Disaster Management in India

India has made significant progress in disaster response. However, more work needs to be done on catastrophe recovery and mitigation.

A disaster is an unexpected occurrence that disrupts society’s operations and causes losses in terms of lives, property, and the environment.

Even though we do not influence them, our actions are making natural catastrophes more frequent and more severe. For instance, encroachment on rivers, deforestation, and numerous other human errors all led to climate change.

Additionally, natural disasters are getting worse due to climate change.

More than 200 individuals lost their lives as a result of recent monsoon floods in Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh, while more than 10 lakh people were left homeless. Due to several variables, including climate change and deforestation, floods and droughts are now frequent occurrences in India. We must thus consider if India is indeed ready to handle natural disasters.

The situation in India

India is extremely susceptible to earthquakes, landslides, cyclones, floods, and droughts. India has a 70% coastal area that is vulnerable to cyclones and tsunamis, 12% of its land is vulnerable to flooding, and 60% of its land is vulnerable to earthquakes.

Under “The Disaster Management Act” of 2005, the “National Disaster Management Authority” (NDMA) was established in 2006. Using the “National Disaster Response Force,” “National Disaster Response Fund,” and “State Disaster Response Fund,” NDMA manages disasters in India.

India has received accolades from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) for minimizing fatalities.

The Navy has saved more than 14,000 people from the recent floods that impacted Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh.

What more needs to be done?

In India, the efforts used to prevent disasters fall short. Deforestation, inappropriate land use, and fast urbanization without adequate planning are making India more susceptible to calamities.

There is a need for widespread awareness campaigns about how to be safe during emergencies. By doing this, many lives can be saved without heavily relying on emergency response personnel.

Money for disaster management in India is completely insufficient. Setting up a “National disaster insurance policy” greatly aids in resolving this. The population density in metropolitan areas is rising quickly as a result of the constant influx of new residents. In the event of a disaster, greater harm may be caused due to increased human density. Therefore, planned urbanization is necessary.

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