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Explore Lucrative Careers In Disaster Management

Explore Lucrative Careers In Disaster Management

Edited By Aditi Narendra | Updated on Aug 01, 2023 09:10 AM IST

Disasters are sudden accidents or crises which might occur due to natural or man-made reasons causing loss of life and property. Disasters are classified into two types

  • Natural Disasters-Disasters that are caused due to natural reasons such as the movement of tectonic plates, bursting into clouds, etc and human beings have no control over them are called natural disasters. For example earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions etc.

  • Man-made Disasters-Disasters that occur due to human negligence such as biological or chemical threats are man-made disasters. For example chemical spills, nuclear attacks etc.

Disaster management refers to handling the detrimental effects of these disasters through taking preparatory, preventive and mitigative measures. The Government of India passed Disaster Management Act from Rajya Sabha for the management of disaster scenarios in 2005.

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The government has set up various agencies like the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) etc, to manage such catastrophic situations. These governmental agencies provide jobs to those who want to work in this sector but before that, it is important to realise why we need awareness and the need of human resources in this field.

Why Do We Need Jobs In Disaster Management?

As per a report by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) India lost around $87 billion in 2020 due to natural calamities like flood and drought. A report by United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), India also confirms that 27 out of 29 states of India are prone to natural disasters.

Changing geo-climatic conditions, ecological deterioration, population expansion, urbanisation, and unscientific development practices contribute to India's natural disasters. The country and its citizens suffer losses because of such events. So taking measures to impede it has become a necessity. India needs skilled professionals who work on preparedness for a disaster taking steps to prevent damages through proper planning.

Making Disaster Management A Part of School Curriculum

Students are the future of our country and it's important to make them ready to combat unforeseen circumstances like a disaster with confidence. The introduction of disaster management in the school curriculum educates the student to respond effectively to crises, fostering safety and resilience. The disaster awareness programmes promote accountability, and better decision-making during emergencies. Early exposure to disaster management techniques instils empathy and a proactive approach, ensuring a safer future for India.

There are many colleges and universities which provide certificates, diplomas, undergraduate, and postgraduate courses in disaster management. Disaster Management Institute (Bhopal), Centre for Disaster Management (Maharashtra), The National Civil Defence College (Nagpur), National Institute Of Disaster Management (Delhi), and Tata Institute Of Social Sciences (Mumbai) are some of the colleges and universities offering courses in disaster management. Even the IITs have a centre of disaster management providing specialised masters and research-level courses in the relevant field.

After pursuing courses in disaster management students contribute to various sectors of the economy. The government plays a significant role in providing employment opportunities in this sector.

Disaster Management Jobs Government Organisations

Government agencies like NDMA and NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) have job openings in drought management, relief management, fire management etc to provide proper and well-coordinated assistance in disaster-prone areas.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) recruits professionals to oversee the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and National Executive Committee (NEC) and prepares the National Plan for Disaster Management. NIDM on the other hand develops, trains, and advocates for human resources in disaster management.

These governmental agencies look for skilled workforce in disaster management in various job roles such as consultant, project coordinator, operations analyst, and security administrator.

Along with government sector private players, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the sector involving technology offers job opportunities in disaster management.

>> Private sector: The private sector collaborates with the government sector to provide financial assistance and support by mobilising resources, supporting logistics, offering expertise and technology, and planning for emergencies. It also raises disaster awareness among the public and improves access to information and utilities in vulnerable areas.

A few private players like Rika India look for skilled trainers who manage future preparedness for disaster, etc.

>> Non-Governmental Organisation: Many non-Governmental organisations work to spread awareness of preparedness, response, and recovery, in order to minimise disaster impact. NGOs help in the recovery phase after the disaster with medical facilities or other essentials. Many NGOs like the Indian Red Cross Society look for trainers and volunteers to provide human assistance during disasters.

>> Research and Training: Disaster management needs constant research, training and development regarding forecast and minimising the detrimental effects of the disaster. Research scholars are employed to analyse the factors which increase the risk of disaster. The research further helps to devise an effective strategy for managing a catastrophic event.

>> Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing System: Sectors of GIS and RS play a vital role in post-disaster damage assessment by combining pre-disaster data with aerial or satellite imagery. This process helps identify and measure the extent of damage, enabling effective prioritisation of recovery efforts, resource allocation, and estimation of financial losses.

Organisations like the National Remote Sensing Centre look for experienced professionals with hands-on experience in GIS and RS technologies to keep surveillance on natural disasters.

These organisations employ personnel who are responsible for minimising the impact of disasters on communities and ensuring effective coordination and assistance during emergencies. These job roles range from:

Job Profiles In Disaster Management

>> Consultant in Disaster Management: Consultant in Disaster Management plays a crucial role in aligning district plans with disaster management provisions and frameworks. They coordinate mock drills, train officials for capacity building, and create awareness about disaster risk management. The average estimated salary of the consultant in disaster management ranges from Rs 6 LPA to Rs 7 LPA.

>> Disaster Preparedness Specialist/ Coordinator: The Disaster Management Consultant evaluates the potential risk from every dimension during a catastrophic emergency. They are responsible to devise a plan to minimise such risks. They also conduct safety meetings and evacuation drills when needed. The average estimated salary of a disaster preparedness specialist ranges from Rs 6 LPA to Rs 8 LPA.

>> Project Coordinator: The Project Coordinator supports disaster projects, manages community initiatives, evaluates proposals, and monitors progress through field visits and reports. The average estimated salary of a project coordinator in disaster management ranges from Rs 8 LPA to Rs 10 LPA.

>> Hazard Mitigation Officer: The Mitigation Officer is responsible for managing effective communication between concerned parties to manage the aftermath of a catastrophic event. They also offer training for disaster preparedness and create emergency plans for both natural and man-made disasters. The average estimated salary of a hazard mitigation officer ranges from Rs 6 LPA to Rs 8 LPA.

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Disaster management offers a diverse range of job profiles. But beyond these job roles, other sectors and industries also contribute to raising awareness, preparedness, and effective mitigation during disasters. Some industries which reduce the impact of calamities on communities are:

Other Industries Which Aid In Disaster Management

>> Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI has revolutionised disaster management techniques by predicting, assessing, and responding to calamities efficiently. During Nepal’s earthquake, AI helped in the fast movement of volunteers to reach the affected areas. Drones and machine learning facilitate damage assessment, saving lives through timely evacuations.

>> Big Data: The emergency authorities get valuable information for informed decisions pre and post-disaster using big data. Big data technology to design maps of disaster-affected areas during Haiti's earthquake.

>> Internet of Things: IoTs detect and signal early earthquake alerts to common people via reliable communication. This technology also detects forest fires using wireless sensor nodes and cloud platforms enhancing safety in smart cities. The impact of such catastrophic events can be minimised by offering real-time data and information about the precise location. IoT's potential shapes future disaster response strategies for greater resilience.

>> Healthcare Industry: The most significant impact of a disaster is on human lives. The availability of efficient healthcare facilities becomes a necessity during sensitive hours. Nurses play a crucial role in caring for victims at all phases. The health care personnel should be appropriately trained to be prepared to face challenges during a catastrophic event.

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Inside View Of Disaster Management

Aishwarya Narendr, who has completed a PhD in Disaster Risk Reduction, and is currently working as a research analyst at Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) adds that disaster management offers diverse opportunities in preparedness, mitigation, relief, and rehabilitation. She further mentions that disaster management professionals are needed in research, and capacity development for analysing and financing disaster risks.

As per Narendr, the limited number of private sector opportunities can be one of the major challenges for those who want to envision their future career in this field. She recommends that freshers gain technical expertise and experience for certain roles, as specialised skills are preferred in this sector. She recommends that they should aim for reputed colleges that offer specialised centres for master's degree programmes in disaster management. A specialisation degree in this field makes the professional stand out in this field.


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