Fire service is described as any organization consisting of personnel, apparatus, and equipment which has as its purpose protecting property and maintaining the safety and welfare of the public from the dangers of fire. [1]

[1] https://definitions.uslegal.com/f/fire-service/

A set of behavioural norms that are generally considered appropriate for either a man or a woman in a society, group, or interpersonal relationship. Gender roles are, typically, not based on inherent or natural gender differences, but more on stereotypes about the attitudes, traits, or behavioural patterns of women or men.

For example, in some groups or societies women are not allowed to leave their home without being accompanied by a male family member. This can place them in a vulnerable position if, due to a disaster, it is not safe to stay in the house but there is no male family member present to accompany them (e.g. to a rescue/assembly point) outside, and they feel they violate expected norms if they leave, e.g., with a male emergency worker. Conversely, women in some other groups or societies may be more sensitive than men towards societal/community concerns in general and, therefore, may be able (or available) to play a more active role in disaster prevention, preparedness and recovery.

Government is referred to national authorities responsible for the developing and functioning of disasters intervention institutions and structures.

Hazards are dangerous phenomena, substances, human activities or conditions that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage. [1] The hazards are classified into three major types: natural hazards, man-made non-intentional hazards, and man-made intentional and complex hazards/disasters.

[1] https://www.unisdr.org/we/inform/terminology

Healthcare is the act of taking preventative or necessary medical procedures to improve a person's well-being. This may be done with surgery, the administering of medicine, or other alterations in a person's lifestyle. These services are typically offered through a health care system made up of hospitals and physicians. For this toolkit we will refer to healthcare as the network of hospital and afferent medical and administrative staff.

Individual memory is, usually, based on personal experience. In contrast, collective memory can be based on the shared individual memory (or memories) amongst a group’s members, but it may also refer to memories shared by a collective which recall events that are much older than any of the members of the group. Such memories are transferred from generation to generation and can represent an important element of a group’s collective identity.

For example, social cohesion based on collective memory of wartimes: whereas only the oldest members of a local community may still have first-hand experience of the Second World War, family stories of helping neighbours to safety in bomb shelters, of destruction and communal rebuilding, pictures in the media commemorating the anniversary of specific local events, “physical” experience through visiting local museums etc. keep these memories alive and shape a local sense of belonging. Such social cohesion, based on collective memory, may be called upon for the benefit of promoting disaster preparedness.

A language can be international, national, or regional, it can be a state’s official language or a (e.g. forbidden) minority language. Languages also comprise local dialects, slang and vernacular speak, e.g. of teenagers or of specific professional groups. Additionally, it refers to specific language use in specific media, e.g. in mobile phone texts.

For example, knowing, and speaking, the language of a group at risk will not only help to convey the correct content of a message in disaster risk communication, but it can also reinforce acceptance, given that sharing the same language can be seen as sharing a collective identity.

Law enforcement agencies is a government agency that is responsible for the enforcement of the laws. [1] Law enforcement agencies have powers, which other government subjects do not, to enable the law enforcement agency to undertake its responsibilities. These powers exercised by law enforcement agencies include:

exemptions from laws;

intrusive powers, for search, seizure, and interception;

legal deception;

use of force and constraint of liberty;

jurisdictional override; and


[1] https://definitions.uslegal.com/l/law-enforcement-agency/

A livelihood is the way people earn a living, i.e. it comprises an individual’s or a group’s capabilities, assets and activities required for a means of living.

For example, economic migration into locations unsuitable for settlement: Groups of people move from rural to urban areas hoping to escape poverty, but due to a lack of financial means and education (to take up well-paid jobs) they settle in hazardous areas, e.g. prone to flooding or industrial zones with increased environmental risks. In such case information about disaster risks and “adequate” behaviour may be rejected, because it causes cognitive dissonance (clash between beliefs about risks and beliefs related to livelihood needs).

Local authorities, or Local Emergency Management Authorities (LEMA), are understood as regional or local forms of government responsible with disaster management. From one country to another their impact on disaster intervention can differ accordingly to national institutional structures. In the category the following agencies are represented in most cases:

Fire service,

Law-enforcement agency, and

Emergency medical service.

