India becomes the first country to release National Guidelines on Disability Inclusive DRR

- Prof. Asha Hans, Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre, Odisha*
At its 15th Formation Day on September 27, 2019,  the National Disaster Management Authority released the National Guidelines on Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction in an important move towards inclusion and ‘leaving no one behind’. With this, India became the first country in the world to come out with such guidelines. This major step is a part of the Government of India's policy to address concerns of its 2.68 crores persons with disabilities. These Guidelines were released by the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri G. Kishan Reddy. Together with the Guidelines, a series of awareness generation videos with tips on how to survive a disaster with Indian Sign Language was also made available to the public.
These Guidelines were drawn up after extensive consultations with various stakeholders, especially persons…
Log in to TNSMART for real-time flood alerts
TN SMART (Tamil Nadu System for Multi-Hazard Potential Impact Assessment and Emergency Response Tracking), a web-based system to strengthen preparedness, response, and mitigation measures for multiple hazards such as Flood, Cyclone and  Tsunami, Lightning, etc, was launched by Tamil Nadu on October 26, 2018.
The system has been developed jointly by the Department of Revenue Administration and Disaster Management, Government of Tamil Nadu and Tamil Nadu Disaster Management Authority with support from RIMES Regional Integrated Multi-hazard Early Warning System (RIMES), Thailand, in a record time of one year.
One of the significant aspects of the system is the fact that it is aligned with priority areas set forth in Global Frameworks (the Sendai Framework, World MeteorologicalOrganization’s Global Framework for Climate Services and SustainableDevelopment Goals) as well as Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management PerspectivePlan 2018-2030.
Interview: Mangesh Ghildiyal on District Disaster Response Force, Rudraprayag

Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand falls in the high-risk seismic zone. Given its geographical and climatic conditions, the district also faces the risk of landslides, cloud bursts and Glacial Lake Outburst Floods. The districts boasts of several tourist attractions, including the Kedarnath Temple, and draws pilgrims from the world over. The district formed a District Disaster Response Force in March 2018 to ensure swift and efficient disaster response. Aapda Samvaad spoke with Shri Mangesh Ghildiyal, District Magistrate, Rudraprayag, who was instrumental in setting up this Force.
Q. Why was this Force created?
A. Rudraprayag is prone to multiple hazards like earthquakes, landslides, forest fires and cloud bursts. In 2013, a glacial lake outburst in Kedarnath resulted in a significant loss of lives and property. The district is also home to various touristic and religious places which results in a large influx of touri…
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…