Beating the heat with micro-innovations
Shivani Raina, Architect, SEEDS

When summer is at its peak, what happens to those living in informal settlements? Slums are  categorised as high risk for heatwaves in India due to occupation, built environment and poor health (NDMA 2016). 

A first look at what makes slum houses vulnerable to heatwaves revealed the typical tin house for what it is—a hot metal box clad incombustible materials. The temperature inside could easily reach 51⁰C, a far cry from ideal temperatures to stay comfortable. 

The story of heatwave vulnerability, however, is not about the tin house but about the people who live in them. The residents of Masudpur slum of Vasant Kunj in Delhi, for example, said that summer was the most difficult time of the year.  It was when their children fell ill and their electricity bills became unaffordable. Yet when asked if they would spend money on retrofitting their houses to make them cooler, there was visible reluctan…
Addressing Glacial Hazards and Risks

Glaciers in the Indian Himalayan Region are the source of life and livelihood for millions of people who rely on rivers that originate from its peaks. The country is facing a severe water crisis, and rapid changes in the glacial and permafrost environments is worrying. Over the years, the thinning and retreating of Himalayan glaciers has resulted in the formation of new glacial lakes and enlargement of existing ones.

With shrinking glaciers, expanding glacial lakes and altered stability of surrounding moraines and ice walls, the potential threat of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) is evolving over time. GLOFs refer to the sudden discharge of a water reservoir that has formed either underneath, at the side, in front, within, or on the surface of a glacier. Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh are the regions most vulnerable to glacial hazards.

A media report calls a GLOF "a ticking time bomb...…
Addressing water crisis 

On June 30 2019, in his Mann Ki Baat address, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave a clarion call to citizens to join hands for water conservation and create a jan andolan (mass movement) along the lines of the Swachh Bharat Mission to save water and secure the future. Inspired by the Prime Minister's impetus on jal sanchay (water conservation), the Jal Shakti Abhiyan was launched the next day. 

With an aim to provide drinking water to every household on priority and in a sustainable manner, the Jal Shakti Abhiyaan will work to improve water availability in 592 water-stressed blocks in 256 districts across the country.
The campaign will continue till November 30 in two phases - July 1 to September 15 (monsoon phase) and October 1 to November 30 (retreating monsoon phase). The first phase has already kickstarted with senior-level officers reaching 256 of the country's most water-stressed districts. These officials will undertake at least…
Mock Exercise on Earthquake Preparedness

As part of the 100 days Action Plan, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in conjunction with the NCT of Delhi, Government of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority, Government of Uttar Pradesh took the initiative to plan the largest Mock Exercise on Earthquake in the National Capital Region (NCR). This exercise covered all 11 districts of NCT of Delhi, four districts of Haryana (Jhajjhar, Faridabad, Gurugram and Sonipat) and three districts (Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad and Meerut). 
The exercise began with sirens indicating the occurrence of tremors. With a massive magnitude 7 quake along the Sohna fault line, there lay damaged residential apartments, shopping malls, school buildings, hospitals and metro stations – Delhi and the National Capital Region had become a rubble with survivors and dead trapped underneath. Once the tremors stopped, all stakeholders assembled at their respective Emergency Operation Centr…
IWDRI2019 kicks off CDRI

By 2030, about five billion people will be living in towns and cities. This means an extra burden on the existing infrastructure and a huge demand for new infrastructure. The way we operate, maintain or build this infrastructure, as the case may be, will either put our future generations at risk or make them resilient.  

At the 2016 Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in New Delhi, a featured event on “Disaster Risk Resilient Infrastructure for Sustainable Development”, highlighted the need for stronger collaboration and co-operation among countries towards building resilient infrastructure. Following this, the Prime Minister announced that India would work with partner countries and key stakeholders in launching a global Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), envisaged as a knowledge exchange and capacity development partnership.
Towards this collective responsibility, stakeholders from across the globe gathered in…
Cyclone Fani
As early as April 21, IMD predicted the likelihood of a low pressure area in the Equatorial Indian Ocean and south Bay of Bengal. It kept a close watch on the situation and by April 25, it started issuing special three hourly bulletins with latest forecast. Fishermen were asked not to venture out into the sea. The depression intensified into Cyclone Fani on April 27, became a severe cyclonic storm by April 29 and a very severe cyclone on April 30. As it developed near the Equator, it spent days over the sea gathering power and moisture before it struck Odisha with all its ferocity on May 3. 
It left a trail of devastation - uprooted trees, fallen power lines, damaged infrastructure, battered vehicles, mangled electricity wires, blocked roads, scattered debris, disrupted communication networks and cancelled flights and trains. More than a crore people in a total of 14 districts in the State were affected. Summer crops, orchards and plantations were devastated. Despite the massi…
How To: Tips for treatment of a person affected by sunstroke
In a few weeks from now, the scorching sun will descend upon us with all its might. Despite all the precautions, people will be affected - dehydration, exhaustion, stress - a sunstroke. Here's how you can help:
·In order to bring down the temperature use wet cloth / pour water on the victim’s head. ·Give the person ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) to drink or lemon water/sarbat/torani/lassi or whatever is useful to rehydrate the body. ·Take the person immediately to the nearest health centre. ·If consistently experiencing high body temperature, throbbing headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea or disorientation in the summer, call 108/ambulance.
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