• Users Online: 270
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

Table of Contents
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 18-22

Disaster management: Capacity building

Professor, College of Nursing, CMC, Vellore, India

Date of Web Publication5-Jun-2020

Correspondence Address:
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions

Indian subcontinent is highly prone to more disasters. India ranks fifth in the economic losses due to disaster. Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction which was adopted by United Nations general assembly advocates on capacity building among the health professionals. Capacity building involves strengthening of physical, social, economical, and attitudinal domains of people at every area. Government of India has created a multi-tiered system for effective disaster management at every level. The Asia Pacific Emergency and Disaster Nursing Network of WHO (APEDNN) also plays a significant role in capacity building in the Asia Pacific region for disaster management. International Council for Nurses in its efforts to building capacity has launched a framework on Disaster Nursing Competencies under the four areas of disaster cycle. The ten competencies puported by ICN will enable capacity among nursing workforce.

Keywords: disaster, competency, capacity building

How to cite this article:
Ravikumar TS. Disaster management: Capacity building. Indian J Cont Nsg Edn 2018;19:18-22

How to cite this URL:
Ravikumar TS. Disaster management: Capacity building. Indian J Cont Nsg Edn [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 May 31];19:18-22. Available from: https://www.ijcne.org/text.asp?2018/19/2/18/286084

  Introduction Top

India is the seventh largest country by area and has a population of 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country in the world. The disaster management scenario is undergoing tremendous changes subsequent to the Hyogo and Sendai framework. The focus is now changing to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2015-2030).The vulnerability to disaster rests with geography of the area, capacity of people, disaster preparedness and resilience. The Indian subcontinent is considered as the world’s most disaster prone area. Almost 85% of India’s area is vulnerable to more than one hazard(Simply Decoded, 2013). The Government of India enacted The Disaster Management Act (DM Act) which lays down institutional and community mechanism as a framework for effective Disaster Management at the national, state, district and local levels (National Disaster Management Authority of India [NDMA], 2005). The National Disaster Management Plan [NDMP] (2016) enhances the framework and directs government and non- governmental agencies in all phases of disaster management. To lead disaster management activities the Government of India (Gol) created a multi-tiered institutional system consisting of the

  • National Disaster Management Authority headedy by the Prime Minister
  • State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) headed by the respective Chief Ministers
  • District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs) headed by the District Collectors and co- chaired by Chairpersons of the local bodies.

Apart from the Government efforts there are the International Organizations such as World Health Organization, United Nations Development Programme and multiple others involved in Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management. Disaster planning covers a spectrum of activities from business continuity management and emergency planning, training and preparedness, as well as the planned response to, and recovery from, disasters. Due to the multi-modal nature of disasters, a multi-sectoral approach that includes health is often required. While not all disasters can be avoided, their worst effects can be mitigated and minimized through adequate disaster planning and preparedness. Indeed, the cost of disaster response far exceeds the cost of preparing for them (Lee, Booth, Challen, Gardois, & Goodacre, 2014). Disaster risk reduction is the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyze and manage the causal factors of disasters by reduced exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment and improved preparedness for adverse events.

  Disasters - Global Scenario Top

Globally, during the last 20 years, 2.6 billion people were affected by 85,000 natural disasters and 2 million people were affected by technological disasters (World Health Organization[WHO], 2011a). Over the last decade, China, United States, India, Indonesia, and Philippines constitute the top five countries that are most frequently hit by natural disasters. In 2016, with 34 natural disasters reported, China experienced its fifth highest number of natural disasters of the last decade, 15.3% above its 2006- 2015 annual average of 29.5. Amongst the top ten countries for disaster mortality in 2016, six are classified as low- income or lower-middle income economies, and accounted for 23.9% of global reported disaster mortality (Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, 2015). The major categories of disasters include natural (earthquake landslides, tsunami), biological (epidemic disease, infestations of pests), technological (chemical substance, radiological agents, transport crashes), and societal (conflict, stampedes, acts of terrorism) (Alfred et al., 2015). Globally, there has been an increase in the prevalence and scale of disasters with low- and middle-income countries tending to be more affected. Consequently, disaster risk reduction has been advocated as a global priority.
Table 1: Basic Country Statistics and Indicators (2014)

Click here to view
Table 2: Statistics of Disaster Events in India

Click here to view
Figure 1: Disaster Risk Profile (Source: Index for Risk Management, 2019)

Click here to view

  Disaster Scenario in India Top

Essentially, Index For Risk Management (2019) risk concept envisages three dimensions of risk:

  • Hazards and exposure to hazards (events that could occur and exposure to them)
  • Vulnerability (the susceptibility of communities to those hazards)
  • Lack of coping capacity (lack of resources available that can alleviate the impact)


India rests upon the Indian tectonic plate, a part of the Indo-Australian Plate (Wikipedia, 2018) . The tectonic plates are the focus of vulnerability with regards to earthquake apart from multiple other natural disasters. Of the earthquake-prone areas, 12% is prone to very severe earthquakes,18% to severe earthquakes and 25% to damageable earthquakes. Of the 28 states and 7 union territories, 22 are disaster-prone. Almost 57% of the land is vulnerable to earthquake (high seismic zones HIV), 68% to drought, 8% to cyclones and 12% to floods. India has also become much more vulnerable to tsunamis since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami (Simply decoded, 2013).


About 30 million people are affected annually by floods. Floods in the Indo-Gangetic-Brahmaputra plains are an annual feature.


About 50 million people are affected annually by drought. Approximately 90 million hectares of rain-fed areas of land and about 40 million hectares are prone to scanty or no rain.


