Author Topic: Disaster Management Preparedness: A Plan for Action  (Read 2000 times)

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Disaster Management Preparedness: A Plan for Action
« on: May 23, 2010, 02:29:39 PM »
Risk in urban areas
The dynamics of change in urban settlements due to large scale migration has led to the evolution of high-rise structures, mixed land use, high population density, growth of cottage ad hazardous industries, cross country gas pipelines, bulk oil storage tank farms and thermal power stations. These increase losses during disasters. The recent earthquake in turkey caused rippling of electric poles. Collapse of buildings, refinery fires, and blocked roads of so that rescue teams from Switzerland, U.S.A Greece and Germany struggled to reach victims. More than 10,000 died. The situation would be the same in developing countries unless loss patterns are controlled through co-ordinated disaster management plans.

Concept of mitigation
Mitigation embraces all measures taken to reduce both the effect of the hazard itself and the vulnerable conditions to it, in order to reduce the scale of a future disaster and its impacts. Mitigation also includes measures aimed at reducing physical, economic and social vulnerability. Therefore mitigation may incorporate addressing community-related issued such as land ownership distribution, etc. Depending on their purpose, mitigation measures can be categorized as being 'structural' or non-structural.

Active preparedness measures
Both structural or non-structural mitigation measures may be termed either 'passive' or 'active'. Active measures are those which rely on providing incentives for disaster reduction. They are often more effective than passive measures which are based on laws and controls. For example, while codes and land use planning may provide a legal context for mitigation, they are ineffective unless rigorously enforced. Instead, measures which provide incentives such as government grants or subsidies, lessening of insurance premiums for safer construction and provision of government technical advice are more effective.

Preparedness efforts
Structural mitigation measures relate to those activities and decision making systems which provide the context within which disaster management and planning operates and is organised. They include measures such as preparation of preparedness plans, training and education, public education, evacuation planning, institution building, warning systems, and land use planning.

Disaster response
Coping with the effects of natural disasters is called Post Disaster Management. It deals with problems concerning law and order, evacuation and warnings, communications, search and rescue, fire-fighting, medical and psychiatric assistance, provision of relief and sheltering, etc. Once the initial trauma of the natural disaster is over, the phase of reconstruction and economic rehabilitation is taken up by the people themselves and by the government authorities. Thereafter, the occurrence of the disaster is relegated to historic memory until the next one occurs.

Preparedness plans the foremost step
The existence of a disaster-preparedness plan is blessing. Distraught officials have at hand, a set of instruction they can follow to issue direction tot heir subordinates and affected people. This speeds up the rescue and relief operations and boosts the morale of victims. Disaster plans are also useful pre-disaster operations, when warnings have been issued. Time, which might otherwise be lost in consultations with senior officers and getting formal approval, is saved.

Response plans are formulated by different agencies that need to co-ordinate during emergencies. For example, the electricity supplying authority would be responsible for preparing an action plan, which would be used following a disaster event to restore full services quickly. The contingency Action Plan (CAP) already exists at the national level that lists out in detail the actions to be taken at various levels of government at the time of calamity. There is, however, a need to carry out a comprehensive revision of CAP followed by clear cut operational guidelines. Recently, a high power committee has been established to prepare a disaster management plant ad Central/State and district levels.

National policy
The Natural Disaster Management Division in the department of agriculture and co-operation. Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India deals with the post disaster relief operations. a contingency plan has been prepared for dealing with the natural calamities as a part of the national policy for the subject. The important issued of the contingency plans are:

Types of Calamity
Natural Calamities, as contained in the plan, have been broadly grouped into major and minor types depending upon their potential to cause damage to human life and property. Earthquakes, droughts, floods, and cyclones have been identified as major type of while hailstorms, avalanches, landslides, fire accidents, etc. whose impact is localized and intensity of the damage being much less are categorized as minor calamities.

Role of the Central Government
In the federal set up of India, the responsibility to formulate the Government's response to a natural calamity major or minor is essentially that of the State Government concerned. The Center, however, supplements, to the extent possible, these efforts by way of providing financial and material assistance for effective management of the situation in accordance with the existing scheme of finance and relief expenditure depending upon the gravity of the calamity.

National Crisis Management
National Crisis Management Committee (NCM), with cabinet secretary as its chairmen is the supreme body at the center that operates to provide policy response and/or administrative response.

The Crisis Management Group (CMG) headed by the Relief Commissioner deals with the matters relating to relief in the wake of major natural calamities. The CMG is responsible to:
>Review every year the contingency plans formulated by the Central Ministries/Departments.
>Review the measures required for dealing with a natural calamity.
>Co-ordinate the activities of the Central Ministers and the State Governments in relation to disaster preparedness and relief and
>Obtain information from the Nodal Officers of all the Ministers/Departments such measures.
State Crisis Management Group (SCMG)

The SCMG works under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary and State Relief Commissioner. The group comprises of senior officers from the Departments of Revenue and Relief, Home, Civil Supplies. Power, Irrigation, Water Supply, Local Self Government, Agriculture, Forests, Public Works and Finance and is primarily responsible to formulate action plans for dealing with different natural calamities in the state and co-ordinate with CMG at the Center. The SMCG will also have district level plans for relief operations formulated by collectors and deputy commissioners that provide specific tasks and agencies for their implementations for different calamites.

