23/11/2014
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State Disaster Management Plan

 

1. INTRODUCTION


The state Disaster Management Action Plan (DMAP) has been prepared for its operationalisation by various departments and agencies of the Government of Maharashtra and other Non-Governmental Agencies expected to participate in disaster management. This plan provides for institutional arrangements, roles and responsibilities of the various agencies, interlinks in disaster management and the scope of their activities. An elaborate inventory of resources has also been formalised.

The purpose of this plan is to evolve a system to

· assess the status of existing resources and facilities available with the various departments and agencies involved in disaster management in the state;

· assess their adequacies in dealing with a disaster;

· identify the requirements for institutional strengthening, technological support, upgradation of information systems and data management for improving the quality of administrative response to disasters at the state level;

· make the state DMAP an effective response mechanism as well as a policy and planning tool.

The state DMAP addresses the state's response to demands from the district administration and in extraordinary emergency situations at multi-district levels. It is associated with disasters like road accidents, major fires, earthquakes, floods, cyclones, epidemics and off-site industrial accidents. The present plan is a multi-disaster response plan for the disasters which outlines the institutional framework required for managing such situations.

The state DMAP specifically focusses on the role of various governmental departments and agencies like the Emergency Operations Centre in case of any of the above mentioned disasters. This plan concentrates primarily on the response strategy.

1.1 Planning Assumptions

This action plan can function optimally only if a prior study of the risks and vulnerability of a particular area is undertaken and the institutional setup responsible for disaster mitigation is understood clearly.


1.2 Objectives of the DMAP

It also provides for a uniformity in approach and clear perception of the various issues at hand, thus avoiding undue complications. At the same time, the plan provides for the coordination of different agencies from the field level to the central government. The objective is to provide a quick and effective response in emergency situations.

Although, effective disaster specific plans have been previously prepared by different departments/agencies, there is a growing awareness of the need for a multi-disaster action plan in order to tackle multi-faceted effects of disaster. This essentially concentrates on the institutional setup and information flow, providing hazard specific responses along with the roles of primary agencies involved. Such an approach allows flexibility in response at the local level, while still under the direct supervision and control of the state or regions.

While the action plan assumes an element of preparedness on part of the administrative authorities, it also calls for substantial involvement of the NGOs and private initiatives. Community participation is one of the most effective inputs for the management of disasters. Training of the community and key social functionaries thus become essential elements for the successful execution of a disaster management action plan.

1.3 Policy Statement

Although containing disasters will basically be at the district level, it is important to build confidence and self reliance at the district level, which can be best effected through timely, supportive and planned interventions by the state.

A Disaster Management Plan is backed by continuous preparedness. Only a sustained effort at preparedness can make a disaster management plan effective.

 

2. INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

 

This multi-disaster action plan proposes that all the agencies and departments with their disaster specific functions come under a single umbrella of control and direction, to attend to all kinds of disasters.

The existing arrangements, therefore, will be strengthened by this administrative arrangement, which proposes to have the chief secretary as the team leader supported by the relief commissioner with branch arrangements at the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Mantralaya. The objective is to have a simplified and uncluttered system of disaster response.

2.1 Emergency Operations Centre

The Emergency Operations Centre is proposed as the hub of activity during a disaster. The structure of the EOC, can expand or contract depending on the situation.

The primary function of an EOC is to implement the DMAP which includes coordination, policy-making, operations management, data collection, record keeping, public information and resource management.

The EOC, its system and procedures are designed in such a way that information can be promptly assessed and relayed to concerned parties. Rapid dissemination contributes to quick response and effective decision-making during an emergency. As the master coordination and control point for all counter-disaster efforts, the EOC is the centre for decision-making under a unified command. In a disaster situation, the EOC will come under the direct control of the chief secretary or any other person designated by him as the chief of operations.

The EOC, under normal circumstances, will work under the supervision of the relief commissioner. It is the nerve centre to support, co-ordinate and monitor disaster management activities at the district level.

Under normal circumstances, the activities of EOC are primarily the responsibility of relief commissioner’s office, with training and research inputs from YASHADA. The usual activities of the EOC will be to

· ensure that all districts continue to regularly update the District Disaster Management Action Plan and encourage districts to prepare area-specific plans for areas prone to specific disasters;

· identify and interact with the central laboratories, research institutions and NGOs to evolve mitigation strategies and setup study groups and task forces for specific vulnerability studies;

· serve as a data bank and ensure that due consideration is given to mitigation strategies in the planning process; identify agencies and institutions for locating inventory items;

· upgrade and update the state DMAP according to changing situations in the state;

· disseminate information about the state DMAP to other departments of the government of Maharashtra and state level agencies;

· monitor the training imparted to state level officials, private sector and NGOs by YASHADA;

· organise post-disaster evaluation and update the state DMAP accordingly;

· ensure that the warning and communication systems and instruments in the EOC are in working condition.

