Man-Made Hazards

A hazard is a forceful natural or man-made event with the potential to adversely affect human life and property, or the environment. Natural hazards are a normal consequence of the internal and external forces that are constantly transforming the earth (e. g. , earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, etc. ). Man-made hazards arise from deliberate human actions (e. g. , war, terrorism, humanitarian emergencies, etc. ) that are usually predictable and preventable.

They may also arise from the unforeseen or unexpected consequences of human development and technology (e.g. , nuclear weapons, industrial accidents, etc. ). Similar to natural hazards, man-made hazards are also defined as conditions of potential danger or risk to life and health or property. However, man-made hazards result, not from acts of nature, but from acts of man and use of his technology. TECHNOLOGICAL HAZARDS Technological hazards refers to the origins of incidents that can arise from human activities, such as the manufacture, transportation, storage, and use of hazardous materials.

Technological emergencies are accidental and their consequences are unintended. EXAMPLES Man-made hazards, such as pollution of the atmosphere and of the seas, climatic changes, and the effects of industrial or transport accidents, civil disturbances and wars, noise pollution, hazardous waste, hazardous materials spills, toxic chemicals splills, structural collapse, human-caused fires, landslide (from human action, such as construction, logging or road building), terrorism, nuclear power plant hazards, explosions, biological attack HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN We are in need of hazard mitigation planning where the goverment works with its citizens to choose which actions are appropriate to protect the community BEFORE disasters strike.

This is different than an emergency response plan, which deals with handling disasters AFTER they occur. DISASTER In general, a disaster results when the extent of damage produced by the force of a natural or man-made hazard exceeds human capacity to cope with its consequences – when it destroys or places additional burdens on fundamental societal functions such as law and order, communication, transportation, water and food supply, sanitation, health services, etc. As a result, order is replaced by chaos. Chaos may be compounded by a disproportionate, inadequate, or disorganized response – the so-called ‘second disaster. ’