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International Recovery Platform

Glossary

List of terms in recovery.

N

National platform for disaster risk reduction

A generic term for national mechanisms for coordination and policy guidance on disaster risk reduction that are multi-sectoral and inter-disciplinary in nature, with public, private and civil society participation involving all concerned entities within a country.

This definition is derived from footnote 10 of the Hyogo Framework. Disaster risk reduction requires the knowledge, capacities and inputs of a wide range of sectors and organisations, including United Nations agencies present at the national level, as appropriate. Most sectors are affected directly or indirectly by disasters and many have specific responsibilities that impinge upon disaster risks. National platforms provide a means to enhance national action to reduce disaster risks, and they represent the national mechanism for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

Natural hazard

Natural process or phenomenon that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage.

Natural hazards are a sub-set of all hazards. The term is used to describe actual hazard events as well as the latent hazard conditions that may give rise to future events. Natural hazard events can be characterized by their magnitude or intensity, speed of onset, duration, and area of extent. For example, earthquakes have short durations and usually affect a relatively small region, whereas droughts are slow to develop and fade away and often affect large regions. In some cases hazards may be coupled, as in the flood caused by a hurricane or the tsunami that is created by an earthquake.

O

No terms matching the letter O. We welcome submissions.

P

Preparedness

The knowledge and capacities developed by governments, professional response and recovery organizations, communities and individuals to effectively anticipate, respond to, and recover from, the impacts of likely, imminent or current hazard events or conditions.

Preparedness action is carried out within the context of disaster risk management and aims to build the capacities needed to efficiently manage all types of emergencies and achieve orderly transitions from response through to sustained recovery. Preparedness is based on a sound analysis of disaster risks and good linkages with early warning systems, and includes such activities as contingency planning, stockpiling of equipment and supplies, the development of arrangements for coordination, evacuation and public information, and associated training and field exercises. These must be supported by formal institutional, legal and budgetary capacities. The related term “readiness” describes the ability to quickly and appropriately respond when required.

Prevention

The outright avoidance of adverse impacts of hazards and related disasters.

Prevention (i.e. disaster prevention) expresses the concept and intention to completely avoid potential adverse impacts through action taken in advance. Examples include dams or embankments that eliminate flood risks, land-use regulations that do not permit any settlement in high risk zones, and seismic engineering designs that ensure the survival and function of a critical building in any likely earthquake. Very often the complete avoidance of losses is not feasible and the task transforms to that of mitigation. Partly for this reason, the terms prevention and mitigation are sometimes used interchangeably in casual use.

Prospective disaster risk management *

Management activities that address and seek to avoid the development of new or increased disaster risks.

This concept focuses on addressing risks that may develop in future if risk reduction policies are not put in place, rather than on the risks that are already present and which can be managed and reduced now. See also Corrective disaster risk management.

* Emerging new concepts that are not in widespread use but are of growing professional relevance; the definition of these terms remain to be widely consulted upon and may change in future.
 

Public awareness

The extent of common knowledge about disaster risks, the factors that lead to disasters and the actions that can be taken individually and collectively to reduce exposure and vulnerability to hazards.

Public awareness is a key factor in effective disaster risk reduction. Its development is pursued, for example, through the development and dissemination of information through media and educational channels, the establishment of information centres, networks, and community or participation actions, and advocacy by senior public officials and community leaders.

Q

No terms matching the letter Q. We welcome submissions.