Disaster Management System of Iran--Need to Eliminate Weaknesses and Problems


Background: Iran has been a very disaster-prone country throughout its history. Wars, earthquakes, floods, droughts, inversion effects of air pollution in metropolitan have occurred many times, affected millions of people, and have claimed hundred thousands of lives during past century. Recently the fatal earthquake of Bam claimed more than 30000 lives and many casualties and economic lost, while in USA, a similar earthquake just killed 2 people and damaged much less. This may raise a fundamental question in our mind: why do disasters in developed countries cause the least amount of damages while in developing countries such Iran in the same situation the most indemnity? Methodology: This research aimed at studying existing Disaster Management System (DMS) in Iran and illuminating weaknesses during a crisis using a survey and reviewing the literature on DMS in developed and developing countries. Results and Discussion: In Iran, disaster management is managed by National Committee for Natural Disaster Management, which is located in Ministry of Interior. When the National Disaster Management Organization (NDMO) is located in a line ministry, it may not be able to guarantee the representation and participation of the other line ministries. Considering our culture and annually billions $ damages of natural and manmade disasters and claiming much life (which we cannot account their worth by money), psychological and economical problems as aftermath of disasters, Creating NDMO in president’s office has many advantages. Disaster management is a cycle started from mitigation, preparedness, response and ended with recovery. In Iran, in mitigation and preparedness phases we have not done much. There is no stiff rule in building code, planning for response, drill and etc. We have had many disasters and we have many experiences in response, so DMS, response to disasters rationally well. Preparedness for response increase effectiveness and efficiency of response. Recovery after major incidents includes psychology, jobs, homes, and treatment matters. There is a need for planning in this period. Finally, every phase of DM should comprise a cycle of comprehensive planning, execution and feedback. Any type of crisis planning needs sufficient information from databases. Lack of Access to great databases like spatial database information and Geographic Database Information and communication among organizations to interchange information are major problems for disaster managers before and after disasters. Another problem is fiscal affaires after disasters. In developed countries, insurance plays a main role in risk transfer and Funds for rebuilding. Finally, Experiences recognized education as a major part of reducing vulnerability. People need appropriate public education in self-protecting behaviors, relief aids, mitigation etc. Except some maneuvers and limited educations, we have not done much education to improve effectiveness of DM. Conclusion: there are some challenges In DMS: firstly, creation of an independent NDMO in President’s Office is a necessity. Secondly, in disaster management, all aspects must be considered in the same importance and as a whole not separately. Thirdly, disaster databases such as SDI or GDI should be created and finally insurance and education of people should consume great deal of efforts.
IssueVol 34 No Supple 1 (2005) QRcode

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How to Cite
H Seyedin. Disaster Management System of Iran--Need to Eliminate Weaknesses and Problems. Iran J Public Health. 1;34(Supple 1):31-32.