.

Bio-diversity: is  the  term  for  the  variety  of  life and  the  natural processes of  which  living things   are  a  part.   This  includes   the  living  organisms  and  the  genetic   differences  between them  and  the  communities in  which  they  occur.  The  concept of  biodiversity   represents the ways that  life is organized and interacts on our planet. This balance or equilibrium  is challenged
by  environmental  degradation

Building Bye   Laws :  a   set   of  rules   and   regulations  that   prescribe  the   standards  for construction of,  spacing   between and  access to  buildings.  The  purpose of  these laws  is  to ensure that   all  constructions  in  the   country   conform   to  disaster  resistant  designs, as  well as  layout.

Mitigation : Actions  that   reduce   the   severity   of  damage  caused  by  disasters   to  people and   property  such   as  cyclone   resistant  houses  in  cyclone   prone   areas.

Disaster-resilient society: is one  that  can  endure the  effects  of a disaster, while minimising the   occurrence  where   possible,  and   the   destruction  that   can  be  caused  by  it.

Civil  Society:   a  term   used   to  describe  the  various   organisations  that   come  together to pursue the  interests of communities, development goals,  etc.,  including  disaster management in  recent  times.   It  includes   development  organisations  such  as  the   United  Nations   or  the Red   Cross,   Civil Defence,   NCC,  NSS,  Scouts   and   Guides,   hospitals,  ambulance  services, educational trusts,  etc.  as  well  as  the  public  and  private   sector   industries and  institutions.Civil Society   forms   an  important  part   of  disaster  preparedness  and   response.

Crust:   the solid surface of the earth
Tremor:   shaking of the ground
Epicentre:   the place on the surface of the earth directly above the hypocentre
Richter scale: a scale which classifies the magnitude (force) of an earthquake
Modified Mercalli scale: a scale which classifies the intensity (effects) of an earthquake
Hypocentre:   the place deep in the earth’s crust where an earthquake starts

Mantle:   the semi-liquid layer of rock below the earth’s crust
Fault :   a place where two or more blocks of the earth’s crust join

Troposphere: The layer of the Earth’s atmosphere that is closest to its surface, between 0-10 km. Most (90%) of the Earth’s atmosphere lies within the Troposphere.

Storm Surge: is simply water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of winds swirling around the cyclone. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create a cyclonic tidal wave, which can increase the mean water level by more than 15 feet. The slope of the continental shelf
also determines the level of surge. A shallow slope of the coast causes deeper inundation and flooding.
Flood hazard: the risk of damage to life, livelihoods or property from flooding

 Riverine flood:   a flood caused when a river overflows its banks
 Sediment: small particles of soil carried in a river which settle on the river bed, or on floodplains
Channel capacity: the maximum flow of water in a river
Arid regions: Regions that are dry and receive scanty rainfall, with very little vegetation.

Water-stress: Water stress occurs when the demand for water exceeds the available amount during a certain period or when poor quality restricts its use, and stress causes deterioration of fresh water resources
Degraded land: where crop yield is reduced due to various reasons such as pollution of top soil, soil-erosion, over exploitation, cropping patterns, etc.
VAW :  Village Agricultural Worker, responsible for disseminating information on crops, irrigation, pest-control, etc
Discharge: the volume of water that passes a given location within a given period of time.
Usually expressed in cubic feet per second.

Drip-irrigation: a common irrigation method where pipes or tubes filled with water slowly drip onto crops. Drip irrigation is a low-pressure method of irrigation and less water is lost to evaporation than high-pressure spray irrigation.

Run-off: Runoff is water flow in the topsoil layer. Runoff reaches water bodies after it falls as rain and is discharged from the area

Laterite: A kind of soil or rock that water can percolate through. The water carrying capacity of laterite is very low, and hence is unsuitable for cultivation of major crops.

Monoculture: The use of land for growing only one type of plant. The practice of monoculture on a landscape has an effect that is the opposite of biodiversity, and can sometimes be responsible for the spread of plant diseases
Aquifer: a geologic formation that is water bearing, that stores and/or transmits water, such as to wells and springs. These water-bearing formations are capable of yielding water in sufficient quantity to constitute a usable supply for people.


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