Peripatetic Event

The Many Industries of Disaster Management

When considering the various roles in disaster management, it’s easy to think entirely about volunteer groups, NGOs, and emergency services teams. And while their contributions can’t be ignored, many limbs play vital parts in a successful emergency management approach. 

Between traditional disaster relief jobs, the latest technological innovators, and industrial roles seemingly unrelated to emergency response, it’s important to recognise the varying contributions that form preparation, response, and recovery. We’ve put together this Disasters Dialogue to shed some light on the various industries that play crucial roles in mitigating the consequences of extreme weather events and seismic activity. 

First Responders & Emergency Management

While this piece is focused on the various industries represented in disasters, first responders and emergency management professionals can’t be ignored. Without the medical attention offered by ambulance staff, the situational control offered by police teams, and the multifaceted support of firefighters, disasters of all kinds would be much more devastating. From people with boots on the ground to management staff helping to keep things in order – the emergency services and first response teams are invaluable in high-pressure crises. 

Government Agencies & Collaborations

Various government and intergovernmental agencies play crucial parts in disaster management. From the UNDRR to the Commonwealth Secretariat, collaborative international projects are hugely beneficial for the passage of resources, aid initiatives, and evacuating civilians. There’s also great work being done by individual governments, despite some in developing countries being incapable of offering full support. Even groups like the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority are essential, illuminating the need for protective insurance plans across geographical lines.

Humanitarian Organisations & NGOs

Humanitarian groups and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) are teams of people who work, both in paid and voluntary positions to aid at-risk communities in the event of armed conflicts, famines, and disasters. These groups operate across international borders, often having depoliticised access to dangerous areas. The focuses of these groups can be general, like the British Red Cross, loosely motivated by religion like Medair (Christian), or focused on more specific causes, such as the UN Women initiative. Some, like the IFAW, aren’t even focused on humans, dedicated to supporting animals.

Climate Science Professionals & Meteorologists

Now we step outside the classic disaster management, venturing into areas not intrinsically connected yet similarly invaluable. Climate science is becoming more linked to emergency management every year, with the number of extreme weather events inextricably related to increasing global temperatures. Analysing climate science and meteorology can be vital in disaster preparedness and management, with weather patterns and climate consequences being essential indicators for the likelihood and intensity of potential disasters and crises.

Space Agencies & Satellite Operators

Space exploration may seem as far removed from disaster management as possible, but the contributions of space agencies and technologies to emergency response initiatives are becoming increasingly important. Satellite data and imagery are both vital tools in combatting the consequences of disasters, with images from space being used to map evacuation routes, map out vulnerable areas, and even predict when devastating events might occur. We should also remember the essential role of satellite technology in facilitating connectivity and communication in crises. 

Freight & Logistics Companies

While the particulars of the supply chain might be immediately associated with the retail industry, freight and logistics businesses can also make massive impacts in disaster management scenarios. Businesses with access to various freight avenues and warehouses can support disaster relief in storage scenarios, including the distribution of resources, citizen evacuations, international networking, and general recovery planning. Many logistics companies will willingly volunteer their resources to disaster management programs, as evidenced by DHL Group’s GoHelp program. 

Temporary Shelter & Sanitation

Whether providing for humanitarian workers or displaced populations, temporary shelter solutions and sanitation options are an essential and immediate disaster management measure. In many cases, hygiene and sanitation infrastructure can be destroyed by disasters, meaning businesses that may be more experienced in event sanitation will have to step up to provide adaptable solutions. The same goes for sleeping and medical arrangements in the context of crises, whether in the form of trailers, short term shelters, or temporary structures.

Technological Innovators

The advancement of emergency response technology has been huge in recent years, with many branches of technological innovation applying to disaster relief, whether intended for it or not. In some cases, such as in robotics, fibre optic sensing, or flood barriers, it’s clear how when technology is designed for the sake of disaster management. In other cases, like with heavy-duty drones, ballistic defence systems, or even shrink wrapping services, technology can be intuitively adapted to provide aid in a high-pressure situation. 

Ration & Water Technology

Much like in the ways that sanitation can become compromised by disasters, the same can be said for food supplies and access to clean drinking water. Disasters can decimate the necessary infrastructure for the passage and supply of nutritious food and safe water, which denotes the need for innovative rations and water treatment solutions. From personal tablets or gadgets to fully-fledged mobile treatment plants, various businesses are pushing the boundaries of drinking water solutions, while you could say the same for freeze-dried food packs – with some companies doing both.

Conferences of Disaster Management

In this piece, we’ve covered a lot of ground in terms of the industries represented in wider disaster management. However, there’s still so much ground to cover in terms of the breadth of professionalism that can be utilised in crises and disasters. Thankfully, there are spaces where professionals from every connected industry can converge, such as Disasters Expo Europe

At this year’s event, all of the industries represented in this blog and more will be represented in a range of exhibitions, seminars, and panel sessions, allowing attendees to get a comprehensive view of disaster management and emergency response. Register for tickets now to guarantee your chance to engage with every different element of disaster relief.