Investigating the status of disaster management within a world-wide context: a case study analysis

Srinath Perera, Christopher McAlinden, Dilanthi Ameratunga

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Disasters can be described as feats of spontaneous occurrences, in that they can happen at any minute at any time. There are two classifications of disasters, which are, natural disasters that cannot be predicted and continuously occur throughout society. While the other classification of disaster is that of man-made disasters, where disasters are caused not by natural phenomena, but by man's or society's actions, involuntary or voluntary, sudden or slow, with grave consequences to the population and the environment (Hays, 2008). Both these types of disasters can be controlled to a certain extent through appropriate disaster management plans and if managed efficiently have the potential to reduce the likelihood of overwhelming loss of lives and property. The Disaster Management cycle is split into four elements of response, recovery, mitigation and preparedness which contribute to emergency protocols of a nation when disaster strikes. Therefore, nations should incorporate them in their development plans and ensure efficient follow-up measures at community, national and international levels. This paper investigates worldwide disasters in order to examine how these disasters were managed and to identify the lessons learned. It provides an analysis of five worldwide case studies of recent disasters (Tsunami in Sri Lanka, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Earthquake in Pakistan, Summer floods in the UK and Flooding of the West-Link in Northern Ireland) mapping those to the four staged disaster management cycle. The paper analyses in detail the strategies adopted at each stage of the cycle comparing strengths and weaknesses of each case. It concludes that there had been satisfactory progress in both response and recovery phases but more attention is needed for disaster mitigation and preparedness.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Event18th CIB World Building Congress - Salford, Manchester, UK
Duration: 1 May 2010 → …


Conference18th CIB World Building Congress
Period1/05/10 → …


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