602 - Study Guide

602 Module 1 - Study Guide

602 Module 2 - Study Guide





The aim of this course is to give the student an understanding of hazards, risks, hazards, vulnerabilities, manageability and capacity and how it relates to disaster management.




The course consists of two modules and two assignments. There are two contact sessions during the first year. DIM 602 will be introduced in the first contact session and must be fully completed during the first semester.  During the second contact session formal feedback will be given to students on their assignments.




The focus of this course is as follows;


- First it deals with definitions and concepts of hazards, vulnerability, manageability, capacity and finally disaster risk.

- Secondly, it deals with the understanding of the characteristics and classification of hazards.

- Thirdly this module will consider vulnerability and how it contributes to disaster risk.

- Fourthly the impact that manageability and capacity can have to reduce risk and increase resilience will be considered.

- Lastly, DIM 602 deals with the identification and management of potential hazards as well as appropriate awareness and preparedness programmes and treatment options for communities and areas at risk.




After completion of each module, the progress of students will be evaluated by means of an assignment that must be submitted.  Assignments should be handed in on the set dates.  Students who hand in assignments late will be penalised.


After the June contact session, students will write a formal exam, which will contribute 60% of the final mark.  Your two assignments will contribute the remaining 40%.


To pass the course a sub-minimum of 40% must be obtained in the examination. To pass the completed course a combined average of at least 50% must be achieved.


Attach at the back of all assignments submitted a plagiarism declaration form found at the end of each study guide.


DIM 602



1. AIM


The aim of this module is to gain insight into disaster management with a specific emphasis on the concepts that define risks i.e. hazards, vulnerabilities, manageability and capacity. The elements or variables that constitute risks will be examined in depth and it will be determined how effective risk, hazard and vulnerability assessments could lead to better disaster risk management. The definition and the classification of risks and hazards, the variable and how hazards and vulnerabilities contribute to disaster risk will also be examined.




At the end of the module, participants should be able to:


3.1 Understand the concept and definition of hazards and disaster risk, hazards, vulnerabilities, manageability and capacity.

3.2 Understand the difference between hazard and risk in the disaster management context.

3.3 Explain and apply the disaster risk equation practically.

3.4 Assess risks in accordance with certain uniform criteria.

3.5 Determine the link between risks, hazards and disaster management.

3.6 Align risks assessment with the broader concepts of disaster risk and disaster management.

3.7 Apply mitigation and preventative measure and treatment options to curb the effects of risks and hazards on communities at risk.





i) Read the following:


• Living with risk: A Global Review of Disaster Risk Reduction Initiatives. Chapter 1 and 2. (See Dim 604 Study Material)

• UNHCR Handbook. Chapter 1.

• South African Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002.             (See Dim603 Study Material).

• South Africa.  2005.  National Disaster Management Framework.  Pretoria : Government Printer.


Also read other books, newspapers, and open documents, and use your own observations of what is happening internationally and in your country that describe the concepts and definitions for various contingencies/disasters with a specific emphasis on those most likely hazards to occur in your country or region.


ii) Read www.oas.org/usde/publications/Unit/oea66e/begin.htm. Read the books and websites and some of the other web sites to define how the concepts may guide the application and / or development of disaster management.


iii) Read www.aag.org/HDGC/www/hazards/units/unit1/html/1bkground.html.


Read books, newspapers, and other open documents, and use your own observations of what is happening internationally and in your country that describe the conditions and causal classification and characterization of the disaster occurrence/threat with a specific emphasis on Southern Africa.


Also read the compulsory books and websites and some of the other web sites to define how the classification/characterization of hazards may guide the definition of management of a disaster.






i)​Compulsory reading to be done:


• Benson, C. and Twigg, J.  2007.  Tools for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction.  http://www.preventionconsortium.org/mainstreaming_tools

• Living with Risk. Chapters 1 and 2. (See Dim604 Study Material)

• UNHCR Handbook. Chapter 1.

• The South African Disaster Management Act, 57 of 2002. (See Dim603 Study Material) or the legislation/policy of your country.

• http://www.oas.org/usde/publications/Unit/oea66e/begin.htm

• www.aag.org/HDGC/www/hazards/units/unit1/html/1bkground.html

• A selected Municipal Integrated Development Plan (IDP)or similar plan from your region if you do not live in South Africa.

• Wisner, B., Blaikie, P., Cannon, T. Y., Davis, J.  2003.  At Risk.  Second edition, Wiltshire.UK, Cromwell Press.


ii) For the interested Reader:


• www.csc.noaa.gov/products/tsunamis/htm/cascadia/mitigate.htm

• Relief Web: http://www.reliefweb.int.

