It is so cliché to hear that “prevention is better than cure”. But we must admit that in all aspect, when it comes to safety and security, this cliché thing definitely applies. That is why we need to know all the aspects of emergency preparation before the calamity strikes us.
Calamity is one of the major root causes of emergency situations that we need to deal with. So in terms of emergency preparation we must know the different factors from our environment that can affect our health and safety in general:
- Poor water quality or quantity
- Inadequate or no excreta disposal (here comes the issue on proper sanitation)
- Poor hygiene (personal, food, environment)
- Poor housing and overcrowding
- Inadequate solid waste disposal (sanitation)
- Poor drainage
- Presence of disease transmitting vectors (sanitation)
- Indoor air pollution (smoke)
- Outdoor air pollution
- Extreme weather conditions
So now, what are the risks? Why indeed, we need to fully understand the importance of emergency preparation? We said that there is definitely a risk. And the factors we have mentioned above can increase the risk. What is this risk anyway? The term risk refers to the expected losses from a given hazard over a specified future time period the risk may be measured in terms of expected economic loss, in terms of numbers of lives lost or the extent of physical damage to property. It is also categorized into two categories 1.) Predictable risks and 2.) One-of major risks
If there is risk, it also comes with hazard, so you’ll see why there is a need for an emergency preparation in all aspect? We have to understand that risk results from hazards around us:
- Natural occurrence – It is defined as natural calamity such as flooding, drought, tsunami, crop pests, hurricane, tornado
- Human influenced hazard – This hazard is definitely man-made. Examples are war, industrial accident, political persecution and others
- Some influenced by both natural and human – This is a combination of natural disaster and man-made disaster. The examples are disease outbreak, climate change, pathegens
It is important to know our capacity to address or to deal with emergency preparation. Capacity is defined as the full range of resources that populations, individuals and institutions can possess, access, or develop, to prepare, prevent, mitigate, respond and recover from disaster risks.
When it comes to emergency preparation, what capacity that we are talking about is the following:
- Human capacity – resourcefulness, knowledge, skill
- Resources – financial, physical, family, ability to access credit
- Community – support, resources
Knowing our capacity for emergency preparation also means knowing our vulnerability. It is defined as the degree to which a population, individual or organization is unable to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impacts of disasters.
The conditions determined by physical, social, economic and environmental factors or processes, which increase the susceptibility of a community to the impact of hazards.
All these factors are important to be considered before laying our plan for emergency preparation in general.