Meaning: -According to Oxford Dictionary a crisis is a decisive moment-a time of great difficulty, a disaster, or a catastrophe. It is a turning point that changes the destiny of an individual or a group or a company or a government. Therefore, the term ‘Crisis’ and Disaster’ are used as synonymous. However, usually crisis is considered as made and a disaster as a natural calamity.

World book, 2001, Chicago has defined “disaster as a sudden extremely unfortunate event that affects many people”. It includes natural occurrences such as earthquake, volcanic eruptions, floods, famine and so on. It also includes man made calamities such as bomb blasts, accidents, looting and rioting during communal riots, etc.

Disaster management is vital for the following purposes.

1.      To avert a disaster: - Disaster management teams can help to avert a disaster before it occurs. The Disaster management team may examine the possible causes of disaster, and may take appropriate measures to avert a disaster. For instance, forest fires, or even terrorists bombings can be averted through effective planning and pre-emptive action.

2.      To undertake rescue operations: - Disaster management personnel can undertake rescue operations effectively. Trained disaster management personnel can rescue people effectively at the time of floods, major fires, building collapses, and so on.

3.      To provide relief measures: - Disaster management team is responsible to provide relief measures to the victims. For instance, the team can make arrangement for food, clothing, and relief camps, medicines and so on. Such measures would reduce the misery of the disaster victims.

4.      To undertake rehabilitation programmes: - Disaster management team can work effectively to undertake rehabilitation programmes in the affected areas. For instance, in the earthquake affected areas, rehabilitation programmes include:
a.      Construction of dwellings
b.      Schools and other infrastructure.

5.      To undertake   liaison work: -The disaster management team undertakes liaison work relating to the disaster. The liaison work is required with various agencies-private and government (including hospitals) in order to obtain funds and donations, and other resources or services so as to manage and overcome the disaster.

6.      To reduce trauma and tension: - The Disaster management team can help to reduce the trauma and tension before and after the disaster. For instance, before a disaster, the team can properly guide the people to face or handle the disaster such as floods. Also, after the disaster, the team can provide not only material or financial support, but also psychological support to overcome the traumatic effect of disaster.

7.      To protect the Environment: - Disaster management team can help to protect and preserve the environment. For example, a disaster management team can plan pre-emptive action to avert forest fires. Etc.

8.      To minimize losses: - Disaster management teams can help to minimize loss of life and property. This is because; the Disaster management team can take pre-emptive actions to avert a disaster.