• Web pages of the United Nations and other Aid Agencies which have a responsibility for Disaster Management and / or Response such as UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, etc.

• The US Federal Emergency Management Agency Handbook available at www.fema.org

• Burby, R. ed. 1998. Cooperating with Nature: Confronting Natural Hazards with Land-use planning for Sustainable Communities. Washington: Joseph Henry Press.

• Burton, I., R. Kates and G. White. 1993. The Environment as Hazard. New York: The Guilford Press

• Drabek, T. and G. Hoetmer, eds. 1991. Emergency Management: Principles and Practices for Local Government. Washington: International City Management Association.

• Hewitt, K. 1997. Regions of Risk. Essex: Longman

• http://www.georisk.com/terminol/termrisk.shtml

• http://www.google.com/search?q=Concepts+of+Hazards,+Characteristics+of+hazards&hl=en&start=60&sa=N will provide a search facility for further research

• Mileti, D. 1999. Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States. Washington: Joseph Henry Press

• Smith, K. 2001. Environmental Hazards: Assessing Risk and Reducing Disaster. Florence: Taylor & Francis/Routledge.



5. ASSIGNMENTS (Dim602 – 1/2)


This objective of this assignment is to test the student’s understanding of concepts, definitions and characteristics and the application thereof. Hand in the following assignment in essay format on or before 1 March 2013 No late assignments will be accepted.


Your essay should address the following aspects:


• You have to reduce the risk to disasters in your area of responsibility.  This could be a municipal, district and or country area.  In order to achieve this objective you have to compile a hazard, risk and vulnerability assessment.  To comply with this request the following aspects have to be considered :

• Determine the risk equation in respect of the hazards, risk, vulnerability, manageability and capacity. (30%)

• Based on the best practices and models developed, including methods to measure disaster risk, determine the progression of vulnerability. (40%)

• In your deliberation, also discuss, in more detail, the impact of DYNAMIC PRESURES, in increasing the risk to disasters (30%)


Submit assignment in an electronic format (MS Word) on E-Learn or as communicated in class. Your assignment should not exceed 10 typed pages (excluding cover page, table of contents and bibliography). Your assignment should be grammatically and academically correct (use of sources and references are compulsory).


DIM 602



1. AIM


The main aim of this module is to give students insight into disaster risks and the practical identification, description and management of all potential hazards that may occur in an area of responsibility.  The module also presents the students with the opportunity to work in conjunction with other specialists, as will be the case in a real world situation.




At the end of the module students should be able to:


• ​Understand the difference between hazard and risk in the ​disaster management context

• Explain why hazards and vulnerabilities are key factors that will determine whether a disaster affects an area (or not).

• Being able to identify the basic characteristics of hazards.

• Be able to construct effective disaster management planning guidelines, to accommodate identified hazards.

• Have sufficient background information to facilitate the process of identifying existing and possible (future) hazards as part of proactive planning.

• Be able to facilitate and monitor awareness and preparedness programmes to address identified communities at risk, in terms of existing hazards.




i)​Read the required literature and hand in the assignment


ii) Study the US Federal Emergency Management Agency Handbook available at www.fema.org to gain insight into the process and factors to consider when doing a Risk Analysis and Vulnerability Assessment






i)​Compulsory reading to be done:


• Wisner, B., Blaikie, P, Cannon, T.Y., Davis, I.  2003.  At Risk.  Second edition, Wiltshire.UK, Cromwell Press.

• UNHCR Handbook. Chapters 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.

• Reed, S. 1992. Introduction to hazards. UNDP – DMTP

• US Federal Emergency Management Agency Handbook: www.fema.org


ii) ​Also read:


• Cities at Risk (IDNDR 1990-2000).  Making cities safer before disaster strikes.  A stop disaster publication (1996).

• Smith K. 2000.  Environmental Hazards:  Assessing Risk and Reducing Disaster.  David Alexander, University of Massachusetts.

• Appendix A:  Vulnerability Analysis, Disaster Management Book.  Asian development Bank.

• Case Study:  Background on how a tornado affected a community and its response.  Welkom Tornado report. 20 March 1990.

• Park, C.C., 1992.  Environmental Hazards.  Second Edition.  Lancaster University.  Canada.


5. ASSIGNMENTS (Dim602 – 2/2)


Based on the outcome of the “Progression of vulnerability” model, as determined in your previous assignment, you have to develop risk reduction options.


By addressing the risk and vulnerability aspects, you should be able to develop a “Progression of Safety” model.  Refer also to other best practices, methods and approaches that would, if applied correctly, reduce vulnerability to disasters.


Refer also, more in detail, how the reducing the risk to Dynamic Pressures, could reduce vulnerability.


... because we can!

eLearning development by Teodora & Dusan SAKULSKI