The Indian subcontinent is among the world’s most disaster-prone areas:
The Indian subcontinent is one of the world’s most disaster-prone areas. According to the current seismic zone map of the country, over 59 per ent of India’s land area is under threat of moderate to severe seismic hazard. Out of which the total geographical area of 329 million hectares (mha), more than 40 mha is in the flood prone. Considering on an average every year, 75 lakh hectares of land is affected, and around 1600 lives are lost and the damage that caused to crops, houses and public utilities is around Rs. 1805 crores due to floods.
Disasters are, therefore, not strangers to the humankind. Droughts, flood, earthquakes, famines, diseases, tsunami- humankind has seen them all. And, yet survived, that is just a miracle of human existence- the ability to adapt to the circumstances and overcome the hardships. This has also been well proved during the recent floods in Chennai when people made an effort and reached out to each other in a tremendous effort of humanity. However, the disaster management cannot be left to human effort alone.
Some element of preparedness and planning is necessary to handle the disasters both on the part of governments and also the community because when disaster actually strikes, the time to prepare would have been passed. Care shouldn’t start in the emergency room.
Organizations like the National Institute of Disaster Management Authority are made mandated to prepare pre-disaster management plans. and also Creating awareness among the public is equally important as sometimes a little knowledge can also go a long way in mitigating the bad consequences of a disaster. People, especially in those who are in disaster prone areas, can be trained to anticipate disaster and to deal with it.
Effective communication is the most Important key factor. The recent floods in Odisha is an ideal example of how a well-thought out communication strategy can assist in disaster management.