The safety of any given community holds considerable essence since it fosters progressive growth. However, disastrous events jeopardize the surrounding communities thereby creating a crisis felt by the entire society. Commonly, disasters emanate from natural or accidental catastrophic events that usually result in detrimental outcomes. Mainly, disasters affect vulnerable groups like the poor severely thus, necessitating the incorporation of practical strategies that would facilitate effective preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery mechanisms.
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Therefore, the employment of effective ways of managing disasters holds considerable essence due to the implications that the resultant crisis has on social order. As such, this paper seeks to provide a proposal as well as an essay that discusses the essence of a multi-dimensional and collaborative approach to disaster management.
Purpose of the Study
The contemporary world is speedily changing in a manner that subjects various societies to hazards that could turn out to disasters. Today, earthquakes, cyclones, floods, drought, avalanches, violence, and financial crises constitute the primary forms of disasters that pose a danger to the sustainability of the society. In most cases, communities depend on government intervention for the management of disasters thereby, undermining the deployment of adequate resources to maintain equilibrium of the different aspects of the society to prevent the detriments of crisis. Therefore, I think that since disasters affect individuals and groups in diverse settings, the integration of a multidimensional and collaborative strategy besides the government efforts would foster effective disaster management.
Finch and Elder (1990) note that since human beings have altered the environment leading to detrimental events that cultivate the extinction of nature, there is a need for all parties to join hands for their survival. In this regard, if the local community affected by a disaster mobilizes resources to manage the situation before the intervention of humanitarian organizations, the government, and other concerned parties, greater results would be achieved.
Nixon (2011) suggests that social exclusion, as seen in the case of low participation of the impoverished people in disaster management issues, undermines their commitment in the preventing and coping with unfortunate events. Therefore, I say that the essence of a synergetic teamwork strategy towards disaster management holds water in the wake of increased emergency cases.
Significance of the Study
Disasters affect the smooth running of different aspects of the society thereby calling for the need to integrate efforts from diverse groups, agencies, and individuals in a collaborative manner. Notably, disastrous events brought about by earthquakes, cyclones, and floods among others, require individuals to stay alert in a way that bolsters their preparedness to such incidents.
Therefore, government and humanitarian agencies besides other parties concerned with disasters would find it easy to mobilize additional resources apart from those provided by the local community. As such, I believe that sensitizing the different stakeholders to appreciate the inputs of the local communities struck by a disaster, irrespective of their background, goes a long way in ensuring that they contribute to the development of suitable solutions.
However, Finch and Elder (1990) argue that some parties disregard the essence of a loving nature, thus involving them would undermine the collaborative efforts geared towards addressing the issues concerning disasters. For instance, a section of individuals dislike the winters since the falling snow interferes with their contemporary lifestyles implying that they do not mind a decrease in the fall of snow. Therefore, I also think that a multi-dimensional approach has its challenges since not all parties are interested in combatting the prevalence of disasters.
Arguably, Solnit (2010) posits that love for one another, especially the one shared with strangers, creates a powerful force that fosters the commitment to service and survival thus, resulting in joy amid the saddening events. In this light, I believe that people, regardless of their differences, need to appreciate the need for showing love unconditionally by lending a hand when needed especially, in crises, to realize joy in disasters. Moreover, assigning different parties their roles in disaster management in a bid to show love towards the victims of a given disaster fosters the resilience, purpose, and meaning of a particular society.
The inquiry would embrace an approach that considers the ideas of different authors who focus on addressing the issue of disaster management. In this regard, the study would use data from at least three texts with the aim of obtaining substantial information on the different dimensions relating disaster prevention and intervention.
Particularly, the literature review would entail the use of texts that include “The Norton Book of Nature Writing” “Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor” and “A Paradise Built in Hell” The choice of the text provides a comprehensive approach to the issue on disaster management from an interdependent perspective. Notably, the data sources reveal how the stakeholders in disaster situations react as well as the aspects that contribute to effective disaster management. Therefore, the inquiry would comprehensively seek to uncover the data that supports the embracement of a multi-dimensional approach to disaster management as well as the relevance of collaboration in such instances.
Disasters pose a substantial threat to the well-being of any given society owing to their impactful outcomes. In a bid to manage disasters effectively, government authorities and humanitarian bodies have developed programs that have shown their concern for the disaster victims as they facilitate the restoration of normal operation amid the disaster threats or their eventualities. However, in most cases, the vulnerable groups, mainly the poor, have been sidelined when it comes to their contribution in matters about disaster management.
Notably, a top-down approach to disaster management has been the core problem that undermines a multi-dimensional and collaborative approach to the various aspects of disaster management. Therefore, this essay seeks to unearth the essence of a multidimensional and collaborative strategy towards the management of disasters.
