Earthquakes are a natural disaster occurring in many areas of tectonic activity and along fault lines. This type of disaster, if occurring in densely populated areas can cause, suddenly, without any warning signs a large number of casualties and damages to vital infrastructures that may place a heavy burden on any nation - mentally, materially and economically.
However, with a proper emergency system, timely planning and preparedness the impact can be minimized; casualties and damages can be reduced and the severe crisis may be managed in a more efficient manner.
Major steps needed to be taken in creating a national strategy and response plans to mitigate earthquakes, may consist of the following:
- Assessing threats, i.e. mapping of fault zones, sensitive and active tectonic areas, landslide areas and seismological and geological surveys, etc.
- Analyzing risks - i.e. sensitive populated areas, sensitive infrastructure, sensitivity to floods etc.
- Creating concepts and operational plans for national preparedness and disaster management - including engineering surveys and standards for design and building codes; building supervision - on design, materials and construction;
- Establishing an emergency strategy doctrine and plans, assuring comprehensive solutions and making the most of all existing resources (all emergency agencies should be well coordinated and familiar with the national response plans);
- Preparing rescue and emergency response units for earthquakes and other natural and man-made disasters.
- Preparing populations for emergency situations and disasters.
- Threat analysis - population-wise;
- Identification and surveying of high-risk populations,
- Training the public in the pre-disaster phase, during and after the emergency.
For this purpose preparing public education programs and utilizing all means of communication are essential.
IsraTeam has the capability of preparing such a strategic national plan and mitigation system. This know-how is based on our experience in disasters in Israel, as well as from lessons learned from disasters in different countries, where we either took part in the rescue efforts or studied case histories.
IsraTeam conducts the development of the National Doctrine for Earthquake Mitigation in Israel. This project and doctrine evolve all government ministries, emergency agencies, and local authorities who have to carry on the mission.
Turkey August 1999