The paper "Challenges To Existing Earthquake Preparedness In Izmir, Turkey " is a great example of a capstone project on environmental studies. 1.0 Introduction and Research Rationale Events of tremendous magnitude that impact the environment and society negatively are known as disasters. Wassenhove and Van (2006) define disaster as a crisis situation that causes extensive damage, beyond the scope of recovery. Disaster can come in any form, at any time and anywhere, and can be natural as well as man-made. According to extant literature (Der Heide, 1996; Smith, 2013), disaster is a disruption of the community function as a result of natural causes, resulting in widespread human, material, economic and environmental losses which may impact the ability of the community to cope with its own resources. Turkey is undoubtedly plagued with geological disadvantages such as being prone to flood, avalanche, drought, and landslide as well as having areas sitting above active tectonic plate boundaries.
This natural structure as observed by Kutluca and Ozdemir (2008, p. 47) cannot be avoided; so, disaster preparedness plans and taking physical and political actions are the only means of surviving in such unforgiving geography.
Normally, people forget about natural hazards shortly after its occurrence, and scores of planned projects for mitigating future hazards are put off soon after the natural hazards occur. Rather than taking precautions and pre-disaster measures, Kutluca and Ozdemir (2008, p. 47) posit that only recovery emergency measures, as well as the post-disaster aid for the calamity victims, is applied. In such conditions, as Ye et al. (2012) argue, disaster preparedness is a key factor that needs to be considered in order to understand the activities and measures that are underway to ensure the effectiveness of the response to reduce the disaster impact.
According to Foster (2012), the key incentive linked to the examination of the preparedness capability of the local authority is to understand and facilitate the resilience of that organization and identify the associated challenges which inhibit the effective provision of disaster planning. Yonder and Turkoglu (2011) also argue that by promoting disaster management, it is possible to improve the response capacity, capability, and coordination between the local and central governments, as well as identifying gaps in service and sustaining long term preparedness. 1.1 Problem Statement According to Ozdemir (2008), the primary problem linked to disaster management in Turkey is at a local level.
The authors contend that the migration of people to bigger cities with greater pressure on housing and illegal settlements in risky areas has led to more concerns regarding the management of the disaster. Akay (2005) further contends that in Turkey, though there is the presence of a detailed national plan regarding disaster planning, community-level awareness of disaster preparedness is relatively low. It is also reported that public resilience is low, as both local and national governments have failed to take the necessary steps to increase public awareness for disaster management.
Finally, Ovgun (2013) argues that the legal framework linked to disaster reduction and disaster management was framed in 1959 and was only revised once in 2000. Though efforts have been made by the Turkish government to improve disaster management, lack of assessment of disaster planning is evident. The author also indicates that the Turkish disaster management system predominantly focuses on disaster relief and disaster response, with limited focus on disaster preparedness and precaution.
Given these parameters, the focus of this report is to address the disaster preparedness in Turkey.
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