What? Why?

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Disasters are not predictable. They follow no standard operating procedures. Disaster preparedness is about managing the unknown, not a science but a social behaviour that’s responsive, predictive and imaginative.

• Effective disaster management depends on four factors:

• Preparedness: knowing where and when disaster will hit

• Mitigation: through measures like coastal zone regulation, building earthquake-resistant buildings, before the event.

• Relief: effective action, like moving supplies quickly

• Rehabilitation: building lives again.

Orissa, 1999. Bhuj, 2001
The Orissa super-cyclone and the earthquake in Bhuj, Gujarat exposed serious limitations in India’s preparedness system:

• India has no national disaster management policy

• During a crisis, the state administration is in charge; the c entral government only offers financial and material help

• Disasters are nobody’s job. Different ministries