D2 What makes a disaster?

  • Though the problems that may lead to a disaster can happen anywhere, some people are able to respond quickly and protect themselves from the effects of the disaster. They may have enough money to move away, they may have well-built homes or enough money to replant their crops. It is often the poor that are most at risk of suffering when disaster strikes.
  • However, money alone is not enough. Sometimes poor people survive better because they are more able to work together and help each other as a community.
  • A disaster situation arises when people are unable to cope with a sudden and dangerous event. If they are able to cope, the event does not lead to a disaster.

  • What do you consider to be a disaster?
  • Can you think of a problem in your community where one part of the community was able to cope and another was not? What made the difference?
  • Can anyone remember an occasion when their family was affected by a disaster that did not affect their neighbours? What made the difference?