Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Disaster Preparedness Self Study


Natural Hazards: Causes and Effects
Study Guide and Course Text

Natural Hazards: Causes and Effects Study Guide for Disaster Management
Prepared by Don Schramm and Robert Dries

To be used in conjunction with Natural Hazards: Causes and Effects Course Text
UW-DMC Disaster Management Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison

How to Get Started
This self-study course to meet the needs of people involved in managing both sudden onset
natural disasters (i.e., earthquakes, floods, hurricanes) and slow-onset disasters
(i.e., famine, drought). This course is designed for government personnel,
representatives of private voluntary agencies and other individuals at local and national
levels who are interested in disaster management.
The procedure for self-study is:
• Complete and score the pretest. Do not be disappointed if you have a low score. If
you have a high score, you probably do not need this course.
• Read the outline of course content to get a general idea of what is covered in the
• Read the learning objectives to get a general idea of what you are expected to learn
from the course.

Turn to Lesson 1: Introduction to Natural Hazards
• Review the study guide section for a brief description of the lesson and any special
suggestions on how to study.
• Again read the learning objectives.
• Carry out the learning activities listed.
• Complete the self-assessment test at the end of the lesson and score it using the
answer key provided. If you have not answered most of the questions correctly,
restudy the lesson.
If you score well on the self-assessment test, proceed to Lesson 2.
Continue to study each lesson and complete the self-assessment test until you have
finished the course of study. When you have completed to your satisfaction all the selfassessment
tests, you can request a final examination package. This will include the
final examination and any other supplementary material.

Multiple Choice. Circle the best answer(s):
1. The best foreign relief to an earthquake stricken area is:
a) cash
b) food, blankets and clothing
c) medical assistance
d) teams of assessment workers and
other volunteers
e) long-term recovery assistance

2. The largest annual death toll during the 1970s was caused by:
a) floods
b) earthquakes
c) tropical cyclones
d) drought
e) all other disasters

3. The majority of volcanoes are located in:
a) the circum-Pacific belt
b) the mid-Atlantic line
c) East Africa
d) the African Rift Valley
e) Hawaii

4. Active floodproofing is most effective:
a) with long warning lead times
b) in flash flood areas
c) if it is permanent
d) in floodplain areas
e) using volunteers

5. Supplementary feeding programs are:
a) targeted to those people suffering from severe protein-energy malnutrition(PEM)
b) targeted to those people suffering from moderate PEM
c) often used to distribute general food rations over a wide geographic area
d) of little value in large-scale famine relief operations
e) a secondary response best handled by foreign agencies

6. Tropical cyclones often generate:
a) high rates of injured people
b) tidal floods
c) very heavy rainfall
d) agricultural soil erosion
e) countercurrents beneath the ocean’s surface

7. The first step in desertification of rangelands is:
a) thinning of vegetation due to grazing
b) severe drought
c) an increase in edible perennial plants
d) water runoff due to sun-hardened soil
e) an increase in groundwater level due to runoff

8. Tsunamis may strike with a force:
a) greater than other types of disasters
b) that radically alters the landscape
c) that affects only lands along the world’s oceans
d) that seriously disrupts economic and social patterns
e) all of the above

9. The major human-made cause of
deforestation today is:
b) fuel
c) wood pulp for papermaking
d) unequal land tenure
e) farming
f) none of the above

True or False
Indicate T or F:
_____ 10. The ingredients of cyclones are a mixture of heat and moisture.

_____ 11. A natural event such as an earthquake will always result in a disaster.

_____ 12. An underwater earthquake in the ocean near your area is a natural tsunami warning.

_____ 13. A secondary effect of a volcanic eruption may be the saturation of ash with rain, causing roofs to collapse.

_____ 14. Current international warning systems issue a “cyclone warning” when a cyclone could reach land within 24 hours.

_____ 15. The rapid rate of deforestation is a prime force in the yearly increase of flood disasters in the tropics.

_____ 16. Flash floods are rare in deserts and mountains.

_____ 17. Lands threatened by desertification cover 10 percent of the world’s

_____ 18. Communicable diseases are a major threat after an earthquake.

_____ 19. Drought will occur only in semiarid climates.

_____ 20. The largest flood-related losses take place in countries with agricultural economies.

Answer Key
1. a
2. b
3. a
4. a
5. b
6. c
7. a
8. e
9. e
10. T
11. F
12. T
13. T
14. F
15. T
16. F
17. F
18. F
19. F
20. T