Mitigation strategy
The plans recognize the fact that effective community involvement and public awareness can largely minimize the impact or disasters and community based mitigation strategy would go along way in strengthening and stabilizing the efforts of the administration. The focus would be on community capacity building including formation of community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)

The mitigation strategy also focuses on micro risk assessment and vulnerability analysis including hazard mapping, applied research and technology transfer to improve the quality of forecast and disseminate warning quickly. It also highlights the need for a disaster management legislation and relief and rehabilitation policy that would define specific roles and responsibilities as well as set-up permanent administrative structures and institutional mechanisms for disaster management. The importance of land use planning and regulations for sustainable development, which include development and implementation of building codes; principles of sage special laws. Structural and non-structural measures to avoid damage during disasters are given in the mitigation strategy document.

Training strategy
Training of the key community and social functionaries is essential element for the successful execution of a Disaster Management Action Plan. The DMAP cannot be fully operationalised without a training strategy Manuals for warning and evacuation, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and District Control room, (DCR) have been prepared keeping this in mind. The manuals list the tasks to be undertaken by branch authority responsible. Information on the important contact persons and emergency officials has been provided in the manual. The state and the district plans also specify guidelines for the community as well as NGO's and local community based organizations in the advent of any disaster.

Community based preparedness strategy
For calculated response in case of a disaster a plan for community preparedness is essential. The plan must incorporate.
--Clearly perceived hazard and development hazard profile of the community and its neighborhoods.
Assessment of risk and vulnerability.
--Identification of individual and community resources.
--Like any other plan it must, be clear and simple, specific in details, define duties and responsibilities of each member, earmark various escape roots, and locate shelter sites.
--The pan has to be written and so that we do not have to refer to it when emergency arises, a simple concise 'checklist' is needed.
--The Panchayat resilient focal communities. This however is possible only with concerted efforts and conscious policy at top level.

Mutual aid scheme
For an effective response, identification of resources and development of mutual aid agreements with neighboring resource providers at district, state, country, and international level for the extent and terms for sharing of resources during emergencies.

Periodical mock drills to test and update the plan are of importance. Since a community is a dynamic entity, no plan can be static document.

Geographic Information System (GIS)
Disaster planning involves predicting the risk of natural hazard and possible impact. The use of GIS can be made successfully in communication, risk and vulnerability assessment and study of loss patterns, search etc.

Hazard maps could be created for cities, districts, state or even for the entire country. They prove helpful for analysis and determination of hazard zones and likely affects during disasters. The maps can be successfully used in establishing response priorities, developing actions plans, quick disaster location assessment, for carrying out search and rescue operations effectively, zoning them accordingly to risk magnitudes, population details and assets at risk. The GIS and RS (Remote Sensing) facilitate record keeping and obtain status or on going works which are the most critical task disaster management.

Disaster can not be prevented totally. However, timely warning and planning can minimize the affect of a disasters. An accurate disaster management plans needs to be prepared. The use of modern technology like GIS and RS can be of vital importance in the preparation of plans. Keeping records of vulnerable areas, monitoring of rescue and relief operations deciding response, managing the data base etc. Mutual aid schemes shall be of great help in mobilization of resources while mock drills shall ensure the efficiency and affectivity of response. Training of the various functionaries, and an effective public awareness and education campaign involving the communities will ensure that the plans are disseminated to the lowest levels.

Writer of this article:
S.K. Dheri
Chief Fire Officer, Delhi Fire Service
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 09:22:21 AM by Shamim Ansary »
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Offline kafi

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Re: Disaster Management Preparedness: A Plan for Action
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2010, 09:13:00 PM »
Thanks Mr. Ansari the article is good and thoughtful for  all of us

It is an important and devastating matter that has proved for  the subcontinent people on regularly basis. Now the technology is very easy and help to find out the weather forecast and climatic precondition as  well as measure the EIA( Environmental Impact Assessment). GIS and Remote sensing is such type of power full tools  to help us to make management plan in all aspects and world wide know to as a best technique in environmental field.

In the coming days most of the people are  being with us of Environmental education and hope to be more aware in this come forwarded good initiative.  
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 12:40:09 AM by kafi »

Offline jafar_bre

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Re: Disaster Management Preparedness: A Plan for Action
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2010, 10:39:13 PM »
yes sir ,coming soon this days most of the people are  being with us of Environmental education ..

because all are the people educated specific ly 

Jafar Iqbal
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Offline azharul.esdm

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Re: Disaster Management Preparedness: A Plan for Action
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2016, 05:16:04 PM »
Thank you sir for your information about preparedness.
Md. Azharul Haque Chowdhury
Dept. of Environmental Science and Disaster Management
Daffodil International University

Offline Tanvir Ahmed Chowdhury

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Re: Disaster Management Preparedness: A Plan for Action
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2017, 01:02:56 PM »
Tanvir Ahmed Chowdhury

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Department of Textile Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
Daffodil International University