Disaster Management

1422 Words3 Pages

Disaster Management


All disaster managers must make decisions. Their decision involves a

comparison between several alternatives and an evaluation of the

outcome. The quality of the decisions managers make is the true

measure of their performance. Each operational decision influences

future actions, which in turn, require further decisions. Errors in

decision-making, therefore, tend to be cumulative.

Decision-making is the major responsibility of a disaster manager,

regardless of his or her functional area or level in the organization.

Some of these decisions may have a strong impact on the organization,

while others will be important, but less crucial. The important point,

however, is that all decisions will have some sort of effect.

Variables in Decision-making

In some cases, decisions are made where there are few alternatives and

all the parameters of the decision can be clearly identified. However,

many decisions require that a choice be made between different courses

of action that may be affected by variables or events beyond a

manager's control. For example, the field director of a refugee relief

operation knows that the accuracy of new arrival forecasts will depend

in large measure, upon political events in another country. Similarly,

a supply officer of a relief agency is faced with the problem of how

much and what types of supplies should be ordered in the immediate

aftermath of an earthquake, without knowing the full extent of the


Decision-making is carried out under three different conditions or

sets of variables: 1) certainty; 2) risk; and 3) uncertainty.

1) Decision-making Under Conditions of Certainty æ When a manager

knows or is certain of all the effec...

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...e. Clarify the

problem and try to eliminate irrelevant or unnecessary issues.

Step 2. Gather and organize all the information about the problem. Put

all the information in a logical form and sequence.

Step 3. Extract the relevant information.

Step 4. Evaluate the information. Assess the quality and accuracy of

the information and estimate the unknowns and variables that may

influence the outcome of the decision.

Step 5. Identify alternatives. Determine the alternatives and identify

as many of the pros and cons and the possible outcomes of each.

Step 6. Make the decision. Pick the best (most positive) alternative.

Once a decision has been made, it should be adhered to. Hesitation or

wavering fosters uncertainty and lack of confidence in the

decision-maker, and can reduce the effectiveness of the decision.

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