Zilla panchayat Chief Executive Officer N. Jayaram has said that by removing fear psychosis and instilling confidence among people, many unfortunate things could be averted when disaster strikes.

Speaking after inaugurating a workshop on disaster management by the Administrative Training Institute, Mysore, here on Wednesday, he said that many casualties occurred because of fear and panic.

Drought situation

“Those in charge of disaster management programmes should prepare people to face any eventuality,” he said.

People of drought-prone districts, such as Chitradurga, need education in dealing with drought rather than floods, Mr. Jayaram added.

He said that disaster management was nothing but a way of effectively dealing with crises in the shortest possible time with the available resources to minimise the damage and causalities.

G. Vishwanath, Coordinator, Administrative Training Institute, said that of the 3.2 million sq km of geographical area in the country, over 80 per cent was prone to some kind of natural disaster.

Each year, over Rs. 25,000 crore worth of property got destroyed in either a natural or manmade disaster, he said.

Emphasising the need for a community-based disaster management system, he said that such a system had been accepted the world over.

“Community-based management has been given more importance because people living in disaster-prone areas are aware of the possible damage and the methods to minimise it. He said that till 1984, the only response-centric disaster management which existed was providing relief and rehabilitation to the victims. A decision was later taken at the international level to have a proactive disaster management system by identifying agencies and allocating responsibilities, he said. The Union Government adopted the system only after 2004, when several coastal regions of the country were hit by the tsunami, Mr. Vishwanath said.