The idea is to test the reliability and efficacy of the plan to remove the bottlenecks.

The Hazard Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (HVRA) Cell of the Institute of Land and Disaster Management is all set to kick-start a comprehensive revision of the State and district disaster management plans from next month.

It will be a comprehensive exercise lasting two years. Projects have already been formulated for the purpose and recruitments are being made to make it a meaningful exercise, Shekhar L. Kuriakose, member, State Disaster Management Authority, told The Hindu.

Each district would be assigned a person for undertaking the revision of the disaster management plans and they would work directly under the District Collector who is also the chairman of the District Disaster Management Authority.

In the initial six months, the focus would be on the comprehensive revision of the State disaster management plans before shifting to district disaster management plans.

“The idea is not just to codify the disaster management plans but to experiment and test its reliability and efficacy to remove the bottlenecks, if any,” said Mr. Kuriakose.

The objective is to go beyond mock drills, which help to assess the response of only certain agencies like the fire and rescue and ambulance service and that too in a limited way. This is inadequate in evaluating the overall impact of the revised plans. “Therefore, to get a better picture we would, for instance, convene emergency meetings during the course of the revision of disaster management plans. We will then evaluate whether the officials concerned will turn up for those meeting or depute their subordinates. The time taken by nodal departments entrusted with adopting standard operating procedures for containing disasters will also be tested. This will help assess the responsiveness of the departments and officials concerned and the seriousness of their approach towards disaster management plans,” Mr. Kuriakose said. Once the disaster management plans are revised, its static components would be revised once in two years while the dynamic factors would be revisited as and when necessary. For instance, the change in the contact numbers of agencies or officials concerned would be updated when needed. In fact, efforts are being made to formulate a software to automatically update such changes.

“On the other hand, the static aspects of disaster management plans like the disaster vulnerability of a district are unlikely to undergo drastic change all of a sudden and hence warrants a revision only every two years,” Mr. Kuriakose said.

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