For a 'Fire Safe' India  
A fire can occur anywhere. If not handled carefully, it can lead to a huge loss of life and assets. In fact, with rapid economic development, emerging technologies, shortage of prime land and lifestyle changes, fire risk continues to be one of the major causes of loss of human lives in the country. As recently as May this year, at least 22 students lost their lives and many others were injured when a fire broke out at a commercial complex in Surat, Gujarat. This incident highlighted the urgent need to improve fire safety preparedness in the country.
Globally, the very recent devastating forest fire in the Amazon basin eroded huge tracts of rain forests and arrested the world's attention. Global warming and Climate Change have increased the frequency and intensity of forest fires and they are a cause of concern in India as well. 
While India has an institutional mechanism in place, both at the Central and State levels, and has taken various measures…
Kamal Kishore on Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure
Outlining his ten-point agenda on Disaster Risk Reduction during the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction 2016, held in New Delhi,Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said that India will work with other partner countries and stakeholders to build a global Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), envisaged as a knowledge exchange and capacity development partnership.
To give an impetus to the global CDRI, two International Workshops on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure were held in 2018 and 2019, respectively, in New Delhi. Both the workshops saw participation from around the globe.
All the efforts culminated at the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in New York when Shri Modi on September 23 2019 announced the launch of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and invited all Member States of the UN to join it.
Aapda Samvaad spoke with Shri Kamal Kisho…
“India: Partnerships for a better world”

In the first week of September, the Embassy of India, Brussels Exhibition and European Member of Parliament, Ms. Neena Gill hosted an exhibition at the European Parliament on India's contribution towards Disaster Risk Reduction Disaster.
The exhibition highlighted the progress India has in the area of DRR domestically, in the region and beyond towards reducing the loss of lives and livelihoods. It also covered the key challenges that need to be addressed such as how do we build on the progress that has been made in the last few years in reducing heat-related mortality. Heat Waves adversely affect populations in the summer months in both India and the EU countries, and thus, this is one area where India and EU countries can learn from each other.
A key highlight of the exhibition was the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) - the initiative, emerging partnerships, thematic areas - that will bring together both developed and d…
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…