About 8% of the land is vulnerable to cyclones of which coastal areas experience two or three tropical cyclones of varying intensity each year. Cyclonic activities on the east coast are more severe than on the west coast. Cyclones typically strike the East Coast of India, along the Bay of Bengal, i.e., the states of West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, but also parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat at the Arabian Sea West Coast.


Landslides occur in the hilly regions such as the Himalayas, North-East India, the Nilgiris, and Eastern and Western Ghats.

  Capacity Building Top

Having glimpsed into Hazard Vulnerability in India, it is clear that the focus now rests on capacity building. The increasing global frequency of disasters and the call for disaster preparedness training needs to be reinforced. Due to the recent global increase in disasters, the WHO (2011b) recommends that all countries, no matter how frequently they experience disasters, consider training their healthcare professionals to respond to disasters as a national and local priority. Especially in health care the role rests with the Nurses both at Community and at Hospital. The areas of capacity building are highlighted in [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Capacity Types in Disaster Management (Source: ME studies, 2017)

Click here to view

The Asia Pacific Emergency and Disaster Nursing Network (APEDNN) of WHO plays a significant role in networking with nurses in the Asia Pacific region for disaster management. The nursing capacity is built based on Disaster Nursing competencies as defined by The International Council of Nurses (ICN) as “a level of performance demonstrating the effective application of knowledge, skill and judgment” (WHO, 2009).

With an urge to develop a set of core competencies for disaster nursing education, the ICN launched a framework of disaster nursing competencies in 2009 for general nurses. The framework aims to work as a common set of competencies in disaster nursing for the global nursing workforce and provides clarification of nurses’ role in disasters (WHO, 2009). Parameters of nursing and midwifery emergency and disaster competencies are organized under four areas :

  • Prevention/Mitigation
  • Preparedness
  • Response
  • Recovery/Rehabilitation.

Within the four areas, 10 domains are identified:

(1) risk reduction, disease prevention, and health promotion; (2) policy development and planning; (3) ethical practice, legal practice and accountability; (4) communication and information sharing; (5) education and preparedness; (6) care of the community; (7) care of individuals and families; (8) psychological care; (9) care of vulnerable populations; and (10) long-term recovery of individuals, families and communities see [Figure 3]. The specific competencies for each of the domains are given clearly (see [Figure 3])to enable nurses to understand the skills they need to have to respond effectively in disaster (WHO, 201lb).
Figure 3: ICN framework of Disaster Nursing Competencies (Source: WHO, 2009)

Click here to view

The Nursing curriculum in India by the Indian Nursing Council and University have included disaster nursing training as a mandate. The Nursing Council of Tamil Nadu offers online training in Disaster Management with credit hours. Many nurses volunteer in disasters and their efforts can be enhanced if training and capacity building can become an ongoing activity.

  Conclusion Top

Disaster risk reduction is the key to effective disaster management. Building capacities of health care professionals and the different groups in community has become the need of the hour. The ICN disaster nursing competencies can form the basis of any training in the preparation of nursing workforce. Knowledgeable, better prepared, and skillful nursing workforce can be a best resource in the disaster prone India.

Conflicts of Interest: The author has declared no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Alfred, D., Chilton, J., Connor, D., Deal, В., Fountain, R., Hensarling, J., & Klotz, L. (2015). Preparing for disasters: Education and management strategies explored. Nurse Education in Practice, /5(1), 82- 89.  Back to cited text no. 1
Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters. (2015). Poverty and Death: Disaster Mortality. Retrieved from https://www.cred.be/poverty-death-disaster-mortality  Back to cited text no. 2
Index for Risk Management. (2019). INFORM country risk profiles for India. Retreievd from http://www.inform-index.org/Countries/Country- profiles  Back to cited text no. 3
Simply decoded. (2013). Disaster Profile and Management. Retrieved from http://www.simplydecoded.com / 2013/10/2 /india-disaster-profile-and-management/  Back to cited text no. 4
Lee, A. C. K., Booth, Α., Challen, К., Gardois, P., & Goodacre, S. (2014). Disaster management in low- and middle-income countries: scoping review of the evidence base. Emergency Medicine Journal, 37(el),e78-e83.  Back to cited text no. 5
ME Studies. (2017). Types of Capacities in Disaster Management. Retrieved from http://www. mnestudies. com/ disaster-management/capacity- types  Back to cited text no. 6
National Disaster Management Authority of India . (2005). The Disaster Management Act. Retrieved from https:// ndma.gov.in/en/disaster.html  Back to cited text no. 7
National Disaster Management Plan. (2016). A publication of the National Disaster Management Authority, Government of India. Retrievedfrom https://ndma.gov.in/images /policyplan/dmplan/National%20Disaster%20Man agement%20Plan%20 May%202016.pdf  Back to cited text no. 8
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. (2015- 2030). Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Retrieved from https://www.unisdr.org/ we/coordinate/sendai-framework  Back to cited text no. 9
Wikipedia. (2018). Indo-Australian Plate. Retreieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Australian_ Plate  Back to cited text no. 10
World Health Organisation. (2009). ICN Framework of Disaster Nursing Competencies. Retrieved from http://www.wpro.who.int/hrh/documents/icn_fram ework.pdf  Back to cited text no. 11
World Health Organisation. (2011a). Disaster Risk Management for Health : Overview. Retrievedfrom https://www.who.int/hac/events/drm_fact_sheet_o verview.pdf  Back to cited text no. 12
World Health Organisation. (2011b). Role of Nurses and Midwives in Emergencies and Disasters Case studies from South-East Asia Region. Retrieved from http ://www. s e aro. wh о. int/en t i ty /nursing_midwifery/topics/nursing/regionalcasestu dy.pdf  Back to cited text no. 13


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

  [Table 1], [Table 2]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
Disasters - Glob...
Disaster Scenari...
Capacity Building
Article Figures
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded142    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal