Career options in India: Disaster Management as a career Option

Disaster Management is an essential requirement of a modern society. Growing population and critical ecological balance have increased the risk of disaster. Natural disasters like- flood, cyclones, tsunami, flash floods, earthquakes; and man-made disasters like- fire incidents, train/plane crashes, civil structure collapses are just around the corner. The dense population and intense economic activities have raised the potential of the impact of these disasters astronomically. Natural disasters alone have taken 2 million lives according to UN estimates and another 800 million lives were affected directly or indirectly.
Therefore, the need of managing such disasters is more than ever before. The society and governments need to be ready for disasters beforehand; manage the disasters when they occur so that the impact is minimal and rehabilitating fast so that life gets back on the track. Disaster Management is basically a course to do these activities professionally and more systematically.

Career Options

Disaster Management roles can be categorized in 3 major categories-
  1. Disaster Prevention- Disaster prevention is one of the major and most important task of disaster managers. It is focused on activities and measures undertaken to prevent the occurrence of natural disasters and human hazards.
  2. Disaster Preparedness- This would concern with planning, monitoring and policy making regarding disaster management and safety practices.
  3. Disaster Relief- This is managing the disaster hit. Here the focus would be on the immediate recovery- minimizing impact on economy and lives.
  4. Disaster recovery- Here the focus is on bringing the lives back to normalcy. Rehabilitation of people, rebuilding of houses and restarting of economic activities. It would also involve studying the impact of the disaster and cultivating the learning to mitigate the disaster better the next time.

Pros and Cons of a career in Disaster Management

  • This career gives opportunity to help disaster victims and save lives.
  • By helping to prepare better for disasters, you can help country and society to save millions 
  • The work is exciting and adventurous.
  • As world is learning more about the disasters, the career options are on growth.
  • The field is still emerging, and the career options and payments are somewhat limited.
  • The work is often in remote areas and on the disaster struck locations.
  • The adventure also comes with significant risk.

How to pursue a career in Disaster Management?

You can complete your graduation in any stream and pursue masters in Disaster Management. You can follow this up with PhD.
The alternative path can be- after competing graduation and take a diploma in Disaster Management.

Top Disaster Management Institutes in India

Jamsetji Tata Centre for Disaster Management, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment
New Delhi
National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM)
New Delhi
Indira Gandhi National Open University
New Delhi
School of Distance Learning (Annamalai University)
Annamalai, Tamil Nadu
University Centre for Disaster Management (Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University)
Dwarka, Delhi
School of Distance learning (Sikkim Manipal University of Health, Medical and Technological Sciences)
Department of Geography (Panjab University)
International Centre of Madras University (Madras University)
The Global Open University
National Civil Defense College
Asian Institute of Fire Safety
Faculty of Environmental Science, Rajiv Gandhi University
Arunachal Pradesh
North-Eastern Hill University

Job Opportunities

As discussed earlier, the job opportunities are still growing in this sector. However, government is updating regulations about this regularly. Manufacturing plants are already required to have safety officers. Government has also constructed NDRF team. 

Other than the organized sector, plenty of opportunities lie with World Bank, UN agencies and NGOs.