SOCIAL PREPAREDNESS: A MAJOR FACTOR IT AFFECTING DISASTER MITIGATION

Category Other
Group GSI.IR
Location 8th international seminar earthquake prognostics
Holding Date 03 March 2008

General:
     Since the past four decade, Researches in the field of "sociology of disaster" have shown ample evidence on importance of social factors affecting disasters mitigation processes. The social aspects of peparedness and in general disaster mitigation process have received more recoginition in the international community. Now it is accepted that disaster is a social phenomena, since a natural event, "e.g. eqrthquake or flood", is not a disaster, if the boundries within which the disaster agent can exert influence is not occupied by the people. The degree of volnurability of a system to a natural disaster also is not only determined by the physical properties of the system, but by the preparedness of the society and the coping mechanisms of the existing social system. As such, sociologists believe, disasters are not examples of sociological trivia, but an oppurtunity and realistic laboratory for the incidence of stamina, integration, and recuperative power of the social system. Therefore, to question the effectiveness of the disaster mitigation needs a further exploration it the social preparedness of the affected population and the question should not emphasise on "what relief organizations did for the people"? but rather on "how did sociely acted under conditions of disaster In this article, the findings of the researches on natural disaster in IRAN; i.e. 1990 Manjil Earthquake and Flood in Gonbad and Gorgan Region in 1992 provides more insights on the later question. The effects of cultural and social integration on relief activities, behavioral differentials between migrants and natives, the role of ethnicity in disaster response and traditional coping mechanisms are the major issues which will be presented in this article.

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