How the Society Trigger Disasters
Besides the natural aspects that trigger the occurrence of disasters, human beings also play a role in cultivating the development of detrimental results. Finch and Elder (1990) affirm that the society has changed the atmosphere leading to climatic changes that trigger the occurrence of disastrous events. In this case, the society has been addicted to the internal combustion engine characterized by the modern processes like in the case of unsustainable industrial production leading to global climatic changes.
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Notably, the industrial processes among other have led to the undesirable emission of greenhouse gasses that lead to the global warming. As such, the industrialized countries contribute majorly to environmental degradation at the expense of the developing economies as portrayed by the cases of regular droughts and famine in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Evidently, the rainfall patterns experienced today depict a transformation to a subset of human endeavors unlike in the past when it existed mysteriously and independently. As a result, the contemporary environment lacks that natural aspect of it since human activities have altered the crucial elements that foster the spontaneity of the surroundings. In this light, Finch and Elder (1990) posit that every individual in the society should monitor the effects of his/her activities on the environment. However, the deterioration of nature possibly makes people separate themselves from the remnants thus derailing the move towards a collaborative and multidimensional approach to disaster management.
Nixon (2011) suggests that the different individuals and agencies in the society engage in activities that evoke disasters. The hazardous activities that contribute to the climatic change manifest in the form of toxic drifts, deforestation, retrogressive consequences of war, thawing cryosphere, acidifying oceans, and bio magnification among other cases of environmental degradation. As such, the hazardous engagements of the various elements of the society are similar to a slow violence that has the potential of resulting in devastation in the long-term, in a way that could surpass the outcomes of a typical violent situation. Therefore, there is a need for the society to understand that, not unless people refrain from activities that harm the environment, disasters will always prevail.
The political element of the society also contributes to environmental degradation in instances where the government fails to develop and implement policies and programs that mitigate and intervene in disaster situations. In some economies, the leaders’ interest have allowed the development of projects that lead to the accumulation of greenhouse gasses, toxic build-up, and the unprecedented loss of species due as a result of tampering with their natural habitat.
Furthermore, Nixon (2011) argues that the mass media has mainly been interested in covering the disastrous events to attain viewership instead of investing more on the dissemination of information pertaining early warning systems and relief.
The Need for a Multidimensional and Collaborative Strategy to Disaster Management
In the contemporary setting, the different parties forming the society need to join hands and move towards the establishment of programs that seek to prevent the occurrence of disasters and intervene in case it strikes. In this respect, Nixon (2011) underlines that agencies such as the media need to address the issue of marginalizing poor cohorts in the society since they are the most affected by disasters owing to the inadequacy of resources. Therefore, by highlighting the agony of the environmentally dispossessed, the media plays a central role in facilitating the empowerment of the poor in a way that puts them in a better position to handle disasters.
Solnit (2010) believes that mutual aid in times of disaster would realize effectiveness if individuals and groups decide to express their love unconditionally when disasters strike. In this respect, people need to develop a mentality that they can cultivate something joyous before or even after a disaster. In doing so, it unites the society to face the problems and find substantial solutions that would improve their well-being.
Further, Solnit (2010) holds that the society needs to consider the democratization, decentralization, and the engagement of the civil society in promoting a collaborative and multidimensional approach to disaster management. Through a civil society dominated by the power of love for one another, interested parties engage in effective disaster management as it saves disaster victims through the deployment of field kitchens, rescue squads, and the managing the efforts of concerned neighbors.
Besides, Nixon (2011) emphasizes the need for the engagement in slow violence, a trend that fights the key stakeholders to take affirmative action regarding the issue of disasters. Mainly, politicians need to concentrate on the development of policies that purpose to avert catastrophes. The results of their efforts need not be instantaneous but arrive in the form of joy experienced by the current and future generations. In so doing, the political aspect distributes power to the different parties involved thereby cause a spiral effect pertaining the mitigation and intervention of catastrophic situations.
Solnit (2010) and Nixon (2011) affirm that disaster management could attain effective results despite the lack of specialized skills. Therefore, government agencies and the humanitarian organizations should not disregard the capability of the local communities, especially the poor since they can realize 80% of the desired prevention and intervention expectations. Therefore, the participation of the marginalized group before and after the disaster holds relevance in disaster management owing to their understanding of the actual events that trigger disasters.
The integration of multidimensional and collaborative strategies in the management of disasters is important for the attainment of desirable outcomes amid the imminent threats. Notably, the local communities need to be engaged in a manner that considers their input pertaining to disaster management decisions. Equipping the local communities to manage disasters is an effective way of handling the situation. Similarly, the mass media, humanitarian organizations, and the administrative agencies need to work collaboratively to foster the effective management of disasters.
Finch, R., & Elder, J. (1990). The Norton book of nature writing. New York, NY: WW Norton & Company.
Nixon, R. (2011). Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Solnit, R. (2010). A paradise built in hell: The extraordinary communities that arise in disaster. London, UK: Penguin.