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Global: Natural Disasters

Health Implications of Hurricanes

by Charis Okada

Natural Disaster Environmental Conditions in the United States

by George Iskander

Emergency Preparedness in China

By Jason Zheng

When it comes to natural disasters, China does not have national level emergency management departments like the United States, for an example: Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA. Instead, many departments share their responsibilities of emergency management with different organizations. Several of the leading organization in China will assessed according by background information and also their duties.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) generally leads natural disaster relief, with the support from other departments. MCA was founded in May 1978 and it’s responsible for social and administrative affairs. MCA is in charge of registration of: marriage, divorce, etc… and the administration of association, NGO and foundation. The organization also takes care of the aged, children, orphans, disabled people and retired army personnel.

The National Disaster Reduction Centre of China (NDRCC) is part of the MCA, is a specialized agency under China’s government engaged in information services in order to support decisions various natural disasters. It provides reference material for disaster management departments in their decision-making in addition to technical support by analyzing disaster information. NDRC also assesses disasters and emergency relief, and analyzing and studying disasters using technologies such as satellite remote sensing.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) of China is an executive agency that plays the role of providing health information, advocating education and ensuring the accessibility of health services. The MOH is also involved in the control of illnesses, diseases, pandemic, food safety issues, and coordinates the utilization of resources and expertise where necessary. The agency also cooperates with other health ministries and departments, including special administrative regions and the World Health Organization (WHO)

The National Civil Defense (CD) and the Emergency Management Office (EMO) are two agencies that provide integrated emergency management. The CD covers aerial defense, CBRN, HazMat and other common incidents in the cities. The EMO however covers emergency planning, natural disasters, technological accidents, public sanitation issues, and recovery and/or reconstruction activities.

The typical way of China’s emergency management system is classified into four levels:

  • Level 1, extremely serious, over 30 fatalities, need escalate to the state council
  • Level 2, serious, between 10 to 30 fatalities, escalate to province level
  • Level 3, major incident, 3to 10 fatalities, escalate to city level
  • Level 4, small case, less than 3 fatalities, escalate to local level. 

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