Community Planning for Disaster Management Class 9 Notes Social-Science Disaster Management Chapter 4

Points to Remember

1. The Story of Samiyarpettai

(i) The southern coast of India was hit by giant tsunami waves on 26th December 2004.

(ii) The poorest and the most underserved, who were mainly from the fishing community, had to bear the brunt of the tsunami.

(iii) The people of Samiyarpettai, a small village in the coastal state of Tamil Nadu, were one of those blessed communities who were saved. The villages close to Samiyarpettai had five times higher death toll.

(iv) Samiyarpettai villagers were able to save themselves because the Government of Tamil Nadu with the support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)had initiated the disaster risk Management Programme.

2. Risk Management Plan

(i) The main objective of the programme was to enhance the capacity of the local people by providing them training on first aid, search and rescue, early warning etc.

(ii) The local community of samiyarpettai village was guided by the local administration and NGOs to prepare a Village Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan.

(iii) Since the community was self sufficient, they were able to respond effectively within a short period of time to save the precious lives of the villages.

3. Community Planning for Disaster Management

(i) The story of Samiyarpettai village clearly shows the importance and need for community planning for any hazard that is likely to occur in an area.

(ii) During and immediately after a disaster, it is most often the neighbours or people of the community who respond first. They are normally the ‘first responders’ before the affected people can seek any support from the local authorities or any Non Government Organisations. (NGOs)

(iii) Just before and the first few hours after a disaster are critical and precious to save lives and reduce furtherinjuries.

(iv) Often external help may take time to reach the disaster site. It is in this situation that well trained community members play a vital role and are considered as life saving assets.

(v) Without the involvement of communities, the disaster management plan is not be complete.

(vi) The government of India strongly advocates the 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.

(vii) Students and teachers as educated members of the society play a crucial role in guiding and facilitating the process of planning in communities to reduce disaster risks.

4. Why should the Community be at the Heart of disaster management Initiative?

The community should always be at the heart of any disaster management initiative because of the following reasons

(i) First Responder Since the community is at the site of the disaster, it is the first one to respond to it.

(ii) 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 the people living there and its resources than the inhabitants of that area.

(iii) 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 the most immediate response measure for the local environment though it could be improved through technical backing.

(iv) Self-help is in Self Interest It would be the natural instinct of the community to respond quickly on such occasions, since over-dependence on external resources may be time-consuming and even ineffective.

5. Role of Village Disaster Management Committee

(i) The main responsibility of the Village Disaster Management Committee would be to create awareness among the community members so as to reduce the impact of any hazard and guide the community in the preparation of the Village Disaster Management Plan.

(ii) Village Disaster Management Committee helps in the formation of the Village Disaster Management Teams(VDMTs).

(iii) The VDMTs should have volunteers who can be trained inbasic functional areas that are critically required in that situation.

(iv) 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 the skills required, the villagers decided on the volunteers to be a part of in each of the team.

(v) The VDMTs can seek help for sector wise trainings from the following institutions

  • (a) Early Warning and Communication Army base in the 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 the st. John’s hospital or government hospital.
  • (e) Relief and Co-ordination The local NSS chapter.
  • (f) Water and Sanitation A what san engineer sent by the district panchayat.

(vi) Apart from this, the villages also need maste masous who can build howses that are earthqake cyclone resistant.

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