Outline of Content
Lesson 1 Introduction to Natural Hazards
• Classification of Disasters
• Phases of a Disaster
• Effects of Disasters
• Prevention, Mitigation and

Preparedness Lesson 2 Earthquakes
• Historical Examples and Geographical

• Effects of Earthquakes
• Earthquake Forecasting
• Impact of Earthquakes
• Pre-Disaster and Post-Disaster

• Lessons from Past Disasters

Lesson 3 Tsunamis
• Historical Examples and Geographical

• Impact on Natural and Built

• Disaster Mitigation and Preparedness
• Recovery/Reconstruction Problems and

Strategies Lesson 4 Volcanoes
• Historic Eruptions and Geographical

• Types of Volcanoes
• Volcanic Prediction
• Disaster Preparedness and Response

Lesson 5 Tropical Cyclones
• Historical Examples and Geographical

• Forecasting/Warning
• Impact on Built and Natural

• Disaster Preparedness and Response

Lesson 6 Floods
• Historical Examples and Geographical

• Forecasting, Warning, and Monitoring

• Impact on Built and Natural

• Mitigation Strategies

Lesson 7 Drought
• Historical Examples and Geographical

• Natural Preconditions for Drought
• Impact of Droughts
• Famine
• Mitigation Strategies
• Post-Disaster Activities
• Lessons Learned

Lesson 8 Desertification
• Historical Examples and Geographical

• Natural and Human Preconditions
• Impact on the Natural Environment
• Recovery/Mitigation Problems and

Strategies Lesson 9 Deforestation
• Historic Examples and Geographical

• Economic and Social Conditions Leading to Deforestation
• Related Disasters
• Impact on Built and Natural

• Recovery Strategies and Problems
• Mitigation

Course Objectives
Lesson 1 Introduction to Natural Hazards
  • Distinguish between natural hazard and natural disaster
  • Identify the causes or preconditions for a hazard
  • Describe hazard risk
  • Learn which disaster poses the greatest threat to personal safety
  • Identify the phases of a disaster
  • List the primary activities of government organizations and voluntary organizations in all disaster phases
  • Understand community lifeline systems
  • Identify components of disaster planning
Lesson 2 Earthquakes
  • Understand in general terms the principles of plate tectonics
  • Identify the kinds of movements occurring at fault lines
  • Describe the earth movements during an earthquake
  • Describe the scales of measurement of earthquake intensity and magnitude
  • Identify primary and secondary effects of earthquakes
  • Identify some of the earthquake mitigation measures that can be taken by various groups
  • Describe some standard reconstruction activities

Lesson 3 Tsunamis
  • Describe the physical characteristics of a tsunami
  • Locate the geographic distribution of tsunamis
  • Describe the primary impact of tsunamis on the environment and human settlements
  • Identify the appropriate relief agency responses to a tsunami
  • Describe various techniques of tsunami disaster mitigation

Lesson 4 Volcanoes
  • Differentiate between the two extreme types of volcanic eruptions
  • Describe the relationship of volcanic activity to seismic zones
  • Identify the geological elements of a volcano
  • Identify the four main kinds of volcanoes
  • Identify primary and secondary effects of volcanoes
  • Describe a technique for volcanic eruption prediction
  • Know some of the volcanic eruption mitigation and preparedness measures that can be taken by various groups
  • Describe the objectives of risk mapping

Lesson 5 Tropical Cyclones
  • Identify the regional terms used to describe a tropical cyclone
  • Describe the life of a tropical cyclone from initial seedling to final dissipation
  • Describe the scale of measurement of cyclone velocity
  • Identify primary and secondary effects of tropical cyclones
  • Describe the major factors contributing to a storm surge
  • Describe cyclone warning procedures
  • Describe the various impacts of cyclones
  • List some of the tropical cyclone mitigation and preparedness measures that can be taken by various groups
  • Identify the important emergency response activities after a tropical cyclone

Lesson 6 Floods
  • Describe the different types of flooding
  • Inventory the ways in which human settlements on floodplains are vulnerable
  • Describe the hydrological cycle
  • Describe a flood management system
  • Recognize the value of flood prediction
  • List some of the flooding mitigation and preparedness measures that can be taken by various groups
  • Identify the important emergency response activities after a flood
  • Describe flood prevention techniques

Lesson 7 Drought
  • Explain the natural and human-induced causes of drought
  • Identify primary and secondary effects of drought
  • Identify feeding programs to combat malnutrition caused by famine
  • Recognize the value of drought prediction
  • Describe techniques of drought monitoring
  • List some of the drought mitigation measures that can be taken by various groups
  • Identify some lessons learned from relief operations after the Sahelian drought of the 1970s

