chapter  20
Natural disasters
ByWEIWEI DU, MARK LITTLE, ANGIE JACKSON
Pages 12

Natural disasters including bushfires, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and storms are a major adverse event caused by environmental or natural earthly processes. Severity is measured in terms of lives lost, economic losses, and the ability of affected communities to recover. Globally, hundreds of natural disasters occur annually, affecting millions of people. Whether sudden or slow onset, many natural disasters are often predictable. In Chapter 6, disaster risk reduction was discussed as one of the cornerstones of disaster management. This is particularly important for natural disasters. If communities develop in a coastal tropical region prone to cyclones, near rivers that could flood, near forests where bushfires could occur, or in regions prone to earthquakes; improving resilience, governance, planning, mitigation strategies and enhancing disaster preparedness will reduce the impact of a natural disaster on those communities.