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Recently, according to data provided by the World Meteorological Organization, in the last 50 years natural disasters have increased fivefold, beyond this figure, the importance of creating an emergency plan transcends. It is a matter of prevention, a priori it will reduce the impact of any disaster and people, being prepared, will know better how to act at the time and thus the margin of error of the actions will be smaller. Likewise, Decree 2157 of 2017 , provides a guide to know what aspects to take into account when developing risk management plans and the support of sustainable development within this management.


What is disaster risk management ?

According to Decree 2157 of 2017, “Disaster risk management, is a social process aimed at the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, strategies, plans, programs, regulations, instruments, measures and permanent actions for the knowledge and reduction of risk and for disaster management, with the explicit purpose of contributing to the safety, welfare, quality of life of people and sustainable development.”


What are disaster risk management plans and what are they for?

It mainly consists of a contingency plan for natural, bio-sanitary, socio-natural and technological disasters, which seeks to mitigate damages or losses caused by disasters, as well as economic, social and environmental assets. The following illustration shows more detail of each type of disaster:


Its main uses are risk reduction, as well as contributing to sustainable development within the company.


How does disaster risk managemente contribute to sustainable development? 

Both sustainable development and disaster risk management contemplate three relevant aspects within their development and execution, which are: social, ecological and economic. With this, it is evident that both concepts seek to improve and optimally treat these three elements that surround them. For this reason, sustainable development plays a fundamental role in disaster risk management, since, having common denominators, the latter is based on the former, as a model to contemplate a lesser impact at the financial, ecological and social levels. Benefiting in the short and long term the resources inside and outside the company.

Now, although both contemplate the social, ecological and economic part, each one acts in a different way, as shown in the following model:


Disaster Risk Management                               Sustainable Development

Own elaboration.

The similarity of both models is notorious; therefore, in spite of certain differences, the way in which they complement each other in dealing with a problem through the intervention of three axes that in turn require elements in common in order to be functional becomes visible.


What to take into account to carry out the emergency plan?

With the PHVA cycle (plan, do, check and act) the emergency plan can be designed and monitored. The best way to do it is to follow each of the steps, in order to ensure its success and effectiveness. Also note that this cycle has the same steps and actions similar to those of the BCP.

This cycle consists of 4 phases:

  1. Plan: the risk must be known by establishing its context, assessing it and monitoring it. Risk reduction is also foreseen at this point, through corrective and preventive interventions and financial protection. In addition, the disaster must be managed with an emergency and contingency plan. Finally, there must be an investment plan.
  2. Do: Implement the disaster risk management plan for public and private entities (PGRDEPP), as it allows for risk awareness, risk reduction, disaster management, investment plan, socialization and communication. It also allows for sectoral implementation and territorial harmonization.
  3. Verify: monitoring and verification is carried out through control, internal audits and evaluation of the plan’s effectiveness.
  4. Act: finally, at the time of the event, improvement plans and action plans are contemplated. As well as the review and adjustment of the plan (if required).


Finally, it is important to take into account the importance of carrying out simulations in order to comply with the PHVA cycle in a more productive way and to take advantage of it by identifying what is being done correctly and which aspects should be taken into account. The purpose of this is to improve and adapt the emergency plan according to the needs identified. In addition, implementing emergency plans within organizations is a good practice when talking about business continuity, since it integrates four fundamental steps within the BCP.


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