The role of power relations in disaster preparedness


It had been shown how important it is to have control over the socio-cultural aspect of power relations. Formally monitoring and managing power relations as a preparatory measure may help reduce disaster impacts. Some of the major issues that need to be considered at the preparedness stage include more effective and transparent regulations, enforcement and monitoring of safety measures and practices for “worst-case” scenarios, as well as greater incentives for compliance, both within and outside private industry. Citizen activism can also be a powerful way to redress power imbalances. It may not always be necessary, and it is far from ideal, to take aggressive action borne out of frustration and injustice. Perhaps it could be more effective as a deterrent if community collaboration was obligatory as a disaster management strategy (with a mandate to monitor ethical practices, including power imbalances), or if community representation was obligatory in disaster management decision-making.

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