The federal government has many resources for those who are preparing for a natural disaster, or those who are trying to deal with the wreck that has been left from a natural disaster. To prepare for the disaster, look for emergency kits from the government, or ideas on how to design your own. After disaster strikes, the government is available for aid through many different functions.
The photographs that Uttarkashi Aapda Prabandh Samiti sent me a few days back are still fresh in memory.
It has been more than seven years since India passed a Disaster Management Act, 2005 (NDMA) and clearly these cannot be said to be early years of institutions that came into being to facilitate disaster management and preparedness. The state government did not sanction any post for the SDMA, which affected the establishment of the Management Information Service. The Audit found that no plan was prepared in the state for early warning and the communication system was inadequate. In order to strengthen early warning indicators related to disasters in Uttarakhand, the Government of India had sanctioned two Doppler Radars in June 2008. Similarly, while procurement of equipment for the Airborne Laser Terrain Mapping and Digital Camera System took place in the year 2004 and expenditure worth Rs 23.75 crore had been incurred till June 2012, the survey covered just less than 10 per cent of flood prone areas and no survey was conducted after August 2010. In Uttarakhand, there were delays in submission of State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF) utilisation, which in turn led to delays ranging from 80 days to 184 days in the release of central share during 2007-2011.
The Audit found that no plan was prepared in the state for early warning and the communication system was inadequate.
The NDMA, which was conceived as the apex planning and supervising body, was, in general, found to be ineffective in its functioning in most of the core areas, states CAG. The audit also observed that none of the mitigation and vulnerability mapping projects of NDMA had been completed. Audit scrutiny also revealed that the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) was utilised for various purposes other than those stated in the guidelines from the Government of India.
This decision clearly results in the loss of the timely disbursement of this money to other states in the dire crisis from national fund. On any issue of flood, the primary responsibility lies with the state governments and to this date, no state government, except Manipur, has enacted a suitable legislation for Flood Plain Zoning. Similarly, even as the Central Water Commission (CWC) had issued guidelines for development and implementation of Emergency Action Plan for large dams in the states, audit scrutiny revealed that only eight states had prepared such plans for 192 large dams out of 4728 large dams in 29 states, as on September 2011.
CAG audit also talked about an evaluation study of Plan Schemes on Flood Control that was conducted for the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) by Indian Institute of Public Administration and was submitted in November 2009.
The performance audit also reviewed agencies such as the India Meteorology Department, Indian Space Research Organisation and others that have established early warning systems for disasters. Media in Uttarakhand might have failed to ask some tough questions to its leaders in March 2013 when the audit report became public, but today as the massive tragedy is unfolding, would the present and past governments explain why they failed to find land for Doppler Radars in Mussoorie and Nainital, for four long years after the equipments were sanctioned by GoI? Himanshu Upadhyaya is an independent researcher working on Public Finance and Accountability issues. Excellent article and moving reminder of the role that society must play long before and after any specific disaster.
From Aug 2013, published with support from Oorvani Foundation, a champion of public-funded media for the new India.
FEMA purchase orders for over $14.2 million for MREs and heater meals to be delivered to Region III by October 1st. FEMA purchase orders for 22 million pouches of emergency water to be delivered to region III by October 1st. FEMA purchase orders for $13.6 million for MREs and heater meals to be delivered to Austin by October 1st. Nine-week training course for UN Peacekeepers in CONUS to learn Urban Warfare, English, and US weapons systems beginning 4th week of July for 386,000 troops to be completed by October 1st.

World Health Organization held second emergency meeting in its history to discuss MERS Coronavirus. Sporadic testing of GPS and Communications satellites is coordinated for the first time with a testing date of September 29th. POTUS mandates to FEMA and DHS concerning support for metropolitan communities dealing with the extreme climate change MUST be complete by October 1st. Over 300 school systems in the US have determined they need three-day kits for each school AND three-day kits for each student to take with them.
All National Guard units will complete riot control and disaster assistance training during this years annual two week training.
Daily testing of the Emergency Broadcast System to begin on September 25th and run thru October 2nd. Eastern-based Coast Guard units to perform massive group training, usually performed in the Gulf, in the Virginia and Delaware areas. You can find examples of other disasters that have happened around your area, and find out how much assistance they were granted. Disaster restoration is a long process, but with the right help, your load can be lightened. When I showed them to a relative, I was asked in a tone of disbelief, “Are you sure these are fresh photographs? But when it comes to CAG’s performance audit of the functioning of the NDMA, which entered public domain on 15 March 2013, what lines do we get to read? Worse still, as on September 2012, the SDMA in Uttarakhand had never met since its constitution for the five year period! In 13 districts, for District Emergency Operations Centre, as against the requirement of 117, only 66 posts were filled.
