Through an overview of disaster management from a global perspective, the field is described as a vast and diverse array of disciplines, professions and thematic areas of study and practice. The reasons for the increase in the frequency and severity of disasters around the world are examined citing divergent interests, corruption, population growth, urbanization, human interaction with nature and climate change as only some causal factors. Information is presented describing causes for power disparity in pre-disaster resilience and post-disaster relief.
This chapter makes the case that much of the research of the past has focused on post-disaster relief and recovery rather than on preparedness education and pre-disaster planning. Even less attention has been given to data collection on community-based emergency preparedness education in developing countries and still fewer resources have been expended on researching the role of community media, in educating and mobilizing communities to withstand disasters.
Analysis of how the lack of a unified vision in India results in inadequate disaster management strategies is provided. The North Indian state of Uttarakhand, the physical location of the fieldwork portion of the research, is briefly introduced. Finally, the similarities between the process of emergency preparedness learning and that of developing community economic sustainability are discussed.