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Utilization of disaster prevention technology

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India has significantly improved its natural disaster management capacity over the last two decades. Moreover, it has also emerged as a major donor to neighboring countries and other countries in disaster management. To optimize relief and response efforts, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has begun leveraging geospatial technologies for advanced prediction, response, and recovery. In an interview with Geospatial Artha, NDRF Executive Director Atul Karwal shared his vision, plans and current challenges ahead of the agency related to relief and response work.

NDRF journey

India is prone to all kinds of disasters due to its geographical position of the Himalayas in the north, the peninsula in the south and the vast desert in the west. India ranks her third after China and the United States in the United Nations report on disasters in the last two decades (2000-2019). Her 27 of her 28 states in India and her 8 federal territories are repeatedly exposed to natural disasters such as cyclones, earthquakes, landslides, floods and droughts.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was formed as a dedicated force in 2006 under the provisions of the Disaster Management (DM) Act 2005 to deal with all natural and man-made disasters. Initially, it consisted of eight battalions from different Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). There are currently 16 NDRF battalions operating across the country to respond to any disaster. For rapid response, there are also 28 Regional Response Centers (RRCs) and 14 Tactical Prepositioning Locations (TPLs) covering vulnerable locations.

Since its inception in 2006, the NDRF has conducted more than 8,000 operations and rescued 1,46,500 civilians. The NDRF rescue team also evacuated her more than 7,37,300 people involved in the disaster to safer locations. NDRF rescue teams have also saved around 15,000 livestock during disasters.

Building the capacity of community and state disaster response forces to make the country resilient to disasters is also part of the NDRF’s mission. To date, the NDRF has brought this recognition to her more than 8.2 million people nationwide.

In a short period of time, the NDRF has earned the public’s trust and respect. Due to the dedicated service of our rescue workers, we are widely known as the ‘Orange Angel’ among locals.

Development of SDRF formation

According to Section 3.4.5 of the National Policy on Disaster Management 2009, state governments are required to form their own State Disaster Response Forces (SDRF). So far, 26 states have formed State Disaster Response Forces (SDRFs). In the event of a disaster, the SDRF will come into action after the regional and local administration. The NDRF is working on SDRF capacity building to strengthen the SDRF response mechanisms. To date, over 21,000 of her SDRF personnel have been trained by us.

An annual conference for disaster response is held by NDRF with participation of all stakeholders. The purpose of these meetings is to increase synergies between response agencies and strengthen their capacities. In 2019 and in 2022 he attended the conference twice, with the Minister of Home Affairs and Cooperation as the guest of honor.

Since its inception in 2006, the NDRF has conducted more than 8,000 operations and rescued 1,46,500 civilians. The NDRF rescue team also evacuated her more than 7,37,300 people involved in the disaster to safer locations. NDRF rescue teams have also saved around 15,000 livestock during disasters.

NDRF coordination with state governments

The NDRF HQ and NDRF Battalion regularly communicate with state SEOCs, Relief Commissioners, SDMA, district administrations, and local governments through conferences, workshops, simulated exercises, pre-disaster planning, exercises, and during all phases of a disaster. I have a system to adjust. /emergency. In addition, during major operations, Headquarters NDRF personnel also coordinate with top-level relevant state/UT personnel as needed.

Issues before NDRF

The intensity of the NDRF is small compared to the vastness of India and the profile and frequency of the disasters we face. The SDRF should be given sufficient importance by the state and UT governments to be able to deal with less severe disaster situations. Currently, the NDRF is sometimes caught in minor disasters and has little time for retraining and recovery.

Relief supplies are provided by the state/government. NDRF assists state agencies in distributing these relief supplies to remote areas during disasters.

Using Geospatial Technology in Optimizing Relief Efforts

Keep in mind Hon’s fifth point. The Prime Minister’s 10-point agenda on disaster risk reduction states: Leverage technology to increase the efficiency of your disaster risk management efforts. NDRF uses different types of technical assistance to combat disasters.

