Natural disasters are a big threat to any organization or company (Gurenko 2004; pg 22). This is mainly because of the destruction and expenses they bring about when they occur. Natural disasters in this case include such things like floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, landslides and mudflows. Both public and private organizations and companies should thus prepare on how to handle natural disasters if at all such disasters attack.
In order for an organization or a company to prepare adequately, they need to start a project that will purely deal with all means of handling the natural disaster.
The project will need to have a project manager and its own department (Gurenko 2004; pg 26). The department will then be allocated its own funds with which it will hire experts that are trained in dealing with the natural disaster if at all it occurs. The department will need to purchase the necessary equipment and tools that will help in dealing with the different disasters.
The management team in this sector will need to prioritize its needs and ascertain the most likely disaster to occur.
The most prevalent one is the one they will invest in a lot so as to be fully prepared. The team will then make analysis of all cases where such disasters have occurred and how they were dealt with. This will help them to identify the mistakes done in the previous case and find ways of minimizing on the mistakes (Ritchie 2009; pg 32).
To start off the project of dealing with these natural disasters, there is need to come up with a vision and mission of the team so as to sensitize the team members of their main work as team members.
This will help to make the team members to be dedicated at their work. There is also the need to come up with objectives of the team in dealing with the disasters.
After the mission and vision statements have been set, the team will then need to do a research on the most prevalent disasters likely to happen there. It is obvious that an organization far away from lakes or seas has low or no chances of being attacked by tsunamis, floods or tornados (Ritchie 2009; pg 46). The team members should then arrange the disasters in order of their likelihood to occur and in the order of their estimated destruction. The disasters with the most prevalent likelihood to occur and have high losses when they occur need to be given priority in terms of budget allocation. All these processes in the project cycle are represented by disaster identification (Ritchie 2009; pg 78).
After disaster identification, the next step is preparation. In this case, the management team will need to carry out budget allocations to the different types of disasters they will have identified. The budget will be distributed according to the probability of the disasters happening. After budget allocation, it is advisable that the manager selects the people that will be responsible for preparation and all activities regarding the different disasters. This will help to build a strong team that will deal with disasters appropriately. This step also will include preparation such as buying of the required tools and equipment for the exercise (Ritchie 2009; pg 62).
This process goes hand in hand with disaster mitigation. This is a process in which the group members put in place means of reducing the effect of the disaster in case it happens. It includes such things as training people on how to handle the situation, putting in place safe ways that can be used by people to get out of the disaster zone, putting in place disaster fighting tools that can be used to step down a disaster by use of such things like fire extinguishers. There is also the need to put in place good communication tools so that people can communicate easily so as to curb the disaster that might attack (Ritchie 2009; pg 32).
The next step is disaster management. This one deals with the real situation where a disaster has occurred. In this case, the team responsible is supposed to mobilize people so that they can get out of the disaster zone to safer areas. There is also the need to use the most available tools to curb the disaster if at all the disaster can be managed (Ritchie 2009; pg 26).
By considering some of the most common natural disasters in our surrounding we find that, in the case of an earthquake, the management team is supposed to check for possible hazards in the buildings. This may include such things as cracks and openings. They are also supposed to locate safe places both indoors and outdoors. They are then to sensitize all members in the organization to know how to respond if at all an earthquake occurs. The management team is supposed to look into it that they set up emergency communication systems in case the emergency occurs people can still communicate (Gurenko 2004; pg 62). They are also supposed to make contacts in the neighboring buildings and towns. This will help to call for helped if all the people in the building are locked up in the collapsing building.
During the time of disaster, the team is supposed to direct people to take cover in doors under a piece of heavy furniture. Those on the outside are supposed to move far away from the building and stay in an open place. Those trapped in a moving vehicle are advised to stay in the vehicle and stop it in an open place away from trees and buildings. After the occurrence of the disaster, the team is supposed to oversee that trapped people are removed from the building and the injured are given first aid accordingly. All people are then to be advised to stay away from damaged buildings and areas (Ritchie 2009; pg 56).
