Disaster Risks and Preparedness: Effects of Petrochemical Hazards on the Environment in Saudi Arabia

Ali Mohammed Al-Qahtani


The impacts from disaster risks are extremely devastating and significantly affect people, environment and business organisations. This research explore disaster risks and preparedness especially the impacts of petrochemical hazards on the environment in Saudi Arabia. While the impacts vary considerably across different affected stakeholders, the environment remains the principal benefactor of such disastrous effects. Disaster risks are made manifest through incidents such as extreme weathers, droughts, climate change, flooding, earthquake, landslide, technological change, petrochemical hazards and pollution among others. United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) revealed that within the last 30 years, the Arab region was affected by more than 270 disasters resulting in more than 150, 000 deaths and affecting approximately 10 million people. The effects of disaster depend majorly on the level of exposures and vulnerability of the human subjects to the source of the disaster. This research anchored on the concept that disaster preparedness is crucial for effective management of disaster risks such as petrochemical hazards. Findings from the study through literature review and semi-structured interview revealed that proximity of human subjects, exposure to petrochemical hazards, disaster risk education and extent of disaster preparedness play pivotal role in successful management of impending disasters. Results of the semi-structured interview revealed the need for national and institutional supports for disaster risks education and management within the study area (Jubail, Saudi Arabia). The current research findings and existing literatures revealed that poor and uneducated people are more vulnerable to disaster effects than any other group. Thus, the research made some useful recommendations on how to better understand disaster and prepared for any eventualities. Though, the research is limited to Jubail city, Saudi Arabia; the study contributes significantly to the body of knowledge on emergency and disaster management.

Keywords: Disaster Risks, Disaster Risks Reduction, Preparedness, Hazards, Saudi Arabia

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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