Natural hazards are becoming more frequent (and global warming will increase our growing vulnerability to disasters). Rapid urbanisation and population growth mean more people are now at risk too. Disasters triggered by natural hazards have affected five times more people than they did only a generation ago. Megacities like Tokyo, built on seismic areas (fault lines), or exposed coastlines like Shanghai, are at particular risk. Major cities such as Mumbai, Cairo and Mexico City, each with more than 10 million residents, decaying infrastructure, land erosion, crowded conditions and limited rescue services could spell disaster should any hazard hit. The United Nations estimates natural disasters and hazards in the past 20 years have affected four billion people, claiming 1.3 million lives, with a cost of around two trillion dollars in economic losses.
But as aid worker, what are you most likely to find? Not all disasters from natural hazards have the same kinds of impact, e.g. in which case is health going to be a key risk? In which case is WASH going to be the most pressing need? Of course no two disasters are the same, but there are patterns. To help aid workers, Osman Consulting has developed a number of hazard impact fact sheets, including some introductory sheets on what certain hazards are:
- Earthquake Magnitude 6- 6.9 (we have also produced a an intro on earthquakes on magnitude and effects)
- Earthquake Magnitude 7- 7.9
- Earthquake Magnitude 8 and above
- Tropical Cyclone 1 (where cyclones are also referred to as hurricanes and typhoons do read this intro to check which factsheet you want to consult)
- Tropical Cyclone 2
- Tropical Cyclone 3
- Hurricane 1 (where hurricanes are also referred to as cyclones and typhoons do read this intro to check which fact sheet you want to consult)
- Hurricane 2- 3
- Hurricane 4 -5
- Typhoon (where typhoons are also referred to as cyclones and hurricanes do read this intro to check which fact sheet you want to consult)
- Volcano (Composite or Strato type) (where there are different types of volcano with marked different impacts, do read this intro on volcanoes)
- Volcano (Shield type)
- Flash Floods
- Coastal Floods
- Urban floods
- River (or fluvial) floods
We envisage these to be helpful as a useful reminder tool for aid workers on what one is likely to find when being asked to respond to different disasters. You can download each one for personal use, or we can provide your organisation with a complete printed set, with our or your logo. We can also provide them in larger numbers with your logo on them, e.g. to distribute at a staff development event, as part of staff induction or your organisation’s anniversary. Also for commercial reuse, do get in touch to discuss options.
A further series of such hazard impacts by sector (WASH, food etc) is also being prepared. We are thankful for the work Lauren Wilcock is contributing to this.
If you have any feedback on these hazard impact factsheets (both positive and negative), do get in touch on research [@] osmanconsulting.co.uk