Enhancing disaster management by mapping disaster proneness and preparedness


Shailendra Singh Bisht, IBS, Hyderabad, C-115, C Block, Survey No. 156/157, Donthanpally Village, Shankarpally Mandal, RR District 501504, Andhra Pradesh, India. Telephone: +91 8417 236657/60/61/62/63/64 ext. 3208; fax: +91 8417 236653. E-mail: shailendrabisht@gmail.com


The focus of most disaster management programmes is to deploy resources—physical and human—from outside the disaster zone. This activity can produce a delay in disaster mitigation and recovery efforts, and a consequent loss of human lives and economic resources. It may be possible to expedite recovery and prevent loss of life by mapping out disaster proneness and the availability of resources in advance. This study proposes the development of two indices to do so. The Indian census data of 2001 is used to develop a methodology for creating one index on disaster proneness and one on resourcefulness for administrative units (tehsils). Findings reveal that tehsil residents face an elevated risk of disaster and that they are also grossly under-prepared for such events. The proposed indices can be used to map regional service provision facilities and to assist authorities in evaluating immediate, intermediate, and long-term disaster recovery needs and resource requirements.