What do Natural Hazards do?

Natural Hazards such as earthquakes and volcanoes have the following effects: they damage/destroy buildings, they cause landslides, they cause the economy to crash, gas pipes to burst and start fires. They can kill people, they can even cause another natural hazard to occur and they can make many other disastrous things happen as well.


What happens before a disaster?

Before a natural hazard occurs, MEDC's (More Economically Developed Countries) are better prepared because they are likely to have buildings which are built to survive natural disasters. They also have more money to spend upgrading old buildings to new standards, for example they could have huge rubber pads (called seismic isolators) built into the foundations of their buildings or the foundations could be deepened. Most LEDC's (Less Economically Developed Countries) can't afford to have all their buildings built or upgraded to the same standards as MEDC's. Most houses and buildings are very poorly constructed which cause mass devastation when they collapse easily.

MEDC's can afford to have stocks of equipment ready, which are to be used in emergencies like earthquakes. The supplies are always kept up to date and can be delivered very quickly and efficiently to those in need. LEDC's aren't able to keep emergency supplies as the funds are better spent on something else, like the health care or education systems, instead of spending it on emergencies which might never even happen.

MEDC's have disaster plans and whole government departments dedicated to educating the public and preparing the emergency services responses to natural hazards. They spend lots of money on training and buying the equipment necessary. LEDC's aren't able to afford the plans for the emergency services, equipment and the training needed. This causes many lives to be lost after a disaster which could have otherwise been prevented.

What happens after a disaster?

After a disaster LEDC's are much slower to recover because they don't have all the resources at hand whilst MEDC's do. LEDC's have to ask other countries for aid which then takes a lot of time for it to arrive. This is because the countries and organisations sending aid have to get all the aid (food, shelter, water etc) onto planes which then fly over and have to be distributed among the victims.

Many organisations like the Red Cross respond to Natural hazards by distributing food, water, tents and other essential items. The Sichuan earthquake in China was met by many organizations aid; the Red Cross contributed $14 million to support the relief and recovery efforts of the Red Cross Society of China. The funds were used to assist survivors through the purchase and distribution of relief supplies, coordination of logistics and transportation of disaster workers to the hardest hit areas. The American Red Cross also sent relief experts to the affected area to help monitor and coordinate their response efforts.