On the receipt of warning or alert from any such agency which is competent to issue such a warning, or on the basis of reports from Divisional Commissioner/District Collector of the occurrence of a disaster, all community preparedness measures including counter-disaster measures will be put into operation. The Chief Secretary/Relief Commissioner will assume the role of the Chief of Operations for Disaster Management.

The occurrence of disaster would essentially bring into force the following :

· The EOC will be on full alert. The EOC can be expanded to include branches with responsibilities for specific tasks.

· An on-going VSAT, wireless communication and hotline contact with the divisional commissioner and collector/s of the affected district/s.


Response Structure at State Level on occurrence of disaster - (pdf)

The Chief of Operations will spell out the priorities and policy guidelines, coordinate services of various departments and agencies including national and international aid agencies, and central government agencies. The EOC in its expanded form will continue to operate as long as the need for emergency relief operations continue till the long-term plans for rehabilitation are finalised.

For managing long-term rehabilitation programmes, the responsibilities will be that of the respective line departments. This will enable the EOC to attend to other disaster situations, if need be.

The main branches in the EOC during a disaster situation will be operations, services, resources, infrastructure, health, logistics, communication and information management. Each branch will have specific tasks to perform with a branch officer of the rank of Deputy Secretary or Joint Secretary. The capacity of the various branches to coordinate amongst themselves and with the field units will ultimately decide the quality of response.

The facilities and amenities to be provided in the EOC include well-designed control room and workstations for the branch and nodal officers equipped with VSAT, wireless communication, hotlines, and intercoms. The EOC as a data bank will keep all district and state level action plans and maps. Provision of a car with wireless communication will be made for the EOC during normal times.

Three categories of staff are being suggested for the control room: Regular, staff -on-call and staff on disaster duty. Regular staff will consist of a deputy secretary in Mantralaya from the relief commissioner’s office as the branch officer-control room. The EDP manager will be a technical person thoroughly conversant with computer technology. Two deputy secretaries will make up the staff -on-call. Staff on disaster duty will be the additional staff who will shoulder additional responsibility in case of a disaster. They will be in the nature of a reserve and may be drawn from the various departments experienced in control room and EOC operations.

In disaster management, there is a need for coordination between different levels of the government to have a unified command system for coordinated action by all the agencies. The objective is to ensure that the state action is organized in a disaster situation to:

· effectively and efficiently meet needs;
· avoid waste and-duplication of effort; and
· ensure that resources are distributed equitably and to areas of greatest need.

The District Control Room has been organised in a similar fashion to the Emergency Operations Centre.

The flow of information between the EOC and the DCR has been described under normal conditions and disaster situations. Effort is made to evolve a system by which the DCR can set-up site operations centres. The DCR will report all the field activities to the EOC.

In case of disasters which have an impact on more than one district in a division, the role of the divisional commissioner comes into prominence. The commissioner’s responsibilities shall include exercising general supervision over the contingency plan and work undertaken by the collectors in his division as also on the relief and rehabilitation operations in those districts.

 

2.2 Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Voluntary Agencies

The capacity of non-governmental organisations and voluntary agencies to reach out to community groups and their sensitivity to local traditions of the community, gives them an added advantage during disasters. Some of the agencies, both from within and outside the state, have technical expertise and capabilities which can be brought into managing difficult situations.

During the post-disaster phase, therefore, efforts should be made to enlist partnership of some of the NGOs with relevant expertise, to assist the district administration in the process of relief and rehabilitation.

2.2.1 Community Participation

The EOC is expected to ensure and monitor the nature of community participation sought at the disaster site. Identification of agencies to monitor and evaluate various aspects of community participation, their impact on efficiency in operations and in the recovery process, is one of the responsibilities of EOC during post-disaster evaluation.

The DDMAP expects the district administration to enlist community participation in the entire disaster cycle.

Community participation can be ensured by:

· identifying opinion, positioning leaders in the community and voicing administration’s confidence in their capabilities to undertake the tasks;
· consultations and dialogues expressly indicating the need for assistance to encourage the community and its leaders to come forward;
· having regular feedback meetings and an open book approach to demonstrate transparency; and
· involving community in decision making at local levels.

