National Disaster Management Authority Government of India
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Ongoing projects

New Initiatives

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.

 

Ongoing Projects

FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO STATES /UTs/DISTRICTS / FOR CONDUCT OF MOCK EXERCISE (ME)

  1. In order to enhance capacity building and test the disaster preparedness at the District / State Hq, NDMA has approved financial support of Rs. 1 Lac to each District / State Hq for conduct of Mock Exercises.
  2. A total of 683 Districts, 29 State HQ and 7 UT HQ are proposed to be funded.
  3. The type of ME will be decided by the District / State HQ based on their vulnerability profile. NDMA will be actively involved in the consultation process and conduct of the ME.
  4. The aim is to encourage the States / UT to take ownership of the conduct of ME and hence be better prepared to face any type of disaster.

 

National Disaster Management Services (NDMS) Pilot Project for 120 locations

The terrestrial communication networks are prone to failures during disasters as were the case in recent past in case of J&K and Uttarakhand. To mitigate this problem an integrated approach has been attempted to provide reliable Telecommunication infrastructure to the disaster managers during peace time as well as in the event of any disaster. The integrated approach is part of ICT services to assist the MHA, NDMA, NDRF HQ, local administration in taking appropriate decisions. For this purpose a pilot project titled as “National Disaster Management Services (NDMS)” has been conceived for 120 locations as listed below:

i.      MHA                                   - 01

ii.     NDMA                                 - 01

iii.    NDRF HQ                            -  01

iv.    All States/UTs HQ                 -  36

v.     Selected Districts                  -  81

 which is based on providing reliable VSAT communication backed up with terrestrial network and HF Radios.

The project is being implemented by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL).

The scope of the pilot project is to provide the reliable telecommunication infrastructure and technical support for Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) operations at MHA, NDMA, NDRF HQ, States & selected vulnerable Districts.

The broad objects of the project are as follows:

 

  • Voice Calls between EOCs of Disaster affected Districts, States, NDMA, NDRF HQ and MHA during disaster on priority and peace time to other EOCs in a restricted way depending upon the availability of Bandwidth.
  • Internet, Email, Landline (outgoing) & Mobile (outgoing), Web Services from the disaster site freely and to other places in a restricted way depending upon the availability of Bandwidth.
  • EPABX feature will be made available through the Universal Gateway which will have the facility to transfer the Telephone Calls on any of the Media including HF, Satellite, Terrestrial Network or any other mode including intercoms and IVRS
  • HF Radio connectivity
  • Receive information/services as provided by various forecasting and warning agencies (CWC, IMD, INCOIS, GSI, etc.) from their portal.
  • Provide single view of disaster from the disaster affected site as far as possible to all the stakeholders through integration of various information (Audio, Video and Data) feeds.
  • Provide platform for strategy and information interchange with MHA, NDMA, NDRF HQ, States/UTs/Selected Districts and other disaster relief agencies.

 

Proposed Solution