The Doppler Radars were to be purchased, installed and manned by Indian Meteorology Department and the state government was to make available land for this purpose. Uttarakhand being a special category state gets 90 per cent share of its SDRF in the form of central release while the state government contributes the remaining 10 per cent.
Requisite tools and mechanism for providing early warning over impending disaster were also not in place.
The audit findings highlighted that NDMA neither had information and control over the progress of work at the state level, nor was it successful in implementation of various projects. Its internal systems also needed strengthening as the business rules were yet to be finalised and manpower issues remained unresolved. Gujarat, for example, has been sitting on the unspent balance amounting to Rs 350 crore since the year 2006-07 and Assam accounting for the unspent balance of another Rs 300 crores ever since the year 2008-09.
NDMA guidelines for management of floods issued in January 2008 desired that Union Ministry of Water Resources will prepare a detailed Action Plan for Management of Floods. Audit raised concern that of these 4728 reservoirs and barrages, CWC monitors inflow forecasts in case of only 28 reservoirs and barrages. The study highlighted various deficiencies such as, non-functional telemetry stations, temporary gauge sites during the flood period, flood forecasting stations not having dedicated communication facilities etc. During scrutiny it was found that due to lack of monitoring and timely inputs from all participants, most of these projects regarding data dissemination to stakeholders were still incomplete and in many cases the equipments procured for these projects were lying uninstalled.
Undoubtedly, what is unfolding in the hill state is a human tragedy of abominable proportion, but even in its midst, it is important to ask systemic questions on the issue of disaster preparedness and risk reduction. Disaster preparedness,risk reduction and relief measures have become business opportunities or image building rather than coordinating together for the common cause. With our Government ordering mass quantities of ammunition, MREs, armored vehicles, and with the latest NSA spying scandal, why should I be concerned?
He told her something BIG was going to happen, most likely starting the first week of October.

Homeowners insurance is essential, but that can even have hang-ups, especially when so many people in our area are affected by the same problem.
The performance audit noted that the National Plan for Disaster Management had not been formulated even after six years of enactment of the DM Act.
Similarly, the State Advisory Committee on Disaster Management met only once after it was constituted in February 2008. The State Disaster Management Plan (SDMP) was still under preparation at the time of the performance audit and it was found that no actionable programmes were prepared for various disasters, even though NDMA guidelines for preparation of SDMP were issued in July 2007.
Auditors must have felt immensely sad reporting to fellow countrymen that these radars couldn’t be installed as of August 2012 due to non-availability of land in Nainital and Mussoorie! The state department of disaster management stated to the audit team that district authorities were responsible for late submission of utilisation certificates and the GoI had not released funds for the year 2011-12 for want of utilisation certificates and other requisite documents.
This clearly led to situations when critical information reached vulnerable populations after considerable delay. Audit scrutiny revealed that a National Database for Emergency Management which should have been completed by August 2011, was yet to be operationalised. One cannot help wonder if this should not make us question the propaganda from PM enthusiast Narendra Modi, who has been showing off the United Nations Sasakawa Award in 2003 to Gujarat for “outstanding work in the field of disaster management and risk reduction”! Having noted this, the Audit report observes that these shortcomings had not been rectified by MoWR till July 2012. In case we fail to perform that duty today, we might be confronted with the same questions next year too. This has become major barrier to reach the people in spite of having resources. Ina addition, the development as a business model is resulting for the man made disasters affecting the health & wealth of the people & environment.
For those of you who have been paying close attention, you’ll probably recall having heard something about Senator Sheldon R. Songstad, joins Rick to give an urgent warning concerning the convergence of events taking place on or around the first of October.
Yet, once again, while not rushing to ground zero to file a disaster-related human interest story, I have decided to browse through a source that friends often accuse me of being addicted to: Performance Audits by CAG of India on the working of institutions and implementation of Acts. Similarly, it was found that the national guidelines on disaster preparedness and risk reduction developed by NDMA were not adopted and applied by either nodal agencies or the state governments themselves.
The State Executive Committee was formed in January 2008 but had not met even once since its creation! The National Executive Committee (NEC), which is headed by the Union Home Secretary, had not met after May 2008, and since May 2010 there had been no meeting of the Advisory Committee of NDMA, although the country has witnessed many disasters since that date. The bizarre activities he notes range from unusual measures being taken by FEMA, DHS, and the CDC in preparation for an unspecified disaster