AY Honor Disaster Response - Advanced Answer Key

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Disaster Response - Advanced

Skill Level






Approval authority

General Conference

ADRA Disaster Response Advanced AY Honor.png
Disaster Response - Advanced
Skill Level
Approval authority
General Conference
Year of Introduction
See also

For tips and instruction see Disaster Response.


Describe the underlying causes of each of these disaster scenarios and give a recent example of at least six and its impact on a community or country. Point to at least one in which ADRA responded.



A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones feed on heat released when moist air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor contained in the moist air. Tropical cyclones originate in the doldrums near the equator, about 10° away from it. Tropical cyclones are called either hurricanes or typhoons depending on where they originate.

Hurricane Dean
Fifteen countries felt the effects of Hurricane Dean as its path through the Caribbean Sea claimed 42 lives. The hurricane first brushed the Lesser Antilles on August 17, 2007, and as it passed through the interior of the Caribbean its outer rain bands swept over the Greater Antilles. It passed Jamaica as a Category 4 hurricane, and strengthened to a Category 5 storm as it made landfall on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula on August 21. A second landfall on August 22 was less devastating. ADRA responded to Hurricane Dean throughout the affected area, providing (among other things) food, blankets, bedding, clean-up supplies, boots, raincoats, and flashlights. ADRA was in charge of aid distribution and victim registration in Jamaica.
Typhoon Durian
Typhoon Durian first made landfall in the Philippine s in November 2006 packing strong winds and heavy rains that caused mudslides near Mayon Volcano. After causing massive damage in the Philippines, it exited into the South China Sea and weakened slightly, before managing to reorganise and restrengthen into a typhoon shortly before its second landfall, this time in Vietnam near Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, causing further damage of more than US$400 million. In all, Durian killed at least 1,497 people, and left hundreds more missing. Damages from the typhoon were estimated at over $13 billion (2006 USD). When Typhoon Durian tore through the eastern Philippines, ADRA responded immediately to the needs of the survivors, providing food and emergency aid to those affected by the devastating storm.
Hurricane Rita
Hurricane Rita was the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Gulf of Mexico. Rita caused $11.3 billion in damage on the U.S. Gulf Coast in September 2005.
Typhoon Rusa
Typhoon Rusa was the 10th typhoon of the 2002 Pacific typhoon season. Rusa brought heavy rains and flooding to South Korea, amounting to 36 inches (910 mm) in some areas. 113 people were killed in the country, making it one of the deadliest typhoons to hit South Korea. Extensive crop and property damage amounted to $6 billion (2002 USD).
Typhoon Utor
Typhoon Utor (also called Seniang) was a deadly typhoon which struck the Philippines about two weeks after Typhoon Durian causing significant devastation in the country. Typhoon Utor killed 30 people and left another eight missing throughout the Philippines.[4] A total of 9,553 homes were destroyed and 33,943 were damaged, displacing 56,313 people. In all, 880,663 people were affected. Damages from the storm totaled to $15.8 million, of which $9.6 million was from agricultural damage. An additional 44 people were injured by the storm. In response, ADRA provided food and shelter assistance to 2,615 people in the three provinces. More than 500 families received food items, such as rice, noodles, meat loaf, cooking oil, iodized salt, sugar, mongo beans, and sardines.



A tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air which is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. Tornadoes come in many sizes but are typically in the form of a visible condensation funnel, whose narrow end touches the earth and is often encircled by a cloud of debris and dust.

Tornadoes have been observed on every continent except Antarctica. They occasionally occur in south-central and eastern Asia, the Philippines, east-central South America, Southern Africa, northwestern and southeast Europe, western and southeastern Australia, and New Zealand.

Because ADRA does not operate in North America, and because that's where most tornadoes occur, ADRA has not responded to many tornadoes.

Nkande Tornado
In 2006, Nkande, South Africa was struck by a tornado that affected 125 families. ADRA supplied 8 tons of food, blankets, and cooking sets to 800 individuals in the aftermath of this storm.



A flood is an overflow or accumulation of an expanse of water that submerges land. In the sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide. Flooding may result from the volume of water within a body of water, such as a river or lake, which overflows or breaks levees, with the result that some of the water escapes its normal boundaries. While the size of a lake or other body of water will vary with seasonal changes in precipitation and snow melt, it is not a significant flood unless such escapes of water endanger land areas used by man like a village, city or other inhabited area.

April 2005, Guyana
ADRA provided potable water, food and medicine to the survivors of a flood striking Guyana in April 2005.
2008 Indian floods
The 2008 Indian floods are currently affecting Kosi Basin in Bihar and adjoining Nepal, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
2007 Africa Floods
The 2007 Africa Floods is reported to be one of the largest floods in recorded history in the continent of Africa with 14 countries affected.
Summer 2007 United Kingdom floods
The Summer 2007 United Kingdom floods occurred across many parts of Britain, with the worst affected areas being Yorkshire including Sheffield and Hull in June, and large areas of the Midlands, most significantly Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire in July.
2007 Hunter Floods
The 2007 Hunter Floods that inundated large areas of the City of Maitland and the City of Newcastle, Australia in June 2007, claimed 11 lives and forced the evacuation of 4,000 people in Central Maitland.
January 2007 Jakarta Flood
During January 2007, Jakarta flooded affecting the whole city and killing 80 people.
December 2006 and January 2007 Floods in Malaysia
The floods in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sumatra in December 2006 and January 2007 is considered to be the worst in 100 years, resulting in evacuation of over 100,000 people in the worst-hit state of Johor at its peak.



