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Definition Of Disaster | DISASTER MANAGEMENT | Internal Security   

  • A disaster is a result of natural or man-made causes that leads to sudden disruption of normal life, causing severe damage to life and property to an extent that available social and economic protection mechanisms are inadequate to cope.
  • It is an undesirable occurrence resulting from forces that are largely outside human control. It strikes quickly with little or no warning and requires major efforts in providing statutory emergency service.

Types Of Disaster

  • Disasters are classified as per origin, into natural and man-made disasters. As per severity, disasters are classified as minor or major (in impact).
  • Natural disasters are sudden ecological disruptions or threats that exceed the adjustment capacity of the affected community and require external assistance.
    Natural disasters can be broadly classified into categories including geophysical such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions; hydrological such as floods; meteorological such as hurricanes; climatological such as heat and cold waves and droughts; and biological such as epidemics.
  • Man-made disasters can include hazardous material spills, fires, groundwater contamination, transportation accidents, structure failures, mining accidents, explosions and acts of terrorism.


Disaster Management | DISASTER MANAGEMENT | Internal Security  

  • Government of India had brought a shift from its relief centric approach to the one with greater emphasis is on preparedness, prevention and mitigation.
  • Without disaster management, sustainable development is not possible. And also disaster management became part of the policy framework as poor and under privileged are more affected.
  • Disaster management is a multi disciplinary area which includes forecasting, warning, search and rescue, relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation.
  • It is also a multi sectoral task as it involves administrators, scientists, planners, volunteers and communities. CRITICAL NEED IS THE CO-ORDINATION OF ALL THE ACTIVITIES BETWEEN THEM.
  • For developing countries, disaster management is a major concern as it directly influences the economy, agriculture, food and sanitation, water, environment and health. Disasters also have social, economic and psychological dimensions.
  • So appropriate strategies are necessarily been developed.

Stages in Disaster Management | DISASTER MANAGEMENT | Internal Security  

  • Disaster Management efforts are geared towards disaster risk management.
  • Disaster Risk Management implies the systematic process of using administrative decisions, organisation, operational skills, and capacities to implement policies, strategies and coping capacities of the society and communities to lessen the impact of natural hazards and related environmental and technological disasters.
  • These comprise all forms all activities including structural and non- structural measures to avoid (prevention) or to limit (mitigation and preparedness) adverse effects of hazards.
  • There are three key stages of activities in disaster management:
  • Before a disaster: to reduce the potential for human, material, or environmental losses caused by hazards and to ensure that these losses are minimised when disaster strikes;
  • During a disaster: to ensure that the needs and provisions of victims are met to alleviate and minimise suffering; and
  • After a disaster: to achieve rapid and durable recovery which does not reproduce the original vulnerable conditions.


Disaster Response In India | DISASTER MANAGEMENT | Internal Security  

  • National Disaster Mitigation Fund
    • Section 47 of the Disaster Management Act 2005 provides for constitution of National Disaster Mitigation Fund.
    • The provisions of the Act are as under:
      • The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute a fund to be called the National Disaster Mitigation Fund (NDMF) for projects exclusively for the purpose of mitigation and there shall be credited thereto such amount which the Central Government may, after due appropriation made by parliament by law in this behalf.
      • The National Disaster Mitigation Fund shall be applied by the National Disaster Management Authority.
    • Earthquakes
      • National Earthquake Risk Mitigation Project (NERMP)
      • National Building Code (NBC)
      • Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC)
      • Ministry of Panchayati Raj: It releases funds under Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) for meeting critical infrastructural gaps and other developmental requirements. The ministry has financed several district plans under the BRGF for construction of panchayat buildings, anganwadi centres, school buildings, class rooms, roads, bridges, culverts etc. and restructuring of State Institutes for Rural Development (SIRD) buildings, block resource centres, panchayat training centers etc.
    • Cyclones
      • National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project
      • Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP)
      • Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project
    • Floods
      • National Flood Risk Mitigation Project (NFRMP)
      • Flood Management Programme

National Disaster Management Act 2005 | DISASTER MANAGEMENT | Internal Security  

  • National Disaster Management Act, 2005 defines events that cause substantial less of life, prosperity and  It read, “Disaster means catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence in any area,arising from nature or man-made causes, or by accident or negligence which result in substantial loss of life, of human suffering or damage to, and destruction of property, or damage to, or degradation of environment, and is of such nature or magnitude as to be beyond the coping capacity of the community of affected areas.”
  • About 60 percent of landmass in India is prone to earthquakes of various intensities, over – 40 million hectares is prone to floods, about 8 percent of the total area is prone to cyclones and 68 percent of area is susceptible to drought.
  • Disaster management Act, 2005 defines Disaster Management as, a continuous cycle and integrated process of planning, organizing, coordinating and implementing, coordinating and implementing measures which are necessary or expedient for-
    • Prevention of danger or threat of any disaster;
    • Mitigation or reduction of risk of any disaster or its severity or consequences;
    • Capacity-building;
    • Preparedness to deal with any disaster;
    • Prompt response to any threatening disaster situation or disaster;
    • Assessing the severity or magnitude of effects of any disaster;
    • Evacuation, rescue and relief;
    • Rehabilitation and Reconstruction. Disaster Management Amendment Bill, 2006 aims at broadening the meaning of Disaster in Disaster Management Act.