In the case of a fire, the team is supposed to teach organization members to avoid building fires near trees and bushes. They are also supposed to teach them on safe fire practices. This will be accompanied by lessons of how to extinguish fires as caused by different substances. The team is also to sensitize members to build their structures using fire resistant substances and materials (Ritchie 2009; pg 92). Combustible materials are supposed to be stored away fromwhere fire is used and kept in recommended safety boxes. Any chimneys in the building are supposed to be kept clean.
The roofing material used on the building is supposed to be verified that it is not combustible. The team is then to identify a zone where people can gather after evacuation from the fire building. This is always necessary for counting of people and identification of those trapped in the building. In the event of a fire, the team is supposed to remove any combustible materials in the building to avoid spread of the fire (Ritchie 2009; pg 56).
All gas valves and pilot light are supposed to be turned off, while all lights in the building are supposed to be turned on for visibility in the time of smoke. Window curtains are supposed to be removed and cover the windows with noncombustible material. Those trapped inside the building need to be advised to keep their heads low near the ground. This will help them to breathe fresh air as smoke will have filled the rest of the air. Any available means of fighting the fire are supposed to be used and also a call is to be made to the fire brigade for assistance. When the fire is off, the team is to enter the building cautiously to save any survivor and to put out any fore that is still burning as it can start another big fire (Ritchie 2009; pg 78).
In the case of a volcano, the team is supposed to organize for a backup route that will be used as an escape route to safer places mostly to higher grounds. They are supposed to equip people with emergency tools such as flashlights, first aid kit and emergency radio. Suppose the disaster occurs, the team is supposed to guide members to safe places following the evacuation route. Those trapped inside buildings are supposed to close all windows and doors and any other opening on the building.
On the other hand, those trapped while outside are supposed to seek for shelter immediately. In the case of a rock fall, one is advised to roll into a ball so that he can protect the head. Individuals are also to be advised to avoid low areas as poisonous gases can collect there and cause breathing problems. If possible, one is supposed to use goggles and dust masks to help in breathing. The skin is to be covered to avoid burns irritation (Ritchie 2009; pg 45).
In case of a tsunami, the management teamis supposed to check if the building is above sea level or not. Being above sea level is safer than being below sea level. Individuals in the building are supposed to be taught of the common signs of the tsunamis like; ground rumbling, earthquakes and rapid rise or fall of coastal waters. In case of such sign, evacuation procedures need to be taken immediately. Evacuation plans and routes need to be put in place early enough. As soon as a warning is sounded that there is a tsunami, individuals are supposed to evacuate o higher regions. This will keep them safer from the high tides of the sea.
At such times, beach events are to be put to a stop and evacuation of necessary tings made faster to safer areas. After the disaster is over, one is supposed to remove mud in the buildings, open windows and doors so as to help the building walls to dry. The team is to check for any tapped person or injured individual and give first aid to relieve pain (Ritchie 2009; pg 27).
In the event of floods, the management team is supposed to check the tap system to ensure that all taps and pipes are in good conditions so as to avoid floods from the inside. Evacuation routes and boats are supposed to be made available near the building (Coppola 2007; pg 56). During the floods, leave the site for the floods if possible. You are supposed to climb to high ground and stay there. Avoid walking near or in flood water as much as possible as this may attract lightening. After the floods, the building is supposed to be checked for any cracks or any other damages. You are also supposed to check the building for any snakes or aquatic animals. Loose ceiling and plaster is to be checked before individuals occupy the building (Ritchie 2009; pg 22).
In conclusion, natural disaster management is a wide field and needs serious attention from major government sectors and parastatals. The section dealing with this kind of disaster needs to be very observant for any news in regard to disasters (Coppola 2007; pg 33). They are then supposed to get funding that will help them to buy the necessary tools and equipment for the disaster management.