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Since the enactment of the Disaster Management Act in 2005, the scenario has completely changed with the creation of NDRF as a viable force taking upon itself the task mandated with full expertise and with courage & conviction, the challenging job demands. National Disaster Task Force model will still take sometime to reach maturity down the line in the states and to the districts. That could make the whole mechanism in a response ready state, can be used as per the gravity of the situation and lots of collaboration can also happen depending on the requirements on the ground.

Stakeholder collaboration with other agencies involved with disaster management; the police, the fire force and hospitals would lead to an organic growth of the response mechanism, which then would not look like a makeshift arrangement at times of need. Lot of initial time is lost in getting the interfaces right. It is for sure not the best and lot of valuable time can saved by this formula. Professionals would know each other, the job description, the interdependence and they can get into the act straight away. Police would always remain the first responders and they would provide the professional continuum and keep providing the support systems till need be after the specilised forces leave the scene.

With the paradigm shift from only response to managing complete disaster lifecycle, the criticality of risk assessment gains pre – eminence, the gap between the present level and the desired has to be bridged. Having funding, gadgets and capacity building is only one part of the story, the killer component can be termed as Collaborative Preparation. When all stakeholders come together on a well understood and document strategy, the final result for sure would be radically different and extremely effective. It is like a battle; the better prepared you are, the better your perform.

Change in collective mindset and collaborativre approach to disaster has to happen. The siloed normal approach and perforce together at the time of disaster leaves so many things to be ironed out. The whole disaster ecosystem can be treated as an army type operations of different units, end to end; training, preparation, strategy et al. You achieve what you intend to.


Sanjay Sahay

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