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Planning of natural Hazards and Natural disasters - Essay Example

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16th November 2012 Planning of Natural Hazards and Natural Disasters Introduction The world experiences a variety of natural hazards and disasters every year. These disasters impact negatively on the people, infrastructure, property as well as the wider environment…
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Download file to see previous pages Planning systems and techniques ought to be improved considering that the magnitude of some hazards can be altered by the effects of climate change. Planning for natural hazards is of vital essence as it can decrease the potential for damage, injury or even loss of life when a disaster occurs. Sufficient information has been put in circulation regarding preparing for natural disasters. Economists around the world have studied their long term repercussions while NGOs and governments have contemplated various mitigation practices. Scientists have evaluated the ability to improve warning systems; while planners and engineers have attempted to conquer the weaknesses of buildings and infrastructure. All these measures have been put in place with an aim of planning for disasters. However, the process of mitigating natural disasters is much more complex. Most people mainly associate natural hazards and disasters with natural causes whose occurrence cannot be prevented. However, environmental degradation can also trigger or even worsen some disasters. Most of these environmental challenges are associated with the outward spread of urban development. For instance, deforestation results in an increase in surface run-off concentration causing flooding as well as destabilized slopes which results devastating landslides. Empirical evidence advocates that countries in which environmental degradation is most severe suffer most from natural disasters. For example, the Nepal floods that occurred in 1993 were mainly as a result of deforestation and change in catchment drainage patterns (Shaw et al 32). Therefore, conservation of the environment can help mitigate the occurrence of these natural disasters. Planning and preparedness is of vital essence for both management and mitigation of natural hazards and disasters. The following report, based on the book The Environmental Planning Handbook for sustainable communities and regions by Tom Daniels and Katherine Daniels, presents an analysis of how natural hazards and disasters can be prevented, through environmental protection at the local level. According to T. Daniels and K. Daniels (3), the issue of environmental protection is global and depends largely on timely and effective action at the local level. This report explains complex environmental issues and offers guidance to local governments on how to incorporate comprehensive planning into sustainable environmental quality in the local community. Once these guidelines are followed, they will help conserve the environment in the local community and in return help mitigate the occurrence and magnitude of natural hazards and disasters. According to T. Daniels and K. Daniels (11), planning as the process of making choices and organizing resources to achieve the set goals and objectives. Through planning, communities can minimize or even avoid water and air pollution, conversion of both farms and forestlands, loss of wild life as well as the overall degradation of the environment. Comprehensive planning refers to preparation of documents aimed at directing the current and future economic and physical development of a local government. Comprehensive planning is a continuous process and sets forth how a community will look, function and grow over a period of between 10 and 20 years (T. Daniels and K. Daniels 12). Environmental Hazards and Disasters The world is fast becoming more susceptible to natural ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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