National Disaster Management Authority Government of India

New initiatives

  • Project on deployment of Mobile Radiation Detection Systems(MRDS) to handle Radiological Hazards in Metros/Capital Cities/Big Cities in India:- To detect unclaimed radioactive materials/substances and save public from its hazardous effects,NDMA has chalked out a plan to provide States/UTs Mobile Radiation Detection Systems to be deployed in Metros/all Capital Cities and Big Cities in India and also train personnels as ‘Trainer of Trainers’.
  • Landslide Risk Mitigation Scheme (LRMS)The Scheme envisages financial support for site specific Landslide Mitigation Projects recommended by landslide prone States, covering “disaster prevention strategy, disaster mitigation and R& D in monitoring of critical Landslides” thereby leading to the development of Early Warning System and Capacity Building initiatives. The Scheme is under preparation.
  • Flood Risk Mitigation Scheme (FRMS)The Scheme covers activities like a) Pilot Projects for development of model Multi-Purpose Flood Shelters and b) Development of River Basin specific Flood Early Warning System and Digital Elevation Maps for preparation of Inundation Models for giving early warning to the villagers for evacuation in case of flood. Under the Scheme, financial support is to be provided to the Flood prone States for undertaking pilot scheme in respect of above two activities. The Scheme is under preparation.
  • Core Group for Preparation of Guidelines to avert Boat Tragedies in India:- In view of some serious boat tragedies taking place in the country, including the boat tragedy in Dhubri, Assam in May, 2012, leading to loss of lives of people, on the request of Min. of Home Affairs, NDMA on the request of MHA has constituted a Core Group / Working Groups consisting of representatives of concerned Departments of Central/State Governments and other Organizations to formulate suitable guidelines on the subject for the guidance of States/UTs to avert such boat mishaps in India. The deliberations of Working Groups are on.

 

Communication & IT

Proposal to setup a Common Alerting Protocol (CAP)

1.The role of communication technology has been recognized as integral to disaster management for a long time. Although application of communication technology has a role in all the four distinct phases of disaster management namely, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, most of the application has traditionally been in response and recovery phases. The new communication and information technologies that have emerged over the last two decades lend themselves to greater possibilities of integration of different communication systems. The interoperability of various communication systems including internet, mobile phones, fax, e-mail, radio and television is increasingly becoming functional. As a result, the possibilities for application of communication technologies in mitigation and prevention of disasters are also increasing. There are both social and technical aspects to the application of communication technologies in disaster management. The effective application of these technologies for disaster management depends greatly upon their appropriateness for the social and economic context in which they are applied.

2.Rapid advances in information and communication technology (ICT) have begun to touch as well as transform the lives of people and communities in ways that were virtually impossible just a few decades ago. Access to reliable, accurate, and timely information at all levels of society is vital immediately before, during, and after a disaster.

3. Patterns of critical information exchange during crisis situations are different than in normal business. Identifying and deploying appropriate public, private, and volunteer resources in a coordinated, timely manner depends on a commitment to addressing—in advance of a disaster— such concerns as interoperability and the use of common standards. Further, ICTs are only as good as their weakest link. So preparedness for disaster communications needs to anticipate scenarios in which any individual ICT element, including the “backbones”—broadcast radio, television, mobile telephony, electric power, database management, and Internet communications—is compromised.

4. In recent years, efforts in disaster management have gained impetus from the unprecedented development in information, communication, and space technologies (ICST), which have wide-ranging applications in disaster preparedness, reduction, mitigation, and management. ICSTs provide crucial support for disaster management in many ways; viz;

  • Observation
  • Monitoring
  • Data Collection
  • Networking Communication
  • Warning Dissemination
  • Service Delivery Mechanisms
  • GIS Databases
  • Expert Analysis Systems
  • Information Resources etc

 

5. Early warning is a very essential component of DRR as it is not only the production of technically accurate warnings but also a system that requires an understanding of risk and a link between producers and consumers of warning information, with the ultimate goal of triggering action to prevent or mitigate a disaster.

6. EWS can be further sub-divided into four separate segments:

  • Risk knowledge
  • Technical monitoring and warning service
  • Dissemination and communication of warnings
  • Response capability and preparedness to act (by authorities and by those at risk)

 

7. Recent disasters clearly show that the production of technically sound warnings can be futile without prior assessment of what the risks are or without a clear dissemination strategy and appropriate response capacity would be. For example, the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in 2008 was not due to a technical failure in the early warning service - warnings were provided by the Myanmar Meteorological Service - but due to a failure in the other elements of the EWS, especially communication and preparedness to act.

8. It is important to develop standards such as the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) to avoid delay and distortion of information and news. The CAP provides a general format for exchanging emergency alerts and public warnings between different alerting technologies. It is a set of ordered data that encapsulates all the information for an alert. It includes information such as the area, urgency, severity, certainty, headline, description, event, category, message type, and scope, as well as response type, sender, effective time, and message type. CAP allows a warning message to be consistently disseminated simultaneously over many warning systems to many ICT applications, which thus increases warning effectiveness and reduces costs. Even with well-coordinated structures and well-crafted messages, dissemination to remote areas is still difficult in many places and requires a combination of technological and non-technological solutions. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to last-mile communication - the participation of community members in deciding the appropriate communication tools and processes is essential to ensure that warnings reach them in a timely manner.ICTs can be used to enhance global, regional national and local cooperation in early warning.

9. Thus towards this end it is suggested that NDMA would like to take a step forward by involving various stake holders in this field of CAP with the active participation of DOT, various Private Service Providers as well as the EW agencies.It is well known that a small countries like Srilanka, Bangaladesh have been able to develop their own CAP best suited as per their needs apart from various developed countries like Canada, USA, Russia and Australia to name a few.

10. Thus, NDMA urges DOT to initiate a sincere and dedicated effort to create a common Alert Protocol – India Centre so as to ensure Central Govt is not cut off from its State machinery in the hours of crisis as has been the case of Uttarakhand Tragedy, of 2013 and J & K floods of 2014.