Hazards and disasters may sound like the same thing, but there is a vital difference.
A hazard, in relation to emergency disaster preparedness, can be defined as:
any source of potential damage, harm or adverse health effects to life, health, property or the environment.
A disaster, in relation to emergency disaster preparedness, can be defined as:
a devastating impact of a hazard that negatively affects life, health, property or the environment on a scale sufficient to require outside assistance.
Since a disaster is the result of a hazard’s impact on the society, the effects of a disaster are determined by the extent of a community’s vulnerability to the hazard (or conversely, its ability, or capacity to cope with it).
- Image Source: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/nca/wg02/index.php [Accessed May 11, 2013]
- Image Source: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/nca/1906/18april/index.php [Accessed May 11, 2013]