Relief code for disaster management

Disaster management activities in the State will soon be based on a minimum relief code prescribing basic standards and indicators to ensure that disaster-affected people have the right to life with dignity amid hardship.

The State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) is finalising the code which will lay down the conditions to be followed in providing relief assistance to victims of natural calamities and human-induced disasters.

Set of standards

“The code will prescribe a set of standards for relief activities and equipment, management of relief camps, and supply of materials for the stricken people, with special emphasis on vulnerable sections such as the differently-abled, pregnant women and the diseased. It will also mandate the minimum time to rush relief to a disaster site, minimum level of inter departmental coordination, supply of water, food and medicines, and minimum area to be assigned for an individual accommodated in a relief camp,” said Sekhar L. Kuriakose, member, SDMA.

Internationally, the minimum relief code for disaster management operations is framed on the premise that factors such as age, gender, health status, and disability define a disaster victim’s vulnerability and ability to cope with and survive the situation. A handbook issued by The Sphere Project, a global network of humanitarian agencies, said that vulnerable groups such as women, children, senior citizens, and ailing people often face barriers in gaining equal access to relief services and support, leaving them further marginalised, or even denied vital assistance.

Legal sanctity

Dr. Sekhar told The Hindu that the minimum relief code would be made part of the disaster management plan to give it legal sanctity.

Meanwhile, the SDMA has brought out a family disaster preparedness plan to help households in responding to disasters.


The first step in the plan involves recognising the hazards in the locality which can lead to a disaster and the difficulties likely to be faced by vulnerable individuals.

The plan prescribes the preparation of a disaster management plan for the family defining the role of family members, the nearest safe location, contacts during a crisis, and documents to be kept safe from damage. It also recommends an emergency kit for the family and mock exercises. SEOC is using the social media to publicise the concept.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 11:45:48 PM |

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