Course manual Introduction to Disaster Management

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Contents 5

How this course manual is structured 7

Course overview 9

Welcome to Introduction to Disaster Management 9

Introduction to Disaster Management—is this course for you? 9

Course outcomes 9

Timeframe 11

Study skills 11

Need help? 12

Assignments 13

Self-Assessments 13

Getting around this course manual 15

Margin icons 15

Unit 1 17

Overview of Disaster Management 17

Unit summary 24

Self-Assessment 24

References 24

Unit 2 25

Disaster Management Cycle – Phase I: Mitigation 25

Unit summary 37

Assignment 37

Self-Assessment 37

References 38

Unit 3 39

Disaster Management Cycle – Phase II: Preparedness 39

Unit summary 46

Assignment 46

Self-Assessment 46

References 47

Unit 4 48

Disaster Management Cycle – Phases III and IV: Response and Recovery 48

Unit summary 58

Assignment 58

Self-Assessment 58

References 59

Unit 5 61

Education and Public Awareness – Part I: Community-based Initiatives 61

Unit summary 73

Assignment 73

Self-Assessment 74

References 74

Unit 6 75

Education and Public Awareness – Part II 75

Unit summary 87

Assignment 87

Self - Assessment 88

Unit 7 89

Education and Public Awareness – Part III 89

Unit summary 95

Assignment 95

Self-Assessment 96

References 96

Unit 8 97

The Role of Technology in Disaster Management 97

Unit summary 115

Self - Assessment 117

References 119

Unit 9 120

Media and Disaster Management 120

Unit summary 125

Assignment 127

Self Assessment 128

References 129

Unit 10 131

Disaster Associated Health Issues – Part I: Emergency Health Services and Communicable Diseases. 131

Unit summary 148

Self - Assessment 148

References 148

Unit 11 151

Disaster Associated Health Issues – Part II 151

Unit summary 159

Self - Assessment 160

References 160

Unit 12 161

Physical and Socio-economic Impacts of Disasters 161

Unit summary 172

Self Assessment Activities 172

References 173

Unit 13 174

Emotional Impacts of Disasters 174

Unit summary 182

Self Assessment Activities 184

References 186

Unit 14 187

Vulnerable Groups in Disasters 187

Unit summary 193

Self Assessment Activities 194

Assignment 195

References 195

About this course manual

Introduction to Disaster Management has been produced by the Virtual University for the Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC) team. All course manuals produced by the VUSSC team are structured in the same way, as outlined below.

How this course manual is structured

The course overview

The course overview gives you a general introduction to the course. Information contained in the course overview will help you determine:

  • If the course is suitable for you.

  • What you will already need to know.

  • What you can expect from the course.

  • How much time you will need to invest to complete the course.

The overview also provides guidance on:

  • Study skills.

  • Where to get help.

  • Course assignments and assessments.

  • Activity icons.

  • Units.

We strongly recommend that you read the overview carefully before starting your study.

The course content

The course is broken down into units. Each unit comprises:

  • An introduction to the unit content.

  • Unit outcomes.

  • New terminology.

  • Core content of the unit with a variety of learning activities.

  • A unit summary.

  • Assignments and/or assessments, as applicable.


For those interested in learning more on this subject, we provide you with a list of additional resources at the end of each module; these may be books, articles or web sites.

Your comments

After completing Introduction to Disaster Management we would appreciate it if you would take a few moments to give us your feedback on any aspect of this course. Your feedback might include comments on:

  • Course content and structure.

  • Course reading materials and resources.

  • Course assignments.

  • Course assessments.

  • Course duration.
  • Course support (assigned tutors, technical help, etc.)

Your constructive feedback will help us to improve and enhance this course.

Course overview

See Richard Freeman’s handbook, section 3.3: Setting aims and objectives for your course.
Welcome to Introduction to Disaster Management

All communities are vulnerable to disasters, both natural and man-made. This first-year University level course was designed by experts from throughout the world to increase knowledge of disaster management, with the aim of reducing this vulnerability and improving disaster responsiveness. We hope that you will find these learning materials stimulating, enjoyable and useful.

Introduction to Disaster Management—is this course for you?

This course is intended for people who require an introductory-level understanding of the concepts underpinning, and practical processes involved in, the management of disasters.

You do not need any prior knowledge of the topic, although your own personal experiences or those of other people in your community will be very valuable in your learning.

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