The Indian subcontinent has a tropical climate and unstable landforms. India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are prone to natural disasters of various kinds on a continual basis. Coupled with high population density, poverty, illiteracy and lack of infrastructure, the natural disasters kill thousands of people and leave a devastating impact on economy and environment. The importance of telecommunication in disaster management has been widely accepted since the early days of the development of radio communication. Disasters can strike without warning at any time of the day or night. On the Indian subcontinent, the pressure from population increase and over-exploitation of resources for haphazard development has disturbed the ecological balance, in turn causing degradation of the natural environment, deterioration of the ecological system, and widespread destruction of the natural resources on which human life and well-being depend. As a result, most of India's 26 states (or provinces) are disaster prone. Technologies, particularly in the telecommunication field, can help minimize disaster losses as well as the very scope of the disasters. The suffering and loss of human life is highest in remote rural areas due to lack of basic infrastructure and poor, or non-existent, disaster management plans. Within India, two-thirds of the population lives in rural areas where telecommunication facilities are scarce. Of 600,000 villages, 45% do not have any telecommunication services at all. Therefore, the state governments are planning their own communication networks as part of disaster management plans.
Disaster management is the discipline of dealing with and avoiding risks. It is a discipline that involves preparing for disaster before it occurs, disaster response (e.g. emergency evacuation, quarantine, mass decontamination, etc.), as well as supporting, and rebuilding society after natural or human-made disasters have occurred. In general, any Emergency management is the continuous process by which all individuals, groups, and communities manage hazards in an effort to avoid or ameliorate the impact of disasters resulting from the hazards. Actions taken depend in part on perceptions of risk of those exposed. Effective emergency management relies on thorough integration of emergency plans at all levels of government and non-government involvement. Activities at each level (individual, group, community) affect the other levels. It is common to place the responsibility for governmental emergency management with the institutions for civil defense or within the conventional structure of the emergency services. In the private sector, emergency management is sometimes referred to as business continuity planning. The process of emergency management involves four phases: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
A graphic representation of the four phases in emergency management.
Mitigation efforts attempt to prevent hazards from developing into disasters altogether, or to reduce the effects of disasters when they occur. The mitigation phase differs from the other phases because it focuses on long-term measures for reducing or eliminating risk . Preparedness
In the preparedness phase, emergency managers develop plans of action for when the disaster strikes. Common preparedness measures include: •
communication plans with easily understandable terminology and methods. •
proper maintenance and training of emergency services, including mass human resources such as community emergency response teams. •
development and exercise of emergency population warning methods combined with emergency shelters and evacuation plans. •
stockpiling, inventory, and maintain disaster supplies and equipment . •
develop organizations of trained volunteers among civilian populations. Response
The response phase includes the mobilization of the necessary emergency services and first responders in the...
References: 1. Background Paper on the Maharashtra Disaster Management Plan, prepared by Government of Maharashtra.
2. Maharashtra Government Contract No. EQR: 1098 / CR-5 / ERC-4 Awarded to M/s Global Wireless Technology Limited, Pune, India.
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