A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region. Although droughts can persist for several years, even a short, intense drought can cause significant damage and harm the local economy. Lengthy periods of drought have long been a key trigger for mass migration and played a key role in a number of ongoing migrations and other humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel.

Year Country People or Places
ADRA Response
2009 Guatemala Provided food baskets to 200 people
2006 Ethopia 13,000 Set up relief in 40 villages
2005-06 Niger 3.6 million Yes
ongoing Malawi 5 million Providing drought-resistant crops
2006 Australia Victoria



An earthquake (also known as a tremor or temblor) is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and sometimes displacing the ground.

Date Country Magnitude Deaths ADRA Response
2008-01-09 Algeria 4.6 1
2008-01-22 Indonesia 6.2 1
2008-02-03 Democratic Republic of the Congo 5.9 44
2008-02-06 India 4.3 1
2008-02-14 Rwanda 5.3 1
2008-02-20 Indonesia 7.3 3
2008-05-12 China 7.9 88,287


2008-05-24 Colombia 5.9 6
2008-05-25 China 6.1 8
2008-06-06 Algeria 5.5 1
2008-06-08 Greece 6.4 2
2008-06-13 Japan 6.9 13
2008-06-17 China 4.8 2
2008-10-05 Kyrgyzstan 6.9 60
2010-01-12 Haiti 7.0 230,000 Yes
2010-03-11 Chile 6 2 Yes



A tsunami is a series of water waves that is caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, such as an ocean. The original Japanese term literally translates as "harbor wave." Tsunamis are a frequent occurrence in Japan; approximately 195 events have been recorded. Due to the immense volumes of water and energy involved, tsunamis can devastate coastal regions. Casualties can be high because the waves move faster than humans can run.

Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions (detonations of nuclear devices at sea), landslides and other mass movements, bolide impacts, and other disturbances above or below water all have the potential to generate a tsunami.

Date Ocean Areas Affected Deaths ADRA Response
1998-7-17 Indian Ocean Papua New Guinea 2300
2004-12-26 Indian Ocean Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka,
India, Eastern Africa
≈300,000 Yes
2006-7-17 Indian Ocean Java 800 Yes
2007-4-2 Pacific Ocean Solomon Islands 39 Yes
2007-7-16 Pacific Ocean Niigata, Japan 7 Yes
2009-10-20 Pacific Ocean Samoa 189 Yes



Wildfires are an uncontrolled fire burning in woodland areas. Common causes include lightning and drought but wildfires may also be started by human negligence or arson. They can be a threat to those in rural areas and also wildlife.

Year Size Name Area ADRA Response
2008 120 hectares300 acres Phnom Penh Fire Cambodia Yes
2008 5,500 hectares13,700 acres Trigo Fire New Mexico
2009 450,000 hectares1,100,000 acres Black Saturday bushfires Victoria, Australia


Volcanic eruption

A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in the planet's surface or crust, which allows hot magma, ash and gases to escape from below the surface. Volcanoes are generally found where tectonic plates are diverging or converging. A mid-oceanic ridge, for example the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, has examples of volcanoes caused by divergent tectonic plates pulling apart; the Pacific Ring of Fire has examples of volcanoes caused by convergent tectonic plates coming together.

Date Name Country People Evacuated ADRA Response
1991-6-15 Mt Pinatubo Philippines 330,000
1994-12-21 Popocatépetl Mexico 50,000
2002-1-17 Nyiragongo Democratic Republic
of Congo
2006-08-16 Tungurahua Ecuador 25,000 Yes
2008-5-2 Chaitén Volcano Chile 4,200


War/Civil conflict

Date Name Country Number Displaced ADRA Response
2003 - present War in Darfur Sudan 2 million Yes
1989 - present Kashmir conflict India, Pakistan 300,000
2006-2009 Fatah–Hamas conflict Palestine None were able to flee
Early 20th century - present Israeli–Palestinian conflict Israel, Palestine 10 million
1991 - present Somali Civil War Somalia 300,000 - 400,000 dead Yes
1987 - present Lord's Resistance Army Sudan Yes
1978 - present Civil War in Afghanistan Afghanistan 5 million Yes


The four stages of managing a disaster or emergency include: 1) Planning and Mitigation, 2) Preparedness, 3) Response, 4) Recovery. In your own words, describe to your instructor what each of these terms mean and why they are important.