Local knowledge entails the knowledge an individual or a group holds about a specific location, e.g. related to its physical characteristics (access, infrastructure etc.), but also to its intangible characteristics (knowledge of local social networks, local value systems etc.).

For example, awareness of local disaster risks and/or local procedures in case of a disaster. Such awareness can be based on personal experience (e.g. learning processes from previous experiences) and/or local education and information. Individuals or groups who are new in a local community (e.g. due to migration) may not have this local knowledge and may not know, e.g., which areas in a city are flooded first. They also may not know which institution to contact (and how) in case of an emergency, or they may not know escape routes and/or assembly points. Conversely, though, they might come from more vulnerable areas and are the bearers of (previously local) knowledge that can be also be useful in the new environment.

Man-made intentional hazards are hazards where the cause is intentional but also complex, i.e.


displacement of population;

mass shootings;

civil disobedience;

terrorism and conflicts;

weapons of mass destruction; and


Man-made non-intentional hazards or emergency situations like people transportation and goods carrying, industrial, mining, nuclear and radiological accidents, threats to critical infrastructure, cyber vulnerabilities, massive fires and environmental threats that result in loss of life, disorders, social, economic and environmental deteriorations that occur as a result of human activities and triggering of natural disasters. The man-made non-intentional hazards could be divided into:

industrial hazards - technological accidents of an industrial nature involving industrial buildings, i.e.

chemical spill occurring during the production, transportation or handling of hazardous chemical substances,

collapse of industrial building or structure,

explosion involving industrial buildings or structures,

fire involving industrial buildings or structures,

gas leak involving industrial buildings or structures,

poisoning of atmosphere or water courses due to industrial sources, and

radiation involving industrial buildings or structures;

transport accidents - transport accidents involving all mechanized modes of transportation:

road accidents;

air accidents;

rail accidents; and

water accidents;

miscellaneous accidents - other accidents of a non-industrial or transport nature as collapse involving non-industrial buildings or structures, explosions involving non-industrial buildings or structures and fires involving non-industrial buildings and structures.

Media are public or private institutions or individuals that are responsible for spreading information about risk to the lay public. When assessing risk, people include in their expectancies about the typical severity of an event, personal subjectivities that can be influenced by media discourses. The CARISMAND Toolkit includes in this category both classical media and new channels of information dissemination (e.g. social networks, apps, blogs etc.).

Military is represented, for the purpose of disaster management, by all army personnel and infrastructure involved in disaster response and recovery.

National civil protection body is a national institution developed for providing immediate assistance in case of disaster. They may include search and rescue teams, medical posts, basic necessities, equipment decontamination in case of chemical or biological accidents, and aircraft and firefighting teams. [1]

[1] Taken from CARISMAND WP2 'Actors, Systems, Processes, Policies in Disaster Management', Task 2.1 'Actors in Disaster Management'. For more information, please follow the link.

National research bodies are research organizations and individuals addressing hazard related issues. This category includes universities, independent laboratories, researchers, NGOs and all other bodies identified throughout CARISMAND producing knowledge and state of the art scientific data.

Natural hazards, defined as natural event that overwhelm local capacity, necessitating a request for assistance from national or international levels. The natural hazards could be divided into:

geophysical hazards - hazards originated from solid earth as earthquakes, dry mass movements or volcanic activity;

meteorological hazards - hazards caused by short-lived, micro - to meso - scale extreme weather and atmospheric conditions that last from minutes to days as extreme temperatures, fog or storms;

hydrological hazards - floods, landslides or wave actions are hazards caused by the occurrence, movement, and distribution of surface and subsurface freshwater and saltwater;

climatological hazards - hazards caused by long-lived, meso - to macro-scale atmospheric processes ranging from intra-seasonal to multi-decadal climate variability. This includes drought, glacial lake outbursts or wildfires;

biological hazards - hazards represented by the exposure to living organisms and their toxic substances or vector-borne diseases that they may carry, and can be caused by animal incidents, epidemics or insect infestations;

hazards of extra-terrestrial origin - hazards caused by asteroids, meteoroids, and comets as they pass near-earth, enter the Earth’s atmosphere, and/or strike the Earth, and by changes in interplanetary conditions that affect the Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere, and thermosphere; this subgroup includes meteoroid, asteroid or comet impacts and space weather.

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