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) | DISASTER MANAGEMENT | Internal Security  

  • Disaster risk reduction is the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyse and reduce the causal factors of disasters.
  • Pre-Disaster risk reduction includes-
    • Mitigation: To eliminate or reduce the impacts and risks of hazards through proactive measures taken before an emergency or disaster occurs.
    • Preparedness: To take steps to prepare and reduce the effects of disasters.
    • Post-Disaster risk reduction includes-
    • Rescue: Providing warning, evacuation, search, rescue, providing immediate assistance.
    • Relife: To respond to communities who become victims of disaster, providing relief measures such as food packets, water, medicines, temporary accommodation, relief camps etc.
    • Recovery: This stage emphasises upon recovery of victims of disaster, recovery of damaged infrastructure and repair of the damages caused.

National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP)

  • It was released in 2016, it is the first ever national plan prepared in the country for disaster management.
  • With National Disaster Management Plan (2016) India has aligned its National plan with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, to which India is a signatory.
  • The objective of the plan is to make India disaster resilient, achieve substantial disaster risk reduction. It aims to significantly decrease the losses of life, livelihoods, and assets in terms of economic, physical, social, cultural, and environmental. To maximize the ability to cope with disasters at all levels of administration as well as among communities.

National Disaster Management Authority of India (NDMA)

  • It was established in 2005, under the Disaster Management Act 2005.
  • The objective of NDMA is, to build a safer and disaster resilient India by a holistic, proactive, technology driven and sustainable development strategy.
  • The NDMA is chaired by the Prime Minister of India and has a vice chairman with the status of Cabinet Minister and eight members with the status of Ministers of State.
  • The NDMA Secretariat is headed by a Secretary and deals with mitigation, preparedness, plans, reconstruction, community awareness and financial and administrative aspects.

District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) | DISASTER MANAGEMENT | Internal Security  

  • Under Disaster Management Act 2005, every State government shall establish a DDMA for every district in the State.
    • The DDM Authority shall consist of:
      • Chairperson – the Collector or District Magistrate or Deputy Commissioner act as Chairperson of DDMA.
      • Co-Chairperson – is the elected representative of the local authority. In the Tribal Areas, the Chief Executive Member of the district council of autonomous district is the co-chairperson.
    • There are not more than seven other members in DDMA.
    • The Disaster Management Committee governed under District Magistrate will formulate village level disaster management plans for concern villages.
    • The DDMA makes District Disaster Management Plan and implements the state Disaster Management Plan.
    • State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA)
      • At State level, State Disaster Management Authorities are established under Disaster Management Act 2005.
      • SDMA is chaired by the Chief Minister of the State and has not more than eight members who are appointed by the Chief Minister.
      • The SDMA prepares the state disaster management plan and implements the National Disaster Management Plan.

Challenges In Disaster Management | DISASTER MANAGEMENT | Internal Security  

  • Weak compliance of policies:The follow up actions expected from nodal agencies in preparing plans and corrective actions to address the critical gaps in the existing policies are not initiated. Community based organizations and NGO’s can play an important role in creating a level playing field for victims affected by disasters.
  • Fragile Institutions:The National Policy on Disaster Management, prepared by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), approved in 2009 was formulated with a vision to build a safe and disaster resilient India. Central, state and district level authorities are established. Also Disaster Response Fund and Disaster Mitigation Fund were set up. But all these are not active and well operated. Good governance and effective administration are the dynamic processes of effective interface with communities at risk. The process must have transparency and accountability. We must explore ways to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of delivery of services, minimizing inordinate delays, red tape, pressure for excluding real victims and accommodating false claimants. The instrument of good governance like Right to information and legal options like Public interest litigation can be used to ensure justice wherever necessary.
  • Need to adopt innovative systems, techniques and technologies:Some of them are Geographical Information System (GPS), Global Positioning System (GPS), Global Pocket Radio Service (GPRS), Remote Sensing, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), Radio over Internet Protocol (ROIP), Scenario Analysis & Modeling, Digital Elevation Models and Bathymetry for tsunami, Early warning systems, Doppler radar etc. Information in the local dialects will be more helpful. A judicious mix of traditional knowledge with technology is required.
  • Systemic inefficiencies influencing process:The random audits of proposals on affected areas and fixing the accountability for financial losses on erring officials is the reason.