Community participation would also include:

Ø maintaining of security and law and order during evacuation;
Ø helping in emergency evacuations;
Ø containing panic behaviour, maintaining orderly movement towards community shelters (safe zones) and taking preventive steps to avoid injuries and accidents;
Ø organise cultural and recreational activities;
Ø encouraging self-help;
Ø contributing labour (loading, unloading, distribution, temporary constructions, salvage and restoration of water supplies, Feeding centres, relief camps, cattle camps etc.); and
Ø maintaining standards in sanitation and disposal of waste.


 

3. RESPONSE STRUCTURE

In a multi-disaster response plan, the response structure recommended is specific to the type and severity of the disaster, its potential impact on individuals, damage to infrastructure, disruption of services, environmental effects, economic and social consequences and secondary effects. The document lists the specific needs to combat the possible impacts.

A diagrammatic presentation of disaster specific responses includes the need for updating information, coordination, technical assistance, resource mobilisation, control, monitoring and extraordinary arrangements with the various departments and agencies, including NGOs at every stage.



Response structure on occurrence of warning


Response chart on occurrence of disaster



4. DISSEMINATION OF STATE DMAP

 

In order t make the state DMAP effective it must be disseminated at three levels :

· to the central government departments, multilateral agencies (aid agencies), defence services, state level officials;
· to the district authorities, government departments, NGOs, other agencies and institutions within the state; and
· through mass media to the general public.

The responsibility for dissemination of the plan should be vested with the Relief Commissioner at Mantralaya, carried out by YASHADA, as well as through awareness programmes organised by each of the agencies participating in disaster management. The Relief Commissioner should also involve state-level NGOs in preparing suitable public awareness material to be distributed to the public.

In addition to dissemination of literature related to the state DMAP, the Relief Commissioner should ensure that disaster response drills are conducted by the district authorities and other agencies on a regular basis especially in the disaster prone areas.

 



4.1 Plan Evaluation


The purpose of evaluation of the state DMAP is to determine the adequacy of resources, coordination between various agencies, community participation and partnership with NGOs.

The plan be updated when shortcomings are observed in organisational structures or when technological changes render it obsolete. The plan can also be updated following reports on drills or exercises carried out.

A post-incident evaluation should be done after the completion of relief and rehabilitation activities, in order to assess the nature of state intervention and support, adequacy of, the organization structure, institutional arrangements, operating procedures, monitoring mechanisms, information tools, equipment and communication systems.

Impact studies on the above operations for long-term preventive and mitigation efforts are to be undertaken.

At the community level, evaluation exercises may be undertaken to assess the reactions of the community members at various stages in the disaster management cycle and to understand their perceptions about disaster response.



4.2 Plan Update



The state DMAP is a “living document” and the relief commissioner along with YASHADA will update it every year. An annual conference for DMAP update will be organised by relief commissioner. All concerned departments and agencies would participate and give recommendations on specific issues.


5. OPERATING PROCEDURE GUIDELINES AND STANDARDS

 

“Operating Procedure Guidelines and Standards for Monitoring” given in a separate document include procedures for warning, operating procedures for evacuation, comprehensive operating procedures for the departments as well as standards of services and specifications for relief camps, cattle camps, and feeding centres.



5.1 Operating Procedures for Warning



A warning system is essential to indicate the onset of a disaster. This may range from alarms (e.g., for fires) and sirens (e.g., for industrial accidents) to public announcements through radio, television etc. (e.g., for cyclones, floods) and other traditional modes of communication (eg. beating of drums, ringing of bells, hoisting of flags).

In most disaster situations, experience has shown that a loss of life and property could be significantly reduced by preparedness measures and appropriate warning systems. The importance of warning systems, therefore, hardly needs any emphasis. However, the opportunity for warning does not exist in all cases. Indiscriminate warnings may result in non-responsiveness of the people. It is, therefore, necessary that with respect to every disaster, a responsible officer is designated to issue the warnings.

The district administration is the prime agency responsible for issuing disaster warnings. Additional technical agencies authorised to issue warnings have been listed.



5.1.1 Important Elements of Warning



· Communities in disaster prone areas are made aware of the warning systems.
· Alternate warning systems must be kept in readiness in case of technical failures (eg, power failure).
· All available warning systems should be used.
· The warnings should, to the extent possible be clear about the severity, the duration and the areas that may be affected.
· Warnings should be conveyed in a simple, direct and non-technical language to incorporate day-to-day usage patterns.
· The do’s and don’ts should be clearly communicated to the community to ensure appropriate responses.
· Warning statements should not evoke curiosity or panic behaviour. This should be in a professional language devoid of emotions.
· Spread of rumours should be controlled.
· All relevant agencies and organisations should be alerted.
· Wherever possible, assistance of community leaders and organised groups should be sought in explaining the threat.
· Once a warning is issued, it should be followed-up by subsequent warnings in order to keep the people informed of the latest situations.
· In the event of a disaster threat passing, an all clear signal must be given.



