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Natural Disasters Contingency Planning (DOC) by anamaulida


									We have recurring natural disasters, seasonal in their patterns, just
like the floods in the monsoon season. That's when things could wrong
with damages to structures, property, and even loss of life. With
natural disasters intensifying to greater scale and their destructive
force getting worse, there's a dire need to ensure that we have a
Contingency Plan devised for such circumstances to be prepared for
anything that could happen. Contingency planning for natural disasters
call for specific strategies and actions to deal with particular problems
like floods, landslides, fires, and typhoons. Contingency Plans include
a monitoring process and phases for activating planned actions.(i)
Natural disasters can happen anywhere, anytime, with little or without
warning.   Our chances of surviving natural disasters improve greatly
with the application of common sense and some preparation.(ii) Although
for some countries, they are less prone to natural disasters, the present
decade tells a different story of emerging trends at increasing weather-
related disasters. These trends have been attributed to climate change
notably global warming. The massive floods in Malaysia in 2006-2007, the
impact of Typhoon Morakot which hit Philippines and continued its
destruction in Taiwan recently are indicative of the increasing intensity
these natural disasters brought. With these recent disasters, an
important question crops up.   Despite the recurring floods, the bad
experience with the natural disasters and the economic loss therein,
where do we stand with natural disaster safety guideline especially to
the communities living in disaster prone areas?

  Events such as Typhoon Morakot epitomize the unpredictable nature of
our world. Without proper Contingency Planning, many countries and
communities are left vulnerable to disaster. Contingent evacuation
planning has become an operational necessity during floods to ensure
safety of the vulnerable groups in the affected communities. For most of
the countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the increasing number of
natural disasters poses one of the gravest threats. Obviously,
contingency planning have to move with the times, never static, always
updated to accommodate new or increased risks. The International
Strategy for Disaster reduction observed that the number of storms,
droughts, and floods has increased threefold over the past 30 years. As
these natural disasters increased, so did the number of those affected -
a fivefold increase in the same period. (iii)      So how do communities
reconcile these risks? In developing a contingency plan to address
realistic threat scenarios, all the concerned stakeholders should form
strategic partnerships and maximize all resources to ensure that when
activated its implementation is one concerted effort by all.        Local
authorities with limited knowledge of disaster contingency planning have
the options of choosing a strategic partner with demonstrated emergency
preparedness experience. In this context, apart from the available civil
society organizations experienced in humanitarian assistance, the Red
Cross Red Crescent Societies have excellent resources for creating
effective disaster contingency plans. Their experience bear them in good
stead as regards best practices for developing contingency plans,
reducing potential damages, and especially protecting vulnerable groups
(elderly, women, and children) during a crisis.         Once the
contingency plan is formulated, dissemination is crucial to communicate
the crisis response and actions necessary to all partners. Rapid
response and appropriate steps to manage the emergency can make all the
difference during disasters. The essence of contingency planning is that
the safety and security of community members should never be left to
chance.       Building capacity for contingency planning calls for
collaboration between international agencies with the local authorities
especially in Training of Trainers (TOT) in Contingency Planning. (iv)The
cascading effect of having these trainers organize contingency planning
sessions within their respective departments and states will serve to
enhance the capacity on a broader platform. Apparently, there has been
positive progress in there areas. With the massive floods of 2006-2007
still fresh in our minds, there have been intense discussions on
preparing contingency plans. Working in close collaboration with the
state authorities the Red Cross Red Crescent societies, together with
other concerned parties have developed impressive documentations which
will serve as guidance in outlining the framework of response and
actions. Where the collaboration is effective, effective governance
could ensure the formulation of a common strategy in handling natural
disasters.       References:-       (i) Wikipedia. Contingency Plan.
Relief web. Unicef Contingency 2000    (ii)   Emergency Preparedness:
Contingency Planning in Today's Unpredictable World, Tuesday, January 15
2008, David McCown.   (iii) OCHA. Resources, Contingency Planning.
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