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Über dieses Buch

The book is expressly written for the young minds because they are our best hope for a safer tomorrow. The book is profusely illustrated, as it offers a joyride to the world of the whole range of hazards through simplified teaching-learning process, with less of teaching and more of learning. This is because most readers would love to learn without actually being taught. The book is designed to take advantage of distilled wisdom of centuries to inspire and enlighten the common man to turn them into prime movers of safer societies. Senior citizens, community leaders, self-trained disaster managers, social workers, media personnel, bureaucrats and those averse to the very thought of reading will also find the book useful as it is illustrative and inviting.



Chapter 1. Disaster Education: The Silver Bullet

Disaster education is the sharpest weapon of hope in our united, nonviolent, and long drawn but seemingly winnable war against disasters. It sells the dream of disaster-free world and leads us to the culture of safety through the passage of scientific enquiry, strategic planning, capacity building, quick thinking, proactive synergistic preventive action and swift response. It creates self-motivated champions of nonviolence, peace, and safety sanctified by vision, wisdom, and deep sense of universal responsibility to transform disasters into opportunities for building a safer world. The chapter outlines the objectives of disaster education, its scope and its architecture, and shows the way forward.

Rajendra Kumar Bhandari

Chapter 2. Disaster Terminology

While speaking of disaster risk reduction, mitigation, and management, use of right terminology is critical to ensuring effective communication between all players. The chapter, while introducing the commonly used terms such as threat, danger, hazard, disaster, crisis, calamity, catastrophe, and cataclysm, throws light on their respective origins and uniqueness. The meaning and importance of the twin terms—rumor and panic,and of the trinity—hazard, vulnerability and risk, are explained. While the boundary between natural and man-made disasters is obscure and disputed, the thin line that divides the success of disaster management from the failure of disaster mismanagement is almost always visible. The point is made through cartoons and illustrations.

Rajendra Kumar Bhandari

Chapter 3. The World of Hazards and Disasters

The world of hazards and disasters is enormous in its expanse, bewildering in its variety, spectacular in its appearance, masterly in its teachings, and overwhelming in its consequences. The chapter takes the readers on to a conducted tour of a biblical array of hazards and disasters like volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, lightning, thunderstorms, tornadoes, blizzards, cyclones, floods, famines, and fires. Kaleidoscopic in range, rich in substance, entrancing in style, simple and lucid in presentation, and profound in message, the chapter aims to make every date with disasters a learning opportunity and every lesson from disasters a saving grace.

Rajendra Kumar Bhandari

Chapter 4. From Belief to the Basics of Disasters

The chapter wades through some of the spectacular legends, superstitions, myths, and beliefs that once shrouded natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes, drought, lightening, thunderstorms, and snow avalanches. In the long corridor of time in human history, some of the finest brains in the world split to align themselves either with the magical power of beliefs or with the ever growing myth-demolishing-logic of science. Although we have left scores of myths and beliefs behind, our journey is far from over and many more questions seem to get added as we move forward. It is increasingly being realized that “a scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it” (Max Planck).

Rajendra Kumar Bhandari

Chapter 5. The New Awakening

We live in a global village and therefore disasters, regardless of wherever they occur, affect us all. The war against disasters is, therefore, being fought unitedly with synergy of strengths and with the big global picture in mind. The hazards may be natural or man-made but disasters are increasingly being attributed to anthropogenic factors. The time has come to remove the causative factors and shift the focus from single to multiple hazards; from concerns of safety to the culture of safety; from relief-centric approach to disaster mitigation; from use of primitive technologies to adoption of innovative, modern technologies; and from search for piecemeal solutions to the quest for lasting remedies. The chapter throws light on the current global thinking on disaster risk reduction and familiarizes the reader with some of the landmark global initiatives of far reaching impact.

Rajendra Kumar Bhandari

Chapter 6. Prediction and Forecasting of Natural Disasters

Differentiating between the terms prediction and forecasting, the chapter provides a brief on the current status of forecasting and early warning in the backdrop of success and failure stories. The speeds with which disasters strike, their prediction and people-centered early warning and indicators of crisis and emergency are discussed. The new generation of initiatives are introduced that provide ready access to global, regional, national, and local early warning systems and facilitate dissemination of early warnings.

Rajendra Kumar Bhandari

Chapter 7. Lessons in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management

The history of mankind is full of disasters of a bewildering variety, one bigger than the other. They give us opportunities to learn lessons and use those very lessons to do things differently and more effectively. The chapter presents a few of the simple but powerful lessons in disaster risk reduction and management. In a sense, disaster management is like mounting a tiger which is why a disaster manager, to be true to attended challenges, requires out-of-the-ordinary commitment to the job, nerves of steel, survival skills, and determination to succeed. A danger foreseen is a danger avoided, and in the ultimate analysis, disaster risk reduction is as good as the team work.

Rajendra Kumar Bhandari

Chapter 8. Guide to Safety

The ultimate objective of all efforts is twofold: to ensure individual as well as collective safety against all types of disasters through pre-disaster strategic thinking, planning, preparedness, prevention, and to reduce risks and minimize losses through timely interventions and swift post-disaster response. The chapter serves as a “Dummies Guide” to safety against earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, cyclones, thunderstorms and lightning, dust storms, floods and fire. It also provides simple tips for personal safety at school, home, and place of work.

Rajendra Kumar Bhandari


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