Impact of Disasters and Disaster Risk Management in Singapore: A Case Study of Singapore Experience in Fighting the SARS Epidemic

42 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2012

See all articles by Allen Yuhung Lai

Allen Yuhung Lai

Institute of Health Economics and Management, ESSEC Business School

Seck Tan

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Date Written: November 20, 2012

Abstract

Singapore is vulnerable to both natural and man-made disasters alongside its remarkable economic growth. One of the most significant disasters is the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003. The SARS outbreak was eventually contained through a series of risk mitigating measures introduced by the Singapore government. This would not be possible without the engagement and responsiveness of the general public. This chapter begins with a description of Singapore’s historical disaster profiles, the policy and legal framework in the all-hazard management approach. We use a case study to highlight the disaster impacts and insights drawn from Singapore’s risk management experience with specific references to the SARS epidemic. We draw on the lesson-learning from Singapore’s experience in fighting the SARS epidemic, and discuss implications for future practice and research in disaster risk management. The implications are explained in four aspects: staying vigilant at the community level, remaining flexible in a national command structure, the demand for surge capacity, and collaborative governance at regional level. This chapter concludes with a presence of the flexible command structure on both the way and the extent it was utilized. This helps to explain the success level of the containment of the SARS epidemic.

Keywords: Disaster risk, SARS, epidemics, infectious disease, Singapore

JEL Classification: D83, H83, L31, Q34

Suggested Citation

Lai, Allen Yuhung and Tan, Seck, Impact of Disasters and Disaster Risk Management in Singapore: A Case Study of Singapore Experience in Fighting the SARS Epidemic (November 20, 2012). Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 12-18, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2188192 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2188192

Allen Yuhung Lai (Contact Author)

Institute of Health Economics and Management, ESSEC Business School ( email )

3 Avenue Bernard Hirsch
CS 50105 CERGY
CERGY, CERGY PONTOISE CEDEX 95021
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.allenlai.org

Seck Tan

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy ( email )

469C Bukit Timah Road
Oei Tiong Ham Building
Singapore, Singapore 259772
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://lkyspp.nus.edu.sg/faculty/seck-tan/

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
157
Abstract Views
1,332
rank
224,668
PlumX Metrics