Kerala

KSDMA updating rain preparedness document

Ominous rain clouds over Fort Kochi on Thursday.

Ominous rain clouds over Fort Kochi on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

COVID-19 scenario necessitates operational adjustments in all activities related to crisis management

As part of the preparations for the 2020 southwest monsoon, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) is updating its monsoon preparedness document by incorporating guidelines for tackling natural-calamity-related exigencies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The updated ‘Monsoon preparedness and emergency response plan’ will be published shortly.

The KSDMA has shared the updated version with different government departments for their inputs. It will be discussed at a meeting to be convened by the State Relief Commissioner on May 20.

Four types of camps

Among other things, the revised version, which takes into account the lessons learned from the 2019 floods, highlights the need to have four different types of relief camps/quarantining facilities in each local body and features a 101-point advisory on efficient management practices for relief camps. Such elaborate measures would be required as the State may have to tackle emergencies related to natural calamities and the pandemic simultaneously.

In addition to relief camps of a general nature, special facilities would be required for COVID-19 suspect cases, the elderly and people suffering from other ailments, the KSDMA has pointed out. Moreover, the COVID-19 scenario would necessitate operational adjustments in all activities related to crisis management during the monsoon. For instance, the KSDMA has noted that rescue workers would need to be equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We have also incorporated lessons learned from the 2019 floods,” Sekhar L. Kuriakose, member secretary, the KSDMA, said.

In 2019, against the backdrop of the 2018 floods, the KSDMA had updated the ‘Orange book of disaster management - Kerala - Standard Operating Procedures and Emergency Support Functions Plan.’ Simultaneously, it introduced the ‘Monsoon preparedness and emergency response plan’ as a separate document.

Local-body-level plans

While COVID-19 has hindered pre-monsoon preparations across the State, the KSDMA hopes that the local body-level disaster management plans would help overcome this shortcoming.

This year, the KSDMA also plans to source inputs from various globally reputed weather agencies in addition to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the KSDMA officials said.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:13:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ksdma-updating-monsoon-preparedness-document/article31595663.ece

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