Worst Disasters in India

  • Kashmir Floods (2014) affected Srinagar, Bandipur, Rajouri etc. areas of J&K have resulted into death of more than 500 people.
  • Uttarakhand Flash Floods (2013) affected Govindghat, Kedar Dome, Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand and resulted into death of more than 5,000 people.
  • The Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004) affected parts of southern India and Andaman Nicobar Islands, Sri Lanka, Indonesia etc., and resulted in the death of more than 2 lakh people.
  • Gujarat Earthquake (2001) affected Bhuj, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Kutch, Surat, Surendranagar, Rajkot district, Jamnagar and Jodia districts of Gujarat and resulted in death of more than 20,000 people.
  • Odisha Super Cyclone or Paradip cyclone (1999) affected the coastal districts of Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Balasore, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Ganjam etc., and resulted into death of more than 10,000 people.
  • The Great Famine (1876-1878) affected Madras, Mysore, Hyderabad, and Bombay and resulted into death of around 3 crore people. Even today, it is considered as one of the worst natural calamities in India of all time.
  • Coringa Cyclone (1839) that affected Coringa district of Andhra Pradesh and Calcutta Cyclone (1737) are some other instances of natural calamities faced by the country in the past.
  • The Bengal Famine in the years 1770 and 1943 affected Bengal, Odisha, Bihar very badly and resulted into death of nearly 1 crore people.
  • Bhopal Gas tragedy (December, 1984) is one of the worst chemical disasters globally that resulted in over 10,000 losing their lives (the actual number remains disputed) and over 5.5 lakh persons affected and suffering from agonizing injuries.

Post- Recovery | DISASTER MANAGEMENT | Internal Security  

  • Guiding Principles
    • Mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in recovery and development process,
    • Improving coordination,
    • Promoting participatory approaches and decentralising planning and programming for recovery,
    • Enhancing safety standards and integrating risk reduction in reconstruction and development,
    • Improving the living conditions of the affected communities and sectors,
    • Building local and national capacities for increased resilience, risk management and sustainable development,
    • Taking advantage of ongoing initiatives,
    • Gender sensibility,
    • Demonstrative effects,
    • Monitoring, evaluation and learning.
  • Assessment
    • The first step after stabilizing the situation by providing sufficient relief is to assess the damage. A meticulously executed assessment exercise would provide an ideal base for the rehabilitation efforts.
    • This exercise is best carried out through multi-disciplinary teams which go into all aspects of damage (social, economical, psychological) in participation with the local community. Based on the assessment of the damage and the needs, a recovery strategy has to be formulated. The strategy should include all interventions – economic, social, political and psychological. The resources should be identified and the roles and responsibilities of all concerned should be defined.
  • Shelter
    • Shelter is one of the most visible and immediate needs in post-crisis settings. Relief efforts are often focused on providing shelter quickly, without taking into account the impact of shortterm shelter strategies. Long-term shelter strategies help not only to focus on determination and implementation of realistic and permanent reconstruction plans for the affected communities, but are also concerned with rebuilding community confidence and support structure for civic responsibility and urban governance, through participatory planning of reconstruction.
    • The development of disaster resistant housing is a major factor in reducing vulnerability to disasters. However, shelter issues in mitigation go beyond the structural aspects. Rights to ownership and security of tenure make an enormous difference to the maintenance, management and development of shelter, particularly in urban areas.
  • Accountability
    • A system of accountability needs to be evolved during the relief and rehabilitation phase. This system should ensure that the relief material reaches the target groups and that the funds are being utilised efficiently and optimally. A grievance redressal mechanism should also be put in place.
  • Evaluation
    • After the recovery phase, it is necessary to conduct a detailed evaluation of all aspects of crisis management. This should bring out the strengths and weaknesses of the disaster management machinery and also provide the basis for future improvements. Such an evaluation should be carried out by an independent professional agency like the NIDM, in all major disasters. This assessment should also include a quick audit of the expenditure incurred.
  • Capacity building
    • Training: It is a learning process that involves the acquisition of knowledge, sharpening of skills, concepts, rules, or change of attitude and behavior to enhance the performance of individuals associated with different departments and institutions.
    • Education: Amidst changes of the past decades, school education sector, the most discussed topic of national importance, is planning for more contextual, practical and application oriented curriculum for students at different levels of schooling.
    • Research: Research is an organised and systematic way of finding answers to questions. Systematic because there are certain things in the research process which are always done in order to get most accurate result.
    • Awareness: Awareness is generally defined as knowledge created through interaction between an agent and its environment. It cannot be simply referred to as “knowing what is going on.” This concept of awareness involves state of knowledge as well as dynamic processes of perception and action.


Internal security

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