Disaster Management – Is India prepared ?

Disaster Management or Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) aims to reduce the damage caused by natural hazards like earthquakes, floods, droughts and cyclones, through an ethic of prevention. Disasters often follow natural hazards. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Management. This is the first major inter-governmental invent after the adoption of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Disaster Management or Disaster Risk Reduction | What is it?

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  • An unusual mishap or something which affects the normal routine and it is not easy to comeback to, is called a disaster. The risk is reduced by various disaster management systems.
  • Capacity building can reduce such risks up to a substantial amount.
  • It is not anymore about disaster relief operations alone. We are now taking it to another level of disaster risk reduction.
  • The warning system plays a very crucial role along with technology to inform the last point. Social media, mainstream media and mobile technology is being used for risk mitigation.

Disaster Management | India’s preparedness

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  • India has put in place the National Disaster Management Authoritywith Disaster Management Act, 2005. There are State Disasters Management Authorities in almost all the states. There are lot of efforts to take it down to community level, panchayat level and other grass root levels
  • We have a fully functional Indian Ocean Tsunami warning system, to efficiently tackle heavy cyclones with objective of ensuring minimal destruction and minimal damage to property and lives.
  • Dominance of natural disasters called for Ministry of Agriculture as the only nodal ministry up till 1999-2000. Since the advent of manmade disasters, industrial disasters and accidental disasters, National Disaster Response Fore (NDRF)with 10 battalions under Ministry of Home have been formed.
  • Indian Armed forces have also been well integrated into the local disaster management.
  • 10-point agenda of the Prime Minster came up with a suggestion of development in all sectors and they should imbibe the principles of disaster risk management in development of public sector projects like airports, roads, canals, hospitals, schools.
  • India has also developed seismic maps, cyclone maps, and hazard prone area maps. 
  • Role of satellites in disaster risk management is very useful in early warning, mapping, and meteorology.

Disaster Management | Awareness

  • There is general awareness in people about the risks involved but the things are not to a satisfactory level.
  • The unplanned growth and development of population, congestion, and unauthorised buildings leads to difficulty in responding to disaster.
  • Disasters have to be merged into the development sector – the building codes have to be changed, turn into better and area specific.
  • Community involvement and capacity building is very important for spreading awareness.
  • Insurance is a good disaster risk reduction technique. While insuring any building and if all the safety standards are followed, the insurance premium will be less. Through this people are incentivised through insurance. Insurance will also ensure that the safety norms are followed

Conclusion

International cooperation is very important in disaster management, along with knowledge network, involvement of universities, and research in specific areas. India’s disaster management plans are in sync with international standards.  United Nations could play a very constructive role in providing a podium for cooperation.

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