Disaster Preparedness Measures
A trigger mechanism must be established through the utility to initiate the action for mitigation of disaster, as soon as information is received about any calamity that is likely to occur or has occurred. An illustrative check list of who has to do what should be prepared through each organization for each of its sections, in case of emergency. The rescue operation for any disaster has to begin right from the warning received from the Intelligence, meteorological organizations or any other State / Central agency. The rescue operation should concentrate on life safety as the prime goal followed through attending to the injured and stopping the disaster from spreading further.
Utilities should undertake the subsequent general disaster preparedness measures:
- Developing a disaster preparedness plan to sequence the activities and responsibilities of each department;
- Training for first aid and trauma and maintaining stocks of medical supplies;
- Establishing emergency communication systems as well as messages to the public regarding matters of health, safety, and security.
- Reviewing the location of critical facilities such as hospitals, important buildings, communications installations, and other structures;
- Formation of teams for find and rescue operations and teams for disaster assessment; and
- Preparing plans and equipment for alternative electric supply as essential.
The role of the utilities also involves creating public awareness, preparedness planning, and economic mitigation, find and rescue activities, establishing the distribution network of relief, disaster assessment, structural surveys and bringing the power distribution to normal service level.
The focus should be on education and planning of the utility personnel. Conducting Public Awareness Programmes on a regular basis is evenly significant. The people living in the surroundings could play a vital role in the event of a disaster. Utilities should make the common public aware about potential hazards likely to occur in project area. Emphasis might be laid on the following aspects:
1 Fixing permanent notice boards at all suitable places in the area displaying information related to assisting agencies, important telephone numbers, etc.
2 Taking help from local youth organisations, voluntary organisations, educational institutions for spreading awareness about the safely measures and rescue operations in the event of a disaster.
In addition, some specific measures need to be taken for earthquakes, cyclones and floods. These are described below.