Planning and Mitigation

Mitigation efforts attempt to prevent hazards from developing into disasters altogether, or to reduce the effects of disasters when they occur. The mitigation phase differs from the other phases because it focuses on long-term measures for reducing or eliminating risk. The implementation of mitigation strategies can be considered a part of the recovery process if applied after a disaster occurs. Mitigation measures can be structural or non-structural. Structural measures use technological solutions, like flood levees. Non-structural measures include legislation, land-use planning (e.g. the designation of nonessential land like parks to be used as flood zones), and insurance. Mitigation is the most cost-efficient method for reducing the impact of hazards, however it is not always suitable. Mitigation does include providing regulations regarding evacuation, sanctions against those who refuse to obey the regulations (such as mandatory evacuations), and communication of potential risks to the public.


In the preparedness phase, emergency managers develop plans of action for when the disaster strikes. Common preparedness measures include:

  • communication plans with easily understandable terminology and methods.
  • proper maintenance and training of emergency services, including mass human resources such as community emergency response teams.
  • development and exercise of emergency population warning methods combined with emergency shelters and evacuation plans.
  • stockpiling, inventory, and maintain disaster supplies and equipment
  • develop organizations of trained volunteers among civilian populations. (Professional emergency workers are rapidly overwhelmed in mass emergencies so trained, organized, responsible volunteers are extremely valuable. Organizations like Community Emergency Response Teams, the Red Cross, and Adventist Community Services are ready sources of trained volunteers.


The response phase includes the mobilization of the necessary emergency services and first responders in the disaster area. This is likely to include a first wave of core emergency services, such as firefighters, police and ambulance crews. When conducted as a military operation, it is termed Disaster Relief Operation (DRO) and can be a follow-up to a Non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO). They may be supported by a number of secondary emergency services, such as specialist rescue teams.

A well rehearsed emergency plan developed as part of the preparedness phase enables efficient coordination of rescue Where required, search and rescue efforts commence at an early stage. Depending on injuries sustained by the victim, outside temperature, and victim access to air and water, the vast majority of those affected by a disaster will die within 72 hours after impact.

Organizational response to any significant disaster - natural or terrorist-borne - is based on existing emergency management organizational systems and processes: the Federal Response Plan (FRP) and the Incident Command System (ICS). These systems are solidified through the principles of Unified Command (UC) and Mutual Aid (MA)


The aim of the recovery phase is to restore the affected area to its previous state. It differs from the response phase in its focus; recovery efforts are concerned with issues and decisions that must be made after immediate needs are addressed. Recovery efforts are primarily concerned with actions that involve rebuilding destroyed property, re-employment, and the repair of other essential infrastructure. An important aspect of effective recovery efforts is taking advantage of a ‘window of opportunity’ for the implementation of mitigation measures that might otherwise be unpopular. Citizens of the affected area are more likely to accept more mitigation changes when a recent disaster is in fresh memory.


Preparedness is key during a disaster. If you were to build a home disaster kit, describe to your instructor what items you would include. Discuss the advantages of choosing battery- over electricity-powered items, and non-perishable over perishable foods.

A household Emergency Supply Kit should have the following items in it:

  • Portable radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlights (and extra batteries)
  • Drinking water (4 liters1 gallon per day for each person for three days)
  • Canned food
  • Manual can-opener
  • First aid kit
  • Essential Medications
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Work gloves and goggles
  • Wrenches (for turning off gas & water lines)
  • Standard phone (not needing an external power source)
  • Blankets, sleeping bags
  • Warm clothing
  • Plastic bags for waste
  • Copies of important documents such as birth certificates and insurance policies, sealed in a water-proof container.
  • Family emergency contact phone numbers.
  • Pet supplies
    • Pet food
    • Crate/carrier
    • Leash
    • Photo (in case of separation)

Check your kit every six months and replace medications and food. Check the batteries too.

Remember that during a disaster, electricity might not be available for an extended period of time. This is why you will need battery-powered equipment. Also, without electricity, refrigerated foods will spoil, so non-perishable foods should be on hand. Another reason for stocking non-perishable foods is that you can leave them in the disaster kit without worrying that they will spoil over time.


Draw the floor plan of where you live. Think about what you should do in three of the disasters listed on question #1. Design an escape route for your house and discuss it with your instructor and family.

As long as every room is represented in roughly the correct location, and all windows and doors are indicated, the floor plan does not have to be 100% accurate for planning purposes. Each room should have two escape routes (through a door or if necessary, through a window).


Find three stories in the Bible that involved natural disasters or political emergencies. Put yourself in the place of the people in the stories and describe how those events would affect you. Also, briefly discuss how the people in the stories got through the difficult times.

Here are a few Bible stories relevant to this requirement in case you have difficulty thinking of some.

Story Where found
Noah's Flood Genesis 6-9
Job's First Test Job 1:6-22
Abraham's Drought Genesis 12:10-20
Joseph's Drought Genesis 41-47
Absalom's revolt 2 Samuel 15-18
Elijah's Drought 1 Kings 17
Nebuchadnezzer captures Jerusalem Daniel 1


Give a short report at your Pathfinder Club about what you learned about disasters and disaster preparedness. You can do this through a presentation, skit, short video, or any method that will best convey what you learned.

If you are working on this honor as a club, have each member present his findings. If you are doing this in a large club, it's OK to break into smaller units and present the information to the smaller group. If making a video or skit, involve everyone who is working on the honor. You can also make a presentation to your church.


Disaster Response Guide from the ADRA or ACS national office