REPORT ON DISASTER MANAGEMENT “MOCK DRILL”
Venue: Udayavara, Udupi
Date: 05 Dec 2020
This report describes the activities performed by NDRF in the Disaster Management Mock Drill held at Udupi on 05 Dec 2020 and the knowledge gained by NCC cadets of 06 Kar Air Sqn NCC, Flt-B, Alva’s College by witnessing the event. The 06 KAR AIR SQN NCC, Flight – B is headed by Flight Commander Fg Offr Parveez Shariff B G under the guidance of Commanding officer Gp Capt A G Srinivasan.
The test of disaster response plans of Disaster Management Authorities can virtually be done on occurrence of real disaster. But it is not prudent to wait for real disaster to happen which results into astronomical loss of lives and economy for testing the actual disaster management plans. Pragmatically, theory can be taught in a class room setting but in order to really test and train the theory in praxis, simulations are indispensable ways to give disaster responders a taste of the real disaster. Mock Exercise provides virtually the only means, short of an actual incident, of measuring the state of readiness and of testing the effectiveness of an emergency response Plan.
The Govt. of India has an efficient system for responding to both natural and man-made disasters including CBRN emergencies through different Emergency Support Functions (ESFs). NDRF in the capacity of lead agency in the field of specialized disaster response is also committed to make India resilient towards disasters. NDRF have been carrying out Mock Exercises in collaboration with a range of institutions that all have a major role to play in terms of disaster response. The aim of this SOP on “Conduct of Mock Exercises” is to lay down the guidelines for conducting mock exercises by NDRF in the utmost professional manners with objectivity.
India is vulnerable, in varying degrees, to a large number of disasters. More than 58.6% of the landmass is prone to earthquakes of moderate to very high intensity; over 40 million hectares (12%) of its land is prone to floods and river erosion; close to 5,700 kms, out of the 7,516 kms long coastline is prone to cyclones and tsunamis; 68% of its cultivable area is vulnerable to droughts; and, its hilly areas are at risk from landslides and avalanches. Moreover, India is also vulnerable to CBRN emergencies and other man-made disasters.
Disaster risks in India are further compounded by increasing vulnerabilities related to changing demographics and socio-economic conditions, unplanned urbanization, and development within high-risk zones, environmental degradation, climate change, geological hazards, epidemics and pandemics. Clearly, all these contribute to a situation where disasters seriously threaten India’s economy, its population and sustainable development.
The Govt. of India has an efficient system for responding to both natural and man-made disasters through different Emergency Support Function Plan (ESFs). NDRF in the capacity of lead agency in the field of specialized disaster response is also committed to make India resilient towards disasters. India can be made a ‘safe heaven’ to live in by generating awareness and imparting training to the communities on disaster management issues at all levels by conducting regular Mock Drills. Mock Drill provides virtually the only means, short of an actual incident, of measuring the state of readiness and of testing the effectiveness of an emergency response plan.
The broad objectives of the Mock Drill are as given below,
- To review disaster management plans.
- To identify the efficiency of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
- To highlight roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders.
- To generate public awareness.
- To identify gaps in resources, manpower, communications and in any other field.
- To enhance the ability to respond faster in case of emergencies.
CONDUCT OF MOCK DRILL
The District Magistrate of Udupi had conducted a Disaster Management Mock Drill on 05 Dec 2020 at Udupi on 0830 hours to 1030 hrs. In this activity, the NDRF team, Paramedical team, Mangalore Amateur Radio Club (MARC) HAM Communication team the Firefighting team and NCC Cadets had participated. This event was initiated by the NDRF folks. They’ve been asked to educate various regions in the country on how to handle emergency situations.
After being assembled at the required place and the formalities exchanged, the Mock Drill had started with the rescue operations to be done when a person is stranded and asking for help in the middle of a water body.
