Hazards and Disasters - Risk Assessment and Response


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syllabus.pngSYLLABUS REQUIREMENTS

1. Characteristics of hazards
characteristics
Explain the characteristics and spatial distribution of these hazards:
either earthquakes or volcanoes
hurricanes (tropical cyclones, typhoons)
droughts
any one recent human-induced (technological) hazard (explosion or escape of hazardous material).

Distinguish between the chosen hazards in terms of their spatial extent, predictability, frequency, magnitude, duration, speed of onset, and effects.

7 hours
2. Vulnerability
vulnerable populations
Explain the reasons why people live in hazardous areas.

1 hour
vulnerability
Discuss vulnerability as a function of demographic and socio-economic factors, and of a community’s preparedness and ability to deal with a hazard event when it occurs.
Explain the reasons for some sectors of a population being more vulnerable than others.

3 hours
3. Risk and risk assessment
risk relationships
Examine the relationships between the degree of risk posed by a hazard and the probability of a hazard event occurring, the predicted losses, and a community’s preparedness for it.
Explain the reasons why individuals and communities often underestimate the probability of hazard events occurring.
Discuss the factors that determine an individual’s perception of the risk posed by hazards.

3 hours
hazard event prediction
Examine the methods used to make estimates (predictions) of the probability (in time and space) of hazard events occurring, and of their potential impact on lives and property.
Discuss these methods by examining case studies relating to two different hazard types.

3 hours
4. Disasters
definition
Distinguish between a hazard event and a disaster. Explain why this distinction is not always completely objective.
measuring disasters
Describe the methods used to quantify the spatial extent and intensity of disasters.
Explain the causes and impacts of any one disaster resulting from an environmental hazard.
Explain the causes and impacts of any one recent human-induced hazard event or disaster.
Examine the ways in which the intensity and impacts of disasters vary in space and have changed over time.
4 hours
5. Adjustments and responses to hazards and disasters
responses to the risk of hazard events
Discuss the usefulness of assessing risk before deciding the strategies of adjustment and response to a hazard.
Describe attempts that have been made to reduce vulnerability by spreading the risk (aid, insurance) and by land use planning (zoning).
before the event
Describe strategies designed to limit the damage from potential hazard events and disasters.

4 hours
short-term, mid-term and long-term responses after the event
Describe the range of responses, at the community, national and international levels, during and after a hazard event or disaster.
Distinguish between rescue, rehabilitation and reconstruction responses.
Explain how these responses are affected by individual and community perceptions.
Examine the factors that affected the choice of adjustments before, and responses to, actual hazard events or disasters.
Discuss the importance of re-assessing risk, and re-examining vulnerability, following any major hazard event or disaster.

5 hours

resources.pngONLINE RESOURCES



skills.pngGEOGRAPHICAL SKILLS


Skills covered when teaching this optional theme could include:
Direction, latitude and longitude, isoline and isopleth maps, choropleth maps, aerial photographs, ground-level photographs and satellite images.

skills.pngGLOSSARY


Hazard
A threat (whether natural or human) that has the potential to cause loss of life, injury, property damage, socio-economic disruption, or environmental degradation.
Hazard event
The occurrence (realization) of a hazard, the effects of which change demographic, economic and/or environmental conditions.
Disaster
A major hazard event that causes widespread disruption to a community or region, which the affected community is unable to deal with adequately without outside help.
Vulnerability
The susceptibility of a community to a hazard or to the impacts of a hazard event.
Risk
The probability of a hazard event causing harmful consequences (expected losses in terms of deaths, injuries, property damage, economy and environment).

resources.pngTEXTBOOK RESOURCES


1. Characteristics of hazards
characteristics
Waugh, An Integrated Approach, Third Edition: p.11, 33-26, p. 235 - 238.
Bishop, Hazards and Responses, Second Edition: Most of the textbook.
Warburton, Atmospheric Processes and Human Influences, 1999: p.152-162, p.98-100.
2. Vulnerability
vulnerable populations
vulnerability
Waugh, An Integrated Approach, Third Edition: p.32
Bishop, Hazards and Responses, Second Edition: p.5, p.14-21.
3. Risk and risk assessment
risk relationships
hazard event prediction
Bishop, Hazards and Responses, Second Edition: p. 22-31, p.32-34.
4. Disasters
definition
measuring disasters
Bishop, Hazards and Responses, Second Edition: p.6-7
5. Adjustments and responses to hazards and disasters
responses to the risk of hazard events
before the event
short-term, mid-term and long-term responses after the event
Bishop, Hazards and Responses, Second Edition: Most of the textbook.


Textbook reference

Environmental Hazards Assessing risk and reducing disaster, 5th Edition | Keith Smith, David N. Petley | ISBN: 978-0-415-42865-1 | Publish Date: 29th January 2009 [Submitted by Rajeev Sharma]



resources.pngADDITIONAL RESOURCES


Geography Review Volume 22 No1. September 2008: Sichuan earthquake article [Submitted by:Ann]