Developing a Disaster Management Strategy


Vol NO: VOL.15, ISSUE 90

"The April 25 Nepal disaster is yet another reminder for us to develop a sound policy for disaster preparedness strategy for the central Himalayan region. Being vulnerable to both floods and earthquakes, this region requires special attention. Special efforts need to be mounted to develop hazard scenarios and models using land zonation maps. Today’s computing packages can balance demands with sustainability and provide optimum scenarios within acceptable levels of risk. A realistic mitigation strategy should be based on a blueprint that strikes a balance between development, acceptable levels of risk and economics. This can not only popularise land use planning, but also encourage people to adopt building codes (minimum construction standards) effective for reducing disaster losses. Most low income groups in disaster prone areas live in poor quality houses. We need to provide incentives to change the local outlook towards disaster management and preparation. It is thus necessary to improve upon traditional construction practices and architectural preferences and put them into practice. The impact of natural disasters can be reduced through two basic approaches—mitigation, and response. Mitigation involves action taken, by applying sci

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    C P Rajendran

    The recent Nepal earthquakes should be viewed as an opportunity to rethink earlier attitudes, and have us embark on a disaster management strategy based on mitigation, rather than mere response.

    The author is a professor in the Geodynamics Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore.

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