A sudden occurrence causing considerable loss of life, damage, property that is either man made or natural is a disaster, for example, fires, floods, earthquakes, oil spills, and nuclear explosions. Management is concerned with dealing and controlling with all forms of disaster. Natural disasters are quite unpredictable unlike human ones, which occur after a certain risk. Disasters are bound to happen from time to time, either expected or not, but being aware and prepared is the best form of preventing great damage or losses.
Crisis management involves taking into account the history of various disasters that have taken place in the past, during the period and after they have happened. Four major steps necessary in tackling the management of disasters are namely; prevention of the disaster, assessment of the already occurred catastrophes, handling of the crisis and finally termination of the same (Fearn-Banks 2008, 5). Various aspects are put in place, such as ways to respond to perceptions and reality of the crises, necessary response mechanisms and communication in all scenarios by those in management and their subordinates. For organizations, a plan is of uttermost importance as the worst case scenarios are thought through and numerous solutions sought.
Emergencies are best tackled by an organization through exercises, drills and analysis to always prepare and make everyone alert. Establishment of monitoring systems and practices to detect early warning signs of any foreseeable crisis helps prevent them (Fagel 2013, 22). A crisis management team that is capable and proven should be tasked with the duties at all levels to ensure the impact of any impending crisis or disaster is scaled down to manageable levels. Developing countries are prone to adverse effects of disasters or crises due to lack of finances, knowledge, and poor planning and preparedness.
During the prevention phase, environmental planning, design standards and good evacuation plans can help mitigate injury and loss of life (Bradley 2011, 14). Assessment requires careful consideration by all the stakeholders to take into account the affected and potential of the disaster and crises. Once a crisis occurs, potential problems are established, diagnostics and comparisons are made, and decision-making is done from alternative course of action. Implementation of the various courses of action agreed upon is then undertaken and is closely followed by recovery by the organization or population affected by the respective disaster.
Learning through improving or changing of existing practices is inevitable. Natural disasters are affected by factors such as unstable landforms, climate, deforestation, unplanned growth, lack of budgetary funding or allocation towards prevention. Manmade disasters or crises are brought about where unnatural hazards and dangers have turned out a reality (Jha 2010, 536). Examples of various organizations that deal with natural disasters or crises are; The International Emergency Management Society, United Nations, International Recovery Platform, Red Cross/ Red Crescent, World Bank, International Association of Emergency Managers.
Disasters and or crises are bound to happen at any given time. No one can accurately determine them, as some are natural and occur spontaneously. All that matters is the level of preparedness by both the government or an organization and the entire population. Communication within all parties involved and funding towards prevention, assessment, handling and termination of the disaster are most important in management.
Bradley, Arthur T. 2011. Disaster preparedness handbook: a guide for families. New York: Skyhorse Pub.
Fagel, Michael J. 2013. Crisis management and emergency planning: preparing for today’s challenges. http://lib.myilibrary.com?id=549268.
Fearn-Banks, Kathleen. 2008. Crisis communications a casebook approach. Princeton, N.J.: Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic.
Jha, Madan Kumar. 2010. Natural and anthropogenic disasters: vulnerability, preparedness and mitigation. Dordrecht: Springer.