Lesson 8 Desertification
  • Understand the concept of desertification
  • Know the classifications for drylands and the natural process by which arid lands become desertified
  • Identify the threats that desertification pose to humans
  • Identify land management practices that mitigate against desertification
  • Identify secondary effects of desertification
  • List some of the desertification mitigation and prevention measures that can be taken

Lesson 9 Deforestation
  • Recognize the economic and social conditions that lead to deforestation
  • Identify primary and secondary effects of deforestation
  • Identify techniques of deforestation prediction
  • Understand the impact of deforestation on a country’s economy, agriculture, and construction
  • Recognize some deforestation mitigation measures that can be taken
Lesson 1 - Introduction to Natural Hazards

Study Guide Overview

This lesson defines disasters. It classifies them and describes different phases of a disaster. It
outlines general effects and how to prevent, prepare and mitigate these effects.

Learning Objectives
  • Describe when a hazard becomes a disaster.
  • Identify the conditions for a disaster to occur.
  • Describe hazard risk and how a community or individual becomes vulnerable to a disaster.
  • Explain how human activities both before and after the disaster takes place can add to a disaster's impact.
  • Rank disasters according to the number of people killed and the areas of the world in which they take place.
  • Show how a country's economy makes it more vulnerable to a disaster.
  • List the phases of a disaster.
  • Explain the primary activities of government and volunteer organizations during these phases.
  • Compare the importance of disaster prevention and mitigation.
  • Compare these with disaster response.
  • List and explain components of disaster planning.
Learning Activities
  • Read Chapter 1 in the text.
  • Study Table 1.1.
  • Review Appendix l.
Complete the self-assessment test.
Lesson 1 Self-Assessment Test Multiple Choice : tick the correct answer(s):

1. A natural hazard is:
a) a flood, earthquake or similar unpredictable natural event
b) an extreme natural phenomenon that causes death and destruction
c) people located in a natural environment that may disrupt or threaten their safety
and property
d) any natural catastrophe targeted by government agencies as threatening to
a population
e) an unpredictable event that disturbs the natural order of the environment

2. The people living in Tokyo, Japan, are less vulnerable to earthquakes than those living in Nicaragua because:
a) they have a higher standard of living
b) they live farther away from the earthquake belt
c) fewer earthquakes take place in Japan
d) Japan has fewer active volcanoes
e) Japan has good building codes and earthquake training

3. A disaster is defined according to:
a) its human consequences
b) its cause
c) the number of deaths it causes
d) its measurable severity
e) the country where it takes place

4. The largest annual death toll during the 1970s was caused by:
a) floods
b) earthquakes
c) tropical cyclones
d) drought
e) all other disasters

5. Technology can now identify hazards and estimate their impact on an area. This permits:
a) planning evacuation routes
b) applying for government aid and setting up monitoring stations
c) preventing the disaster or reducing its impact
d) reacting to the disasters when they occur
e) knowing when the disaster will take place

6. Pre-disaster planning will make possible:
a) the prevention of the disaster
b) the effective application of aid where prevention is not possible
c) self-sufficiency in dealing with natural hazards
d) anticipating the consequences of a disaster
e) all of the above

7. Effective hazard management will largely rely on:
a) volunteers
b) government agencies
c) emergency responses
d) pre-disaster planning
e) establishing emergency relief agencies

8. Although each type of disaster can have a different cause, they all cause predictable problems in the following areas:
a) environmental and health
b) administration and managerial
c) social and economic
d) a and c
e) a, b, and c

True or False

Indicate T or F:

_____ 9. The transitional period and the reconstruction period take place during the post-disaster phase.

_____ 10. Epidemics generally result from disasters.

_____ 11. Disasters create a need for total food and shelter replacement.

_____ 12. Local economies often collapse for a long time when disaster strikes.

_____ 13. Environmental effects differ greatly depending on the type of disaster.

_____ 14. Earthquakes and floods regularly cause many injuries requiring medical care.

_____ 15. Small, community-based organizations can function more effectively during a disaster than large, formal ones.

_____ 16. When community activities are back to normal following a disaster, disaster management planning has achieved its purpose.

_____ 17. A disaster strains only the resources of those directly affected by it.
Answer Key
1. c
2. e
3. a
4. b
5. c
6. e
7. d
8. e
9. T
10. F
11. F
12. F
13. T
14. F
15. T
16. F
17. F



  1. Keep up the hard work!!!! it's indeed a very interesting article

  2. very helpful article indeed