36 terms

5.1: Concept of a hazard

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Natural hazards
Events which are perceived to be a threat to people, the built environment and the natural environment
Disaster
a serious disruption of the functioning of a community/society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses and impacts, exceeding the ability of the people to cope using their own resources.
Geophysical hazard
Originates from solid earth, driven by the Earth's internal energy e.g. volcanoes and earthquakes
Atmospheric hazard
originates in the atmosphere, driven by meteorological and climatic processes e.g. tropical storms and drought
Hydrological hazard
originate in surface and subsurface freshwater and saltwater, driven by processes in the water bodies e.g. floods and storm surges.
Perception
The way in which an individual or a group views the threat of a hazard event. This will ultimately determine the course of action taken by individuals or the response they expect from governments and other organisations.
Fatalism
This is a view that outcomes of future hazards are beyond the power of people to control. Individuals, families and communities take little action to mitigate against hazards.
Adaptation
Attempts by people or communities to live with hazard event, changing living conditions to reduce vulnerability. E.g. avoiding building on sites that are vulnerable to storm surges but stay within the same area
Acceptance
Perception where wealthy people believe that the government and other associations will solve any issues and the poor see hazards as unavoidable and acknowledge they'll happen
Fear
People feel so vulnerable to an event that they are no longer able to face living in the area and move away to regions perceived to be unaffected by the hazard.
Vulnerability
The characteristics and circumstances of a community, system or asset that make it susceptible to the damaging effects of a hazard.
Risk
The probability of a hazard occurring and creating loss of lives and/or livelihoods i.e. the probability of a hazard becoming a disaster
Resilience
The sustained ability of individuals or communities to be able to utilise available resources to respond to, withstand and recover from the effects of natural hazard events.
Primary hazard
The direct result of the event e.g. for a volcanic eruption these could include lava and gas clouds.
Secondary hazard
A consequence of the primary hazards (an indirect result of the event) e.g. a tsunami triggered by an earthquake.
Primary impacts
Immediate and direct results of the event e.g. for an earthquake these could include destruction of infrastructure and buildings.
Secondary impacts
Arise in the aftermath and are a consequence of the primary impacts e.g. disease, economic recession and contamination of water supplies.
Risk Sharing
Government or private companies offer insurance against the impact of the hazard. It requires large number to purchase the insurance compared to those impacted following the event.
Prediction
The use of monitoring, information and communications technology to give warnings, so that action can be taken to reduce the impact of hazard events.
Prevention
Using technology to stop the natural hazard event happening e.g. proposals to use cloud seeding to try to stop tropical storm formation.
Mitigation
Actions aimed at reducing the severity of an event and lessening its impacts.
Community preparedness
Prearranged measures that aim to reduce the loss of life and property damage through public education and awareness programmes, evacuation procedures and the provision of emergency medical, food and shelter supplies.
The disaster management cycle
Illustrates the ongoing process by which governments, businesses, and civil society plan for and reduce the impact of disasters, react during and immediately following a disaster, and take steps to recover after a disaster has occurred.
The Park model
shows the varying impact of a disaster over time - before and in the hours, days, weeks and years after the event.
Park model: pre-disaster
Describes the time before the disaster strikes, where quality of life is normal for the area.
Park model: relief
Describes the time immediately after the disaster, where medical attention, rescue services and overall care are delivered. A time lasting from a few hours to several days depending on the amount of damage. From this point the quality of life of the people of the area starts to slowly increase.
Park model: rehabilitation
Describes the time where people try to return the state of things to normal by providing food, water and temporary housing and services. This is a longer phase lasting from days to weeks.
Park model: reconstruction
Describes the time when permanent infrastructure and property are reconstructed and crops regrown so that quality of life is restored to the same as pre-disaster or improved. This period can take from weeks to several years.
Distribution
The spatial coverage of the hazard. This can refer to the area affected or the areas where the particular hazard is likely to occur.
Frequency
The distribution of the hazard through time (how often an event occurs).
Magnitude
The size of the hazard event.
Hazard incidence
The occurrence, rate or frequency of a hazard.
Intergrated risk management
Process of considering social, environmental and economic factors involved in risk analysis, deciding on actions to reduce damage and therefore seeing acceptibility.
Hazard intensity
The scale of how strong and powerful a hazard is e.g. The Richter scale
Economic/cultural determinants
The factor which is the decisive factor in affecting a major life choice e.g. To live in a landslide zone area for fertile farmland
Effects
Overall impacts on the human and physical environments after a natural disaster both primary and secondary.