Health impacts and ways to minimize disaster damage

Popularly known as a "natural disaster," an extreme weather or climatic event results from a serious disruption of the normal functioning of a community or society, affecting its daily life. This abrupt halt involves material and economic losses as well as damage to the environment and harm to people’s health through injuries and diseases that can cause immediate and subsequent deaths. The affected group might be unable to cope with the situation using its own resources, which can cause the negative effects to be extended beyond the site of occurrence.  

For such an event to be considered a "disaster", a range of factors covering physical and social conditions is required. When combined, these elements constitute the so-called disaster risk factors. In other words, a disaster takes place in hazard conditions, triggered by physical events that are generated by the dynamics of nature.

Extreme climatic and weather events are usually classified as having an hydrological origin (sudden and gradual floods, inundations, and landslides); geological or geophysical (erosive processes, mass movement, and landslides resulting from geological processes or geophysical phenomena); meteorological (lightning, tropical and extratropical cyclones, tornadoes and windstorms); and climatic (long and short droughts, fires and forest fires, hail rains, frost, and waves of cold and heat).



  • de Freitas, C. M., Silva, D. R. X., de Sena, A. R. M., Silva, E. L., Sales, L. B. F., de Carvalho, M. L., ... & Costa, A. M. (2014). Natural disasters and health: an analysis of the situation in Brazil. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, 19(9), 3645.
  • XAVIER, DIEGO RICARDO , BARCELLOS, CHRISTOVAM , FREITAS, CARLOS MACHADO DE . Eventos climáticos extremos e consequências sobre a saúde: o desastre de 2008 em Santa Catarina segundo diferentes fontes de informação. Ambiente & Sociedade (Online), v. 17, p. 273-294, n. 2014.
  • XAVIER, DIEGO RICARDO , BARCELLOS, CHRISTOVAM , BARROS, HEGLAUCIO DA SILVA , MAGALHÃES, MONICA DE AVELAR FIGUEIREDO MAFRA , MATOS, VANDERLEI PASCOAL DE , PEDROSO, MARCEL DE MORAES . Organização, disponibilização e possibilidades de análise de dados sobre desastres de origem climática e seus impactos sobre a saúde no Brasil. Ciência e Saúde Coletiva (Impresso),  Artigo Publicado - JCR v. 19, p. 3657-3668, n. 2014.
  • EIRD. Marco de Acción de Hyogo para 2005-2015: Aumento de la resiliencia de las naciones y las comunidades ante los desastres. Japón: EIRD, 2005.
  • EM-DATA/CRED. The International Disaster Database / Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disaster. Classification. 2009. Disponível em:<> . Acessado em: 16 abr. 15.
  • NARVÁEZ L, LAVELL A, ORTEGA GP. La gestión del riesgo de desastres: un enfoque basado en procesos. San Isidro: Secretaría General de la Comunidad Andina; 2009.


  • 1- Agravo
    Aumento da intensidade ou gravidade de um mal, de doença ou sintoma; agravamento. Fonte: Dicionário Caldas Aulete.
  • 2- Psicossocial
    Relativo à psicologia individual e à vida social. Fonte: Dicionário Priberam da Língua Portuguesa.