September 19, 2014

Risk management

The reduction of natural risks is achieved by different complementary approaches that are implemented on very different time scales:

Prevention: this action is undertaken over a long period of time, and is aimed at reducing the potential consequences of an event. It implies the long-term forecasting of the hazard and its consequences, and involves three types of actions :

  • Knowledge of the risks, diagnostic of the dangers and the protection to be implemented: countermeasures, integration of risks in development, surveillance (building, urban development and planning) to reduce the vulnerability of buildings and infrastructures,
  • Awareness, information and training of local representatives, the population, professional bodies, educational system, etc.
  • Protection and planning of emergency services: warnings, emergency plans, action plans, crisis centres, etc.

Prediction: short-term prediction for the evolution of an event about to occur or that has already started is aimed at taking quick measures to protect the population and the fundamental logistic and economic resources. It is accompanied by real-time monitoring of changes in the situation.

Post-crisis report: this step must be undertaken as quickly as possible to estimate the damage, trigger relief procedures and quickly re-orient or comple the already-identified measures for protection, warning, emergency and prevention, in order to update and improve them.
Dynamic geology in this case covers the following applications: the associated tectonics, seismology and volcanism (observation and monitoring of volcanic activities), the study of ground movements and landslides and the problems of erosion and soil transportation.