RESCUE OPERATIONS ON A WATER BODY
Emergency Management is a complex, collaborative network of agencies, levels of government, non-profit organizations, and volunteers coming together following a disaster. In addition to general plans and practices that can be applied to many emergency responses, some emergencies require more specialized training than the rest. Swift water rescue teams are assets that may be needed bow more than ever.
This Mock Drill started off with demonstrations on how a person can be saved amidst the water body by a rescue team on their boat. A boat can be used to travel some distance to the victim as well as serve as a platform to treat the victim following retrieval from the water. Numerous types of boats can be used by water – rescue teams when a victim is beyond the means of reaching via a rope or other device. Flat – bottomed boats (jon boats) and rigid – hulled boats are suitable, but the most common type of boat that’s used by water – rescue professionals is an inflatable rescue boat because of its buoyancy and stable working platform. In case if the person is closer to the shore and there is no necessity of a boat, two types of rescue operations can be done, namely; contact and non – contact rescue.
- Contact rescue:
In this type of rescue operation, there is a physical contact between the rescuer and the person being rescued. These kinds of rescues can be done with a minimum of one member among the rescue team. Even under this type, there were different ways one can be rescued from the water body which were demonstrated by NDRF.
- Non – contact rescue:
In this type of rescue operation, there is no physical contact between the rescuer and the person being rescued. There are several different techniques that can be used to reach somebody that is trapped amidst the water, including extending a pike pole, throwing an inflatable ring to the person or throwing a rope on to which the person can hold on and can be pulled to the shore.
HOMEMADE WATER RESCUE EQUIPMENTS
Apart from demonstrating their rescue procedures, NDRF also briefed everyone on how one can make their own water rescue equipment at home with little to null investment. Some of the homemade water rescue equipment are given below,
- Making a raft using bamboo sticks. One can add empty tins at each corners of the raft.
- Using thermocol sheets to make a vest.
- Using 8 – 10 empty closed bottles to make a belt.
- Using coconuts to make a belt.
The usage of all this remedy equipment was demonstrated by NDRF team. It was also encouraged that this equipment be made ready at home as soon as possible in order to prevent panic or distress at the last moment.
HAM RADIO (MARC Club)
Management of any disaster or emergency event is a complicated and multi – faceted task. One of the most important, and oftentimes overlooked, parts of any highly efficient disaster response is effective information exchange between information sources, emergency managers and those impacted by the disaster or emergency event. The lack of communication can make responding to a disaster in a managerial capacity even more uncomfortable and stressful. The entire disaster management process is further complicated when hindered by ineffective information gathering and distribution.
Keeping in mind that communication is the main aspect or root of disaster management, NDRF commander was well aware of Ham Radio. He had also mentioned that Ham Radio was also included in their SOP documents. The amateurs of Ham Radio gave a brief demonstration on how to use the Ham station, it’s fair advantage of not needing any network to function properly and providing the cadets a live chat session over the walkie talkie. The cadets were encouraged to join Ham and become a part of the amateur community.
Mock Drills have proved to be a useful tool to test the preparedness against any type of disaster. Correct methods of conducting mock drills will go a long way in improving the preparedness in the community against all types of perceived disasters. We cannot prevent hazards from happening, but can surely prevent them from becoming disasters and when they do happen, to minimize their effect in terms of loss of human lives and damage to infrastructure, by taking preventive and mitigation measures. Hence, NDRF might use this vital tool called ‘Mock Drill’ in training and educating the community and the Local Govt. to prepare them in dealing with the perceived disasters.
A total of 35 Cadets and 01 Flr Cdr of 06 KAR AIR SQN NCC, Flt – B, Alva’s College took part in the Mock drill of Disaster Management and looking forward for more such activities to groom ourselves.
We would like to thank Commanding Officer & staff of 06 Kar Air Sqn NCC, our Principal, Management and MARC Club for encouragement and support to take part in the event.
“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”
Report by Cdt Sameer Sheikh
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