Location information is an important component of disaster management. These geospatial technologies include global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), and global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) such as remote sensing (RS). Geospatial technology can provide accurate and up-to-date location-based data for use in disaster management.

Remotely sensed data can be used very efficiently to assess the severity and impact of damage from these disasters. During the disaster relief phase, the combination of GIS and Global Positioning System (GPS) can be very useful for search and rescue operations.

Optical data is used to map surface damage such as destroyed buildings. Digital elevation models and other indicators are used to assess flooding. Time change detection is one of the most commonly used techniques for determining the severity of damage. Compare images before and after a disaster/event to assess changes in damage. All of these are very useful and I hope that in the future these technologies will become more prevalent and incorporated into SOPs.

Adhering to the 7th point of the Prime Minister’s 10-point agenda, capitalize on the opportunities offered by social media and mobile technology for disaster risk reduction. with friends and family. It has become a powerful tool for disseminating information, and in times of crisis, many such “meaningful social media groups” have become tools to draw on local resources to support community resilience. In addition, we are frequently notified of the disaster situation through social media, so we can respond quickly.

Additionally, rumors and confusion can be prevented in real-time by disseminating authoritative information and updates about the unfolding disaster, task force operations, and related information, present on all major social media platforms.

NDRF personnel face the following challenges in providing response and redress:

  • Communication network failures that prevent connectivity.
  • Law and order issues.
  • Threat of unsanitary conditions and Covid guidelines.
  • Shortages of food and other necessities, including medicine, which are the strengths of the victims, are sometimes enormous.
  • During floods, communication lines and roads are washed away, hindering our movement.
  • Accessibility to airports and air force bases in the affected areas.

new technology requirements

The NDRF is a self-contained response organization, equipped with all manner of high-tech tools and equipment. These include cutting tools, search equipment, life detectors, rescue boats, QDA, underwater sonar systems, and advanced communications equipment such as on-board VSAT antennas. NRSC created his NDEM portal for NDRF. Location of damage and other aspects of a disaster.

The NDRF, in collaboration with the AGNIi mission of the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) ​​under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, organizes regular field trials to localize the technology. The geospatial industry could be part of these field trials to see how these technologies can enhance the NDRF-ready edge to disaster. Not only does it assess modern equipment for the Indian situation, but also disaster trends for communication, data sharing, optimal use of resources, preemptive and proactive action, situational awareness and even rescuer safety. state-of-the-art techniques for analyzing .

Issues before resource mobilization for The Relief

The geography and topography of the affected area, disrupted communication networks, road blockages, flooding, and distance from NDRF locations make it difficult to respond to disasters.

However, the SDRF is in the process of being nurtured, trained and equipped, and over time even the community has become more resilient to such situations.

International Agreement on Rapid Response to Natural Disasters

India has made tremendous progress in coping with disasters in the last two decades. The goal is zero human casualties and zero property loss. Thus, together with regional cooperation organizations such as BIMSTEC DM Ex, SAADMEx, SCO and AMCDRR, we have successfully conducted various international exercises on disaster management with the active participation of all member states.

Regional mechanisms for disaster management in ASEAN countries and Southeast Asia include the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management, such as the ASEAN Joint Disaster Response Plan and the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre), which provides early warning and coordination. extends beyond. Between Member States in times of disaster and ASEAN emergency response and assessment teams deployed in times of disaster.

The SAARC Agreement on Rapid Response to Natural Disasters was signed at ministerial level at the 17th SAARC Summit held in Addu City, Maldives on 11 November 2011.

The purpose of this agreement is to “provide an effective regional mechanism for rapid response to disasters, achieving significant reductions in disaster losses in human lives and social, economic and environmental assets of Parties. and to jointly respond to disaster emergencies through coordinated national assistance.Strengthening efforts and regional cooperation.

Over the past two decades, India has undergone a major restructuring and increased domestic capabilities. Meanwhile, India has also emerged as a major donor providing disaster relief to other countries, especially to neighboring countries in the region.