Managing Risks to Evade a Disaster from Natural Phenomena

Indonesia is a country located in the ring of fire which causes Indonesia to be a disaster-prone area, especially volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. The natural disasters tend to lead Indonesia into a calamity for people and the country. Through proper planning, people can evade victims of the natural disasters. The statements were declared by Ir. Bernadus Wisnu Widjaja, M.Sc. at a talk show on natural disasters entitled “Learning Mitigation through Tale by Mr. Rovicky”. The talk show was conducted by Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Center (MDMC) on Saturday (16/3) at Auditorium of Siti Walidah Building of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY).

Head of Search and Rescue Team (BNPB) Ir. Bernadus Wisnu Widjaja stated that all natural phenomena have potential of becoming natural disasters. “Nature is dangerous and natural hazard endows risks which lead to a potential of becoming disasters before it actually happens. There are positive and negative perceptions. The negative perception is when we feel frightened of the potential but conduct nothing to overcome, while the positive perception is the same condition but we manage to overcome the risks.”

Bernadus added, “Managing the risks of a natural disaster means that we should reduce every possible disaster occurrence. When a natural disaster occurs, there must be people who get affected, whether they are in a wrong time and place, or whether they are forced themselves to be in a wrong time and place. We should manage the risks so that it will not cause victims.”

Bernadus mentioned that people can conduct four actions to overcome natural disasters. The actions can be implemented by individuals, groups, and a country. “First of all, people should comprehend natural phenomena and their risks so that we will not panic to find solutions. For example, if you are in an earthquake area, you should find out all stuffs you need to prepare before the earthquake occurs,” he continued.

“Second, we need to set good planning and governance. For instance is people who live in an earthquake prone area. They are urged to build an earthquake resistant house to safeguard them from the disaster. Lastly, people should conduct natural disaster training. This aims to prepare people to be spry conducting several actions when the natural disaster occurs. Caution and vigilance are keys to confront the risks of natural disaster,” explained Bernadus.

Changing Perception

Furthermore, Bernadus informed that Indonesia is one of the very countries possessing a high potential threat of natural hazard. However the phenomenon has small potential of becoming a disaster. He conveyed, “There is a negative opinion stating that Indonesia is a supermarket of disaster and this condition should be resolved. We can start by creating a disaster laboratory so that we can prevent and manage the natural disasters.”

“People should seek for solutions and change the disasters into blessings. We can start to open an opportunity of tourism for the people, surely through a good risk management. For instance, in a phenomenon of Mt. Agung eruption, many visitors came to perpetuate the moment of eruption. The visitors were brought to a safe zone where they could freely take pictures. This, in fact, can be a means to bring economic contribution for the people in a cautious zone,” ended Bernadus.

Moreover, UMY also declares to have a program known as Kampus Tangguh Bencana (a though university to face disasters). For the program, UMY collaborates with the MDMC and BNPB to commit to reducing risks of natural disasters through an educational program and a facility of disaster responses.

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