Networking is a process that fosters the exchange of information and ideas among individuals or groups that share a common interest. It may be for social or business purposes. Professionals connect their business network through a series of symbolic ties and contacts. Business connections may form due to an individual’s education, employer, industry or colleagues. For instance, a business network of Harvard Business School alumni may develop. Networking may also refer to the setting up and operation of a physical computer network.
Importance of Networking in Disaster Management
Networking is one of the most important and promising tools that have a lot of potentiality to reduce the disaster related live losses, properties damages and environmental degradations. Networking in different Phases of disaster management can play very effective and crucial role to manage disaster in an effective and efficient manner.
As discussed above, there are limited resources from government agencies to gather geospatial information rapidly, and effective communication mechanisms are lacking for information sharing and collaboration between professional emergency managers and citizens during emergencies. Social networks can play two major roles in effective emergency management.
Role of Networking in Pre-disaster phases
- forecasting and taking precautionary measures
- organizing the delivery of timely and effective rescue, relief and assistance.
- development and regular testing of warning systems (linked to forecasting systems) and plans for evacuation or other measures
- education and training of officials and the population at risk
- the training of intervention teams, and the establishment of policies, standards, organizational arrangements and operational plans to be applied following a disaster.
Mitigation measures for any disaster mainly two types of measures are taken. These are:
- Structural Measures: Structural measures with adequate appurtenant structures and proper Environment management practices create condition for increasing productivity from land and other developmental activities. E.g. Dams and Reservoirs for impounding excess Runoff, Embankment, Dyke, Polder, Levee, Bund etc.
- Non-structural measures: Reduction of loss or damage. Preferred by social scientists and conservationist. Measure to reduce loss or damage by administrative measures. It does not foster any economic growth. Must be linked up with structural measures and vice-versa. e.g. forecasting and warning, Evacuation and shelter management, awareness etc.
- Integration of structural and non-structural measures is essential for effective disaster management
Role of Networking in during-disaster Phase
- Networking plays very important and crucial role to total disaster management, particularly during disaster phase.
- Effective networking in during disaster can reduce losses of lives, properties and infrastructure damage and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of disaster management system.
- Search and Rescue
- First aid and primary treatment
- Effective disaster communication
- Resource mobilization
- Effective role and acting
- Providing warning for other upcoming secondary disasters in advance
- Reduce the lives loss
- Minimize the economic loss and properties damage
- Enhance the effectiveness of post-disaster activities
Role of Networking in Post-disaster phases
- search & rescue, emergency relief, first aid and related medical services etc.
- These activities help affected communities to improve their worst condition immediately and reduce more negative impacts of disaster.
- Just after disaster many people need search & rescue, food, pure drinking water, first aid, cloths and other daily necessities to sustain their life.
- These activities may arrange by different govt. and non-govt. Organizations.
Recovery can be defined as the longer-term activities undertaken to recover from a disaster event in an attempt to return the community to pre-disaster norms. To recover anything we need network because we need proper materials or equipment’s for recovery.
Development is defined as “development pursued in such a manner as to address vulnerabilities, and thereby decrease the probability that social, political and economic progress will be set back by disaster”.
Components of networking
Key components of a Disaster Management Information System would be a database of
- Hazard Assessment Mapping
- Vulnerability Assessment
- Demographic Distribution
- Infrastructure, Lifelines and Critical Facilities
- Logistics and Transportation Routes
- Human and Material Response Resources
- Communication Facilities