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By Jacquelyn Jeanty, eHow Contributor
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National disasters such as that experienced in 2005 with Hurricane Katrina have the potential to create chaos within a region and exact a heavy cost both on lives and economically. Government's role in disaster management is to provide a central, coordinated plan of action to address the damage caused by such an event as well as the needs of the people affected. Related Searches:
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When a disaster such as a flood, hurricane, or earthquake occurs within the United States, the Federal Emergency Manangement Agency (FEMA) is responsible for coordinating assistance and resources to the particular region. FEMA, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, was created in 1979.
National Response Framework
FEMA has established a set of procedures, the National Response Framework, that identifies the principles, roles, and structures to direct government response in times of disaster. The protocols provide coordination among state, local, and federal resources. Specialists from various fields are assigned specific roles and objectives. Rebuilding damaged areas and relief efforts are also part of the National Response Framework.
Government's role in disaster management is to address the degree of risk present within an emergency situation. Hazardous conditions may be present, such as polluted water supplies, damaged power lines, and inadequate housing. When needed, civil defense units such as the National Guard may be called to maintain order within a disaster situation. Emergency management also involves providing the support necessary to prepare and rebuild a community in the aftermath of a disaster.
Emergency Response Teams
FEMA is made up of emergency response teams located throughout the country. These teams act as branches of the federal government during times of crisis. The National Disaster Medical System prepares and organizes these teams. Each team is trained within a different specialty area including search and rescue, medical assistance, mobile emergency support, and mortuary operations. Doctors, nurses, and paramedics provide medical assistance, while private organizations, public safety agencies, and hospitals sponsor the personnel and resources needed.
FEMA's communications network team fulfills the government's role in providing communication resources in disaster areas. These groups provide the lines of communication needed to keep responders in touch with government and public officials. Communications teams manage the computers, phone lines, satellite uplinks, and power generators. When needed, teams can erect cell phone towers in cases where local responders are unable to access telephone systems. Mobile communications systems can also be put in place to provide airlifted networks of communication throughout a particular region.
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and supported through bilateral. Capacity building of all three tiers of Panchayats and local community¶s task forces and volunteers of organized institutions like Redcross. The increase in the vulnerability in recent years has been serious threat to the overall development of the country. They have been contributing immensely towards various development programs. this had been a serious impediment in the path of progress.2631 sq km. accelerated efforts must be made to build the necessary capacities at the community and national levels to manage and reduce risk. NCC. In the past two decades. Sustainable development. the development process itself has been a contributing factor to this susceptibility. it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north. Despite the growing understanding and acceptance of the importance of disaster risk reduction and increased disaster response capacities. Disaster risk is increasingly of global concern and its impact and actions in one region can have an impact on risks in another. This. and vice versa. India¶s vulnerability to various disasters has led to mounting losses year after year. social. extending from the snow-covered Himalayan heights to the tropical rain forests of the south. competition for scarce resources. dignity and livelihood of individuals. technological and socio-economic conditions. around one million houses are damaged annually. Subsequently. Community Based Disaster Preparedness for all sorts of hazards is the key to VOs preparedness plan. on average. including partnerships. poverty reduction. plans and program for sustainable development and poverty reduction. Adding to this is the susceptibility of various man made hazards. 12% is vulnerable to Floods and 8% of the land is vulnerable to Cyclones. social and other losses. Such an approach is to be recognized as an important element for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals. They can mobilize people for constructive community work and often reach the most marginalized and vulnerable sections of society and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. Coupled with lack of information and communication channels. Considering the vast area of the Indian landmass. It covers an area of 32. regional and international cooperation. and in order to meet the challenges ahead. cyclones.ROLE OF INDIAN NGOs IN DISASTER MANAGEMENT Role of NGO and Voluntary authorities Profile of India India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a rich cultural heritage. with much wider outreach. compounded by human. points to a future where disasters could increasingly threaten the world¶s economy. disasters and in particular the management and reduction of risk continue to pose a global challenge. tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. climate variability. environmental degradation. compounded by increasing vulnerabilities related to changing demographic. droughts and the less suspecting landslides and earthquakes. National Challenges posed by disasters Disaster loss is on the rise with grave consequences for the survival. around 57% of the land is vulnerable to Earthquakes. Disaster risk arises when hazards interact with physical. The good practices needs to be documented and disseminated well so that replication and up-scaling becomes possible. India stands apart from the rest of Asia. 69% of the area is vulnerable to drought. Collaboration and Networking amongst themselves Government and community. marked off as it is by mountains and the sea. It has achieved all-round socio-economic progress during the last 60 years of its Independence. which give the country a distinct geographical entity. by disasters. NSS. . geological hazards. NGOs can play a great role for Coordination. Events of hydro-meteorological origin constitute the large majority of disasters. development within high-risk zones. including those contained in the Millennium Declaration Voluntary Agencies (VOs) and Disaster Preparedness Voluntary Organisations (VOs) play a vital role in the shaping and Implementation of Disaster Management Act. Mammoth funds were drawn to provide post disaster relief to the recurring victims of floods. under-development. VOs may provide innovative and alternative cost effective models for development. good governance and disaster risk reduction are mutually supportive objectives. Overview of Disasters in India: The Indian sub continent has been exposed to disasters from time immemorial. economic. more than 200 million people have been affected every year. climate change. Figuratively speaking. India has become self-sufficient in agricultural production and is now the tenth industrialized country in the world and the sixth nation to have gone into outer space to conquer nature for the benefit of the people. economic and environmental vulnerabilities. Scout and Guide are very important. and its population and the sustainable development of developing countries. The climate calendar and written community contingency plan will enhance the local community¶s coping capacity. particularly the poor and hard-won development gains. As the 7th largest country in the world. unplanned urbanization. and the impact of epidemics such as HIV/AIDS. The Unique geo-climatic and socio-political conditions of the Indian sub-continent make the region vulnerable to both natural and man-made disasters.87. There is now international acknowledgement that efforts to reduce disaster risks must be systematically integrated into policies.
In May 2007. VANI is also a member of the Core Group. which met on 19th November 2009 at New Delhi. the Government of India approved a National Policy on the Voluntary Sector which was prepared by the Planning Commission of India in consultation with VOs. concerned Departments/Ministries and State Governments. .The voluntary sector has a significant presence in almost all regions of the country and its role as an important partner of the Government in development is being increasingly recognized. Government of India has set up a Core Group on the Role of NGOs in Disaster Management. A National NGO Task Force on Disaster Management set up by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). This has been done to primarily follow-up on the preparation of the National Disaster Management Guidelines on the Role of NGOs in Disaster Management.
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