News, Culture & Society

At What Point Does a Man-made Event Become Labeled a Disaster?

Before we dive into at what point does a human-made event become a disaster, first, what is a human-made event? A human-made event is one that a man has created, manufactured, constructed to function in a specific manner (like technological systems) and later fails due to negligence or a human error.

It’s labeled a disaster if it has a larger magnitude and deeper intensity, the speed at which the disaster happens is terrific, the duration the disaster takes, massive destruction of property, and the scope of the area the disaster happens. If you wish to get fast emergency services, Mobile Command Center will make the situation less stressful.

And that poses the question, what is a disaster?

A disaster is an unfortunate situation that results in mass devastation of property and loss of lives.

Examples of man-made events comprise:

  • Airline accidents
  • Gas leakages
  • Oil spillages
  • Atomic meltdowns and industrial explosions
  • Biological or/and chemical threats
  • Interruptions in Services like communications, water, travel, sewer, etc.
  • Perilous materials on trucks, rails, and pipelines
  • Mass meetings can cause disorder, war, or threats
  • Transit on trucks and rails
  • Weapons of mass disruption
  • Crime, civil disturbance, terrorism, arson, cyber-attacks, etc.

All the events listed above are all human creations, and in case there is a human error or carelessness and destruction occurs, it becomes a tragedy.

Examples of natural disasters include:

  • Thunderstorms and lighting.
  • Cyclones
  • Hurricanes
  • Ice storms
  • Landslides & debris flow.
  • Tsunamis
  • Earthquakes
  • Wildfire
  • Floods
  • Winter storms

A result of any of the above natural disasters is caused by nature’s forces, which man does not influence. But man can prepare measures to help protect the community around the area.

Accidents occur when you least expect them. Natural disasters like floods, storms, tornadoes, landslides, and earthquakes have been happening since way back before the recording time, and at least they can be prepared for, and some lives and property saved.

Over the years, preparing, handling, dealing, and managing such disasters have been discussed, and the community around the areas informed and prepared. Man-made disasters are influenced by human events that people can control and manage. In contrast, natural disasters are dictated by natural forces that people have no control over.

Human-made disasters can be prevented if attention and proper management are put in place but are also very difficult to predict. And when most of them occur, they often turn out disastrous. Situations, where oil spills, gas leaks, or industrial fire occurs are preventable, but when such incidents fall, they take over and become destructive. Many natural disasters have been happening and reoccurring, but man-made events are continually increasing with an increment in the number of disasters worldwide.

At What Point Does a Man-made Event Turn into a Disaster?

First, professional responders and crisis managers responsible for analyzing tragedies will look at what is at risk and who are at risk before quantifying the event as a disaster. As for natural events, authorities always know where such occurrences happen. Whether it is a flood or a storm, they either have prior preparations or are aware of the upcoming disaster. They may estimate the impact of some recurring natural events but never know who will be a victim.

So, How Do Emergency Services React in the Areas That Catastrophes have hit?

For many natural disasters, first responders and crisis managers do a social assessment to analyze the group of people affected and how best to communicate with them.

At What Point is it a Disaster?

Unlike natural disasters, human-made disasters are far from being identified unless there’s a spy in the case of terrorism. Otherwise, many man-made events occur when they least presume. It is a human-made disaster depending on the scope of the area affected, who is at-risk, and the level of destruction.

Once the man-made events affect the people’s livelihood, their properties and cause loss of human life, it is declared a disaster.

For instance, if a gas leak happens from the warehouse located in a town and unluckily there’s a fire explosion. Before the firefighters arrive on the scene, many people will be affected; their businesses will be burnt down. Some people will die while others will get injured, which can be categorized as a disaster.

The larger the number of people at risk, the high chances of the event being labeled a disaster. In conclusion, if a human-made event affects a massive number of people’s day-to-day livelihood, that is a disaster.