Economic Impacts of Natural Disasters

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Disasters of both natural and technological origin have a considerable impact on communities. The effects of disasters in India are significantly reduced by well established counter disaster arrangements at all three levels of government. These arrangements comprise comprehensive plans of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery and in more recent times, of mitigation. The economic effects of disasters can be devastating and widespread. When disasters strike houses, businesses and community infrastructure get damaged or destroyed and people’s livelihoods are temporarily and sometimes permanently disrupted. Physical damage is the most visible economic impact of disasters. Major natural
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It is also important to recognise that communities are diverse. In some cases, disaster-affected communities recover and prosper, in others the adverse economic impact has a domino effect that spreads throughout the community. What makes some communities recover and prosper and others decline in the aftermath of a disaster? What are key characteristics of disaster-resistant communities? These are important questions and are critical to understanding the economic recovery process. The principles and strategies identified later in this report provide a starting point for considering these questions. The economic consequences of disasters can be classified in a variety of ways. No single framework will cover and prescribe every possible impact a disaster might have. Each disaster has unique characteristics and consequently in any attempt to classify these impacts there will always be impacts that do not fit neatly within the classification. Nevertheless a classification framework is a useful guide or tool we can use to tackle these issues.
Almost all impacts of disasters have an economic dimension, even if this economic effect cannot be measured. Economic impacts are typically divided into two categories: tangible (those impacts we can assign a dollar value to) and intangible (impacts which are not easily expressed in
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