5.2 Operating Procedures for Evacuation



Disasters by their very nature will be different and may require evacuation of communities. It is important to understand the nature of threat and the procedures to be adopted. All agencies involved in evacuation must have a common understanding of their roles and responsibilities in order to avoid confusion an panic behaviour.

Different situations demand different priorities and hence the responsibility for ordering evacuation is assigned to different agencies.

All evacuations will be ordered only by the Collector, Police, Fire Brigade or by the Industries Security Officer. For appropriate security and law and order evacuation should be undertaken with assistance from community leaders. All evacuations should be reported to Collector or District Superintendent of Police immediately.

The following steps should be taken for evacuation :

· Shelter sites should be within one hour's walk or 3 miles (5 km) of dwellings.
· The evacuation routes should be away from the coast or flood-prone areas.
· Evacuation routes should not include roads likely to be submerged in floods, but may include pathways.
· Ensure proper evacuation by seeking community participation.
· Families should be encouraged to take along water, food, clothing and emergency supplies to last at least three days.
· People should listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local instructions.
· If the danger is a chemical release, then people should be instructed to evacuate immediately.

In case of marooned persons, evacuation must be carried out as soon as possible and the persons transferred to transit camps. If evacuation is not possible within 3 hours of the disaster, marooned people must be provided with water, medicines, first-aid and cooked food. Emergency transport for the seriously injured can be arranged through speed boats or helicopters. A senior medical officer should accompany the rescue team along with required medical kits and ensure priority shifting of those seriously injured or requiring immediate medical attention.



5.3 Operating Procedures for Departments



Operating procedures for different departments include the Preamble, Planning Assumptions, Normal Time Activity, Action Plan Objective in a Disaster Situation, Activities on Receipt of Warning or Activation of District DMAP (DDMAP), Evacuation, Relief and Rehabilitation – Field Office Priorities and Head Office Priorities. These Operating Procedures are given for the following departments : MSEB, Police, Public Health Department, Irrigation Department, Agriculture Department, Animal Husbandry, MWSSB, Public Works Department, DOT, Railways and AAI.

 

6. INFORMATION AND MONITORING TOOLS

 

The institutional framework and the response structure would not be effective unless it is operationalised through information tools and monitoring mechanisms. Such tools define the direction and content of information as also the source. The flow of information calls for accountability and the source provides the authenticity. The Information and Monitoring Tools are given in a different document.

In this context, this section presents information and monitoring tools for agencies during preparedness, alert or warning, activation of plan, damage assessment and relief and recovery stages. The tools are evolved keeping in view the requirements of an effective administrative response, efficiency in decision making, evaluation and assessment of on-going disaster stages and requirements of future preparedness. These tools are also expected to help administration in identification and reaching out to the most vulnerable and devastated groups.


WORKING GROUP ON MAHARASHTRA DISASTER MANAGEMENT ACTION PLAN

Chairman, Disaster Management Council

:

Shri P. Subramanyam,
Chief Secretary, GOM, Mantralaya,
Mumbai.

Project Leader, Advisor and

Chairman, Committee on Earthquakes

 

:

Shri Johny Joseph,

Secretary and Special Commissioner, Earthquake Rehabilitation,

GOM, Mantralaya, Mumbai

Chairman, Committee on

Floods and Cyclones

 

:

Shri R.C. Iyer,

Secretary, Agriculture, GOM,

Mantralaya, Mumbai

Chairman, Committee on Industrial and Chemical Accidents

 

:

Shri Vinay Bansal,

Secretary, Industry, GOM,

Mantralaya, Mumbai

Chairman, Committee on Epidemics

 

:

Shri R. Tiwari,

Secretary, Health, GOM,

Mantralaya, Mumbai

Chairman, Committee on

Road Accidents and Fires

 

:

Shri S.S. Dodd,

Transport Commissioner, GOM,

Mantralaya, Mumbai

Project Coordinator

:

Shri Krishna S. Vatsa,

Deputy Secretary, Earthquake Rehabilitation,

GOM, Mantralaya, Mumbai.

 

 

 

International Consultant

:

Ms. Marjorie Greene,

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, USA

International Consultant

:

Dr. Fredrick Krimgold,

Virginia Polytechnic Institute, USA

National Consultant

:

Dr. V.G. Panwalkar,

Consultancy Services in  Social Development, Navi Mumbai

Junior Consultant

:

Shri Mohan Krishnan,

Consultancy Services in  Social Development, Navi Mumbai

Junior Consultant

:

Shri Mahesh Kamble

Consultancy Services in  Social Development, Navi Mumbai


 

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