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The effects of a disaster can be long-lasting, and the resulting trauma can reverberate even with those not directly affected by the disaster. The interactive graphic highlights the kinds of mental-health related experiences that might occur during the phases of a disaster:
Disasters of all types can have primary, secondary, and tertiary effects. Primary Effects occur as a result of the disaster event itself. Secondary Effects occur only because a primary effect has caused them. Tertiary Effects are long-term effects that are set off as a result of a primary event.
One threat of a natural hazard is that it's either constantly present or it's subject to fluctuations. Many hazards are cyclical; for example, earthquakes occur with a definable time interval because of the gradual build-up of strain on the fault. Other hazards, especially meteorological ones, may be seasonal.
A human-made (or anthropogenic - an effect resulting from human activity) hazard can be defined as a threat of human activities that can have a negative effect on people, property and/or the environment. A human-made disaster can be defined as the devastating effect of a human-made hazard that results in a negative effect on people, property and/or the environment.
Hazards can be categorized in terms of their spatial extent, predictability, frequency, magnitude, duration, speed of onset and effects. Hazards and disasters can also be classified as either natural or human-made(anthropogenic - resulting from human activity).
A concrete example of the difference between a hazard and a disaster is that earthquakes are a hazard, whereas the 1906 San Francisco earthquake was a disaster.
According to Ready.gov, 1 in 4 families have not planned for emergencies and only 40% know how to plan. Being prepared, having a plan and understanding what to do is the best protection, is your responsibility and can reduce fear, anxiety and losses that accompany disasters.