The State government is coming out with a master disaster management plan to minimise losses due to natural disasters, like cyclones, according to former State Election Commissioner A.V.S Reddy.

The idea to formulate the master plan was conceived by Chief Minister K. Rosaiah, Mr. Reddy said here on Tuesday adding that he would be touring various coastal districts to assess the conditions.

Mr. Reddy, who was the District Collector, Krishna, during the devastating cyclone in November 1977 and later played a crucial role in shaping the government's cyclone mitigation policy, shared his experiences with district revenue and police officers on disaster management at a meeting held here. He also distributed the copies of a booklet ‘A Guide to Disaster Management at District Level', to officers and media. “Effective response to natural disasters will depend on information management and the availability of resources. Every district shall have a district disaster management plan, with a clear set of functions for Revenue, Medical and Health, Engineering and Transport Departments,'' he said.

Data base

Mr. Reddy went on to say that District Collectorate should have a mandal-wise data base covering population, male and female, children, sick persons, live stock, vulnerable houses, safe shelters and approach roads etc. The data bases should also be made available with mandal headquarters, he said.

Outlining the brief contours of the District Disaster Management Plan, Mr. Reddy said that administration should be prepared for any eventuality in case of a storm surge, which carries the sea water to a height of 10-15 feet washing off the villages in the hinterland.

Top priority should be given to the burial of the dead as they could become a source of epidemics.

“Once a cyclone warning is given, the revenue department should keep shelters ready with drinking water and sanitation facilities. It will be advisable to stop the flow of water in the canals and lower the water level as the canal water and sea surge could play havoc. Communication systems should be effective so as to communicate with every mandal. Wireless sets and Ham Radio equipment should be kept ready.”

District Collector B. Ramanjaneyulu and Joint Collector A. Sarath were present.

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