Disaster Management

Disaster Management

Disaster Management ensures the safety of people during the times of emergency, and natural and man-made calamity.

Disaster Management means a continuous and integrated process of planning, organising, 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.
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.

Different types of DIsasters

Natural Disasters

According to the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies Natural Disasters are naturally occurring physical phenomena caused either by rapid or slow onset events that have immediate impacts on human health and secondary impacts causing further death and suffering. These disasters can be:

Earthquakes, Landslides, Tsunamis, Volcanic Activity, Avalanches,Floods, Extreme Temperatures, Drought, Wildfires, Cyclones, Storms / Wave Surges, Disease Epidemics and Insect / Animal Plagues

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction characterises Natural Disasters in relation to their magnitude or intensity, speed of onset, duration and area of extent e.g. earthquakes are of short duration and usually affect a relatively small region whereas droughts are slow to develop and fade away and often affect large regions.

Man-Made Disasters

Man-Made Disasters as viewed by the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies are events that are caused by humans which occur in or close to human settlements often caused as a results of Environmental or Technological Emergencies. This can include

Environmental Degradation, Pollution, Accidents (e.g. Industrial, Technological and Transport usually involving the production, use or transport of hazardous materials)

Complex Emergencies

Some disasters can result from multiple hazards, or, more often, to a complex combination of both natural and man-made causes which involve a break-down of authority, looting and attacks on strategic installations, including conflict situations and war. These can include]:

Food Insecurity, Epidemics, Armed Conflicts, Displaced Populations

According to ICRC these Complex Emergencies are typically characterized by :

Extensive Violence
Displacements of Populations
Loss of Life
Widespread Damage to both Societies and Economies
Need for Large-scale, Humanitarian Assistance across Multiple Agencies
Political and Military Constraints which impact or prevent Humanitarian Assistance
Increased Security Risks for Humanitarian Relief Workers

Pandemic Emergencies

Pandemic (from Greek πᾶν pan "all" and δῆμος demos "people") is an epidemic of infectious disease that has spread across a large region, which can occur to the human population or animal population and may affect health and disrupt services leading to economic and social costs. It may be an unusual or unexpected increase in the number of cases of an infectious disease which already exists in a certain region or population or can also refer to the appearance of a significant number of cases of an infectious disease in a region or population that is usually free from that disease. Pandemic Emergencies may occur as a consequence of natural or man-made disasters. These have included the following epidemics:

Ebola, Zika, Avian Flu, Cholera, Dengue Fever, Malaria, Yellow Fever, Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Disaster management in India refers to the conservation of lives and property during natural or man-made disasters. Disaster management plans are multi-layered and are planned to address issues such as floods, hurricanes, fires, mass failure of utilities, rapid spread of disease and droughts. India is especially vulnerable to natural disasters because of its unique geo-climatic condition, having recurrent floods, droughts, cyclones, earthquakes, and landslides. As India is a very large country, different regions are vulnerable to different natural disasters. For example, during rainy season the peninsular regions of South India is mostly affected by cyclones and states of West India experience severe drought during summer.

The new approach started from the conviction that development cannot be sustained unless mitigation is built into the development process. Another cornerstone of the approach is that mitigation must be multi-disciplinary, spanning across all sectors of development. The new policy also emanates from the belief that investments in mitigation are much more cost-effective than expenditure on relief and rehabilitation. Disaster management occupies an important place in India's policy framework, as poor people are most affected by disaster and they are India's predominant population.

The steps being taken by the Government emanate from the approach has been outlined above. The approach has been translated into a National Disaster Framework (a roadmap) covering institutional mechanisms, disaster prevention strategy, early warning systems, disaster mitigation, preparedness and response, and human resource development. The expected inputs, areas of intervention and agencies to be involved at the National, State and district levels have been identified and listed in the roadmap. This roadmap has been shared with all the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. Ministries and Departments of the Government of India and the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations have been advised to develop their respective roadmaps taking the national roadmap as a broad guideline. There is, therefore, now a common strategy underpinning the action being taken by all the participating organizations/ stakeholders.

The Disaster Management Act, 2005

The Disaster Management Act was passed by the Lok Sabha on 28 November 2005, and by the Rajya Sabha on 12 December 2005. It received the assent of the President of India on 9 January 2006. The Act calls for the establishment of a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), with the Prime Minister of India as chairperson. The NDMA has no more than nine members at a time, including a Vice-Chairperson. The tenure of the members of the NDMA is 5 years. The NDMA which was initially established on 30 May 2005 by an executive order, was constituted under Section-3(1) of the Disaster Management Act, on 27 September 2005. The NDMA is responsible for "laying down the policies, plans and guidelines for disaster management and to ensure very timely and effective response to disaster". Under section 6 of the Act it is responsible for laying "down guidelines to be followed by the State Authorities in drawing up the country Plans".

Disaster Management Plan

On 1 June 2016, Pranab Mukherjee, the Ex President of India, launched the Disaster Management Plan of India, which seeks to provide help and direction to government agencies for prevention, mitigation and management of disasters. This is the first plan nationally since the enactment of the Disaster Management Act of 2005.

About the Authority

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is an agency of the Ministry of Home Affairs whose primary purpose is to coordinate response to natural or man-made disasters and for capacity-building in disaster resiliency and crisis response. NDMA was established through the Disaster Management Act enacted by the Government of India in December 2005. The Prime Minister is the ex-officio chairperson of NDMA. The agency is responsible for framing policies, laying down guidelines and best-practices and coordinating with the State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) management.