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Preparedness and the disaster cycle

The model of disaster management as a cycle is well-established.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

The model of disaster management as a cycle is well-established. It defines a cyclical process of actions required to manage risk and impacts in places prone to disasters and emergencies.

The Disaster Management Cycle consists of four phases: preparedness (including early warning) precedes the disaster. Following the disaster is the response phase which includes search and rescue and emergency relief. The next phase is recovery which includes reconstruction and rehabilitation. The next phase is mitigation which includes prevention. The model is indicative and many practitioners and academics acknowledge that in reality activities occur concurrently. Click image to expand.

Rather than being a cycle where phases have a beginning and an end, it’s more realistic to think of it as a series of overlapping options, where any one might dominate for a time but each is constantly reviewed and adapted as a result of the others.

The following steps of this short course outline the process for preparedness for humanitarian agencies. The focus is on emergency preparedness – being prepared for the very early initial response during an emergency. At this stage, details about the severity of the impact will be unclear.

Your task

What actions can you think of that might be taken by agencies to prepare for any potential emergency response?
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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Humanitarian Action, Response and Relief

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