God has created this universe which includes earth, water, sky, nature and deep down the earth surface. There are men and nature the two most vital components of this universe. Man can do wonders.
Nature has everything already done. Man creates the things which are said to be artificial. They are not permanent. But nature has created the things which are permanent. No one can alter in the design of nature. Man has no control over it.
Nature has its own way. Sometimes it is soothing, sometimes it is ferocious. Whenever it turns to be in its bad temper it can bring devastation. It is known as disaster.
Man has always been threatened by the fury of nature from the very beginning of his existence on this earth. Sometimes disasters like earthquakes occur repeatedly with serious impact on all spheres of life. Be it earthquake in Gujarat in 2001 and Lattur in 1993 or cyclone of Orissa in 1999 or Tsunami in 2004, they cause immense loss of human life and leave a trail of human tragedy that the society is yet to recover from.
Natural disasters are the manifestation of nature and they can take place anywhere anytime. Most of the natural events are cyclic and predictable, such as the coming of yearly floods. In such a case people adapt themselves to the changing conditions.
People living in a river-flood plain usually leave it when the water level is high and they come back to their homes when the flood water recedes. But if there is any change in the normal patterns either in the timing of the flood or the fury of flood we see devastating effect on the life and property of the people. Similarly earthquakes, cyclones, Tsunamis, are dramatic and very damaging in their results.
Although natural calamities cannot be averted but many suitable measures can be taken to lessen the impact of these disasters disaster managers struggle to mitigate their effects on human lives and material losses.
The most vulnerable sections in these disasters are the poor. Hence it is necessary to mobilise them towards preparedness. Quick and timely response is the essence in providing immediate relief and rescue operations, to save human lives and mitigate miseries as soon as possible. The response mechanism envisages that on receiving signals of a disaster happening or likely to happen, all activities related with the mitigation process are activated without loss of time.
Disaster management is a collective and co-ordinated effort. A number of activities need to be undertaken in the event of disaster. These include co-ordination, command and control, rapid assessment of damage, restoration of power, tele communication and surface transport, deployment of search and rescue teams, medicals and Para-medical teams, arrangements for drinking water and food material, setting up of temporary shelters, sanitation and hygiene identification and earmarking of resources, last but not the least, maintenance of law and order is equally important.
It is the primary responsibility of the State Governments to be in a state of preparedness and provide relief to the people affected in a disaster. But in case of severe calamity the Central Government supplements their efforts by providing logistic and financial support. The Central Government has set up a National Centre for Disaster Management,
Community participation in rescue and relief operations and reconstruction after a disaster is always essential. And it is a good sign that everyone starts feeling the gravity of the situation and comes forward with a helping hand.