The magnitude in which disasters are occurring is increasingly disturbing. From terrorist attacks to earthquakes to communicable diseases like COVID-19. Disaster training refers to the measures companies, governments, and individuals take to prepare for and reduce the effects of disasters.
When laypeople think of this topic, they probably only consider volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and other natural disasters. Still, some experts disagree with this definition. Hence, we will present you with the fundamental components here. A disaster
- is a severe event,
- requires external assistance,
- inflicts damage on infrastructure, economic, and social structures, or human health.
The human population didn’t grasp the importance of disaster training until COVID-19 hit us. It devastated health systems, tore communities apart, and did all other sorts of vile stuff.
Learning About and Dealing with Disasters
As our population grows and nations become more intertwined and complex, human-induced and natural disasters are becoming more frequent.
In a nutshell, political, cultural, socioeconomic, and other factors increase the extent of a disaster’s consequences. Essentially, there are three main categories in learning how to deal with health crises:
- Explaining the disaster’s effect on communities and the potential impact on public health,
- Describing the role of epidemiologists during each phase of the disaster cycle,
- Understanding the unique challenges of responding to a disaster.
According to the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Health Organization define a disaster as the following:
A disaster is a serious disruption of society’s functioning, causing widespread human, material, or environmental losses that exceed the local capacity to respond and calls for external assistance.
Do you remember the North Korea Oil Pipe Explosion of 2004? How about the Brazil Plane Crash in Sao Paulo that killed 199 people? Is there any chance you recall the Congo Train Derailment from 2007, killing at least 100 people and injuring 128 more?
The Dangers of Avoiding to Prepare for Disasters
If your answers to the previous three questions were anything but a clear yes, then you know you have already missed out on many disasters. The media only report on the most spectacular ones.
So what’s the whole spectrum of disasters? Simply put, for your convenience, there are three main categories of disasters.
First, natural disasters. This category includes the following examples:
- Extreme heat,
- Tropical cyclones,
- Infectious disease outbreaks.
Hydrometeorological, geological, and biological hazards cause these disasters. Interestingly, four major patterns of disease occurrence range from the least to the most severe. They include endemics, outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics. If you are reading this EP Wired piece in 2021, you know what stage we are at.
Second, technological and human-induced disasters. Human actions and technical failures cause this category of catastrophes. This disaster kind involves the following examples:
- Accidental release of hazardous chemicals,
- Radiation emergencies from nuclear blasts, nuclear reactor accidents, or accidental spills of radioactive material,
- Oil spills,
- Bombing or destroying a nuclear reactor.
This disaster category’s severity becomes clear when we consider the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill disaster. Eleven workers died that day.
Finally, the third and probably most well-known category of disasters is classified as complex emergencies, including:
- War and conflict.
The World Health Organization defines complex emergencies as follows: Situations of disrupted livelihoods and threats to life produced by warfare, civil disturbance, and large-scale movements of people, in which any emergency response has to be conducted in a difficult political and security environment.
If you have worked any job in your entire life, you have probably faced some of these. That’s precisely where the usefulness of disaster training becomes apparent.
Where to Find Disaster Training Courses
Depending on what you are looking for, there are hundreds of online and offline courses out there. Due to the specificity of this field, we recommend you take in-person courses.
You can’t use tools and instruments, review plans, and perform related actions while seated in your comfortable home chair. Yeah, we know, sorry about that.
Still, if you just want to get a superficial glimpse into this topic, we got you covered. After all, that’s our tagline: We got you covered.
Without further ado, we present you the premier disaster training courses at your fingertips:
- Class Central, a course that explores the limitations and benefits of training and exercises to prepare for disasters and emergencies.
- Online and Face-to-Face Training of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness. NCDP offers face-to-face workshops at specific venues in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut region.
- Disaster Training of the American Red Cross offers knowledge on providing shelter and a disaster cycle overview. Additionally, they put a particular emphasis on volunteers.
- The National Preparedness Online Course Catalog offers integrated information on courses. FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness, Emergency Management Insitute, and National Training and Education Division offer training on this website.
- Emergency and Disaster Training and Exercising of the Coventry University is offered free of charge. It explores the role of training and exercises for emergency preparedness and how to respond to disasters effectively.
- Disaster Information Specialist Program from the Disaster Information Management Research Center. This organization emphasizes the ability to communicate effectively with others ina disaster or public health emergency.
- On one of the United States government’s official websites, Ready, there are additional safety and preparedness resources.
Indeed, this is not an exhaustive list of training courses and resources. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent place to start.
If that seems like a lot to take in, we only scratched the surface. When we mentioned disaster training as a way of life in our title, we meant it. Disasters are becoming only more frequent as the years pass by. They are also growing into a new normal. In case you don’t believe us, look at the COVID death numbers so far.
If you ever get a chance to partake in disaster training courses, grab it immediately. Who knows when you will need it the next time. If you are working in the executive protection industry, this becomes especially relevant. EP agents work in a challenging setting, where they face many risks and dangers. Basically, wherever their clients go, they must follow suit.
Although that’s a professional criterion, it doesn’t sound like a great idea in terms of disaster avoidance.