Disaster Management in Bangladesh

Disaster means a serious disturbance to a community caused by the impact of an event (natural, social etc). Disasters are usually associated with severe damage to infrastructure and utilities, death, injuries and homelessness. Disasters can be both man-made and natural. As our country is situated in a danger-prone area, most of the disasters here are caused by natural causes.

Importance of Disaster management:
Major disasters that occur in Bangladesh are: Tropical cyclone, Tidal bore, Flood, Tornado, River bank erosion, Earthquake etc. Tropical cyclones cause enormous numbers of damages. The cyclone disasters in 1970 and 1991 are among the worst natural disasters of the country. In 1998, Bangladesh experienced another flood in which almost two-third area of the country was under water causing widespread damage to the economy of the country ever before. For these reasons, a proper disaster management framework is absolutely necessary in our country.

Types of disaster management:
The management of both risks and consequences of disaster is disaster management. It includes prevention and mitigation, preparedness, emergency response and post-disaster recovery (i.e. rehabilitation and reconstruction). Disasters costing lives and millions to the national economy can be alleviated with awareness and preventive measures. These include hazard and risk analysis, land-use zoning, building codes, disaster preparedness training etc.

Self-reliance of the community is the keynote for preparedness, response and recovery.  The steps already taken are: making the rural people aware of what to do in case of disasters, making storm shelters etc. Some schools in the rural areas of our country can act as a storm shelter.

In case of any disasters, communication is the key to minimize losses. There should be a forecasting system to notify people in case of any upcoming danger. Immediately after a disaster, communication has to be restored. Otherwise evacuation or relief work will be hampered. Publishing pamphlets will help people know about these issues. Gathering volunteers and NGOs working for people welfare will also strengthen the workforce.

Bangladesh is a disaster prone country and our government is well aware of it. We need to have a proper framework for disaster management. We need to emphasis on is mitigating the risk and losses. If we are well prepared for any upcoming disaster, the amount of damage can be dramatically reduced. 

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