A crisis is a profound change with important consequences in a process or situation, or in the way in which these are appreciated. Natural disasters (earthquakes, tidal waves, hurricanes, typhoons, floods, droughts …), pandemics, famines, The exodus of population or armed conflicts, among other phenomena, cause incalculable human suffering with increasing frequency and magnitude in many parts of the world, especially in the most impoverished countries and with greater vulnerability to the effects of devastating phenomena.
The appearance of one of these phenomena (natural, technological or warlike) supposes a serious disturbance in the functioning of societies, causing numerous human, material and environmental losses, which exceed the capacity of those affected to face them in space, future and time. The vulnerability of the contexts affected by global crises is related both to the risk of exposure of these events to populations, their resilience to face the crisis (that is, adapt to the environment and resist or suffer serious consequences to cause of them), the management made by governments to control them as well as the recovery of the affected companies.
Crises also affect all areas, punishing the most vulnerable groups and the least developed societies:
1) In the economic sphere, there are direct effects on the material goods of the affected population, indirect effects on the production and provision of services to the community, and secondary effects on the growth rate.
2) In the political sphere, in the national context, discrepancies may appear between the management of the Government and the opposition or the social agents; Likewise, at the international level, there can be both criticism of the way to coordinate the emergency, as well as economic and geopolitical conflicts in punished areas, which in many cases show the fragility of the State itself.
3) In the social and cultural sphere, disasters produce serious alterations on educational and sanitary infrastructures with important consequences on people’s health, routines and lives.
In emergency situations, political and administrative institutions initiate more or less rapid and more or less adequate humanitarian responses, influenced in many cases by the magnitude of certain disasters in the media. However, these interventions must take place immediately and consistently, considering medium and long-term development policies.
The tools that in any case must be implemented in normal situations are prevention (which is the application of measures to prevent an event from becoming a disaster) and risk mitigation (which are measures to reduce vulnerability to certain threats). These protection instruments that must be managed from the authorities but also at the individual and community level, begin by knowing what the threats are and being aware of the risks to which we are exposed, reflecting and planning what we can do in each case to protect ourselves and faithfully follow the instructions and recommendations of those who coordinate the emergency.