Science-Driven Approach to Disaster Risk and Crisis Management
Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 8:00 AM
Disasters due to natural extreme events continue to grow in number and intensity. Disaster risk and crisis management requires long-term planning, and to undertake that planning, a science-driven approach is needed to understand and assess disaster risks and to help in impact assessment and in recovery processes after a disaster. Science is used in assessments and rapid modeling of the disaster impact, in forecasting triggered hazards and risk (e.g., a tsunami or a landslide after a large earthquake), in contacts with and medical treatment of the affected population, and in some other actions. At the stage of response to disaster, science helps to analyze routinely the disaster happened (e.g., the physical processes led to this extreme event; hidden vulnerabilities; etc.) At the stage of recovery, natural scientists improve the existing regional hazard assessments; engineers try to use new science to produce new materials and technologies to make safer houses and infrastructure. At the stage of disaster risk mitigation new scientific methods and approaches are being developed to study natural extreme events; vulnerability of society is periodically investigated, and the measures for increasing the resilience of society to extremes are developed; existing disaster management regulations are improved. At the stage of preparedness, integrated research on disaster risks should be developed to understand the roots of potential disasters. Enhanced forecasting and early warning systems are to be developed reducing predictive uncertainties, and comprehensive disaster risk assessment is to be undertaken at local, regional, national and global levels. Science education should be improved by introducing trans-disciplinary approach to disaster risks. Science can help society by improving awareness about extreme events, enhancing risk communication with policy makers, media and society, and assisting disaster risk management authorities in organization of local and regional training and exercises.