9 Disaster Management Chapter 4 Community Planning for Disaster Management

Chapter Notes and Summary
• Story of Samiyarpettai
1. southern coast of India was hit by giant tsunami waves on 26th December, 2004.
2. poorest and most underserved, who were mainly from fishing community, had to bear brunt of tsunami.
3. people of Samiyarpettai, a small village in coastal state of Tamil Nadu, were one of those blessed communities who were saved. villages close to Samiyarpettai had five times higher death toll.
4. Samiyarpettai villagers were able to save themselves because Government of Tamil Nadu with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
had initiated disaster risk Management Programme.
Risk Management Plan
1. main objective of programme was to enhance capacity of local people by providing them training on first aid, search and rescue, early warning etc.
2. local community of samiyarpettai village was guided by local administration and NGOs to prepare a Village Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan.
3. Since community was self sufficient, they were able to respond effectively within a short period of time to save arecious lives of villages.
Community Planning for Disaster Management
1. story of samiyarpettai village clearly shows importance and need for community planning for any hazard that is likely to occur in an area.
2. During and immediately after a disaster, it is most often neighbours or people of community who respond first. They are normally ‘first responders’ before affected people can seek any support from local authorities or any Non Government Organisations. (NGOs)
3. Just before and first few hours after a disaster are critical and precious to save lives and reduce further injuries.
4. Often external help may take time to reach disaster site. It is in this situation that well trained community members play a vital role and are considered as life saving assets.
5. Without involvement of communities, disaster management plan is not be complete.
6. government of India strongly advocates building of community capacities in various aspects of disaster response, and urges communities to develop disaster management plans to prevent disasters, mitigate them and prepare better to combat various hazards.
7. Students and teachers as educated members of society play a crucial role in guiding and facilitating process of planning in communities to reduce disaster risks.
Why should Community be at Heart of Any Disaster Management Initiative?
The community should always be at heart of any disaster management initiative because of following reasons
1. First Responder Since community is at site of disaster, it is first one to respond to it.
2. Source of Maximum Information When a disaster occurs in an area, no one will have better or more
comprehensive and ‘up to date’ information on people living there and its resources than inhabitants of that area.
3. Local Coping Mechanisms Most disasters are recurrent; hence, there is always a traditionally established coping mechanism that is handed down over generations. This would ideally be most immediate response measure for local environment though it could be improved through technical backing.
4. Self-help is in Self Interest It would be natural instinct of community to respond quickly on such occassions, since over-dependence on external resources may be time-consuming and even ineffective.
Role of Village Disaster Management Committee
1. main responsibility of Village Disaster Management Committee would be to create awareness amongst community members so as to reduce impact of any hazard and guide community in preparation of Village Disaster Management Plan.
2. Village Disaster Management Committee helps in formation of Village Disaster Management Teams
3. VDMTs should have volunteers who can be trained in basic functional areas that are critically required in that situation.
4. Some VDMTs are
(a) Early Warning and Communication Team
(b) Evacuation and Temporary Shelter Management Team
(c) Search and Rescue Team
(d) Health and First Aid Team
(e) Relief Co-ordination Team
(f) Water and Sanitation Team Based on skills required, villagers decided on volunteers to be a part of in each of team.
5. VDMTs can seek help for sectorwise trainings from following institutions
(a) Early Warning and Communication Army base in district headquarter.
(b) Evacuation and Temporary Shelter Management District Police Department.
(c) Search and Rescue Fire brigade in our district headquarters.
(d) Health and First Aid A doctor from st. John’s hospital or government hospital.
(e) Relief and Co-ordination local NSS chapter.
(f) Water and Sanitation A what san engineer sent by district pancheayat.
6. Apart from this, villages also need maste masous who can build howes that are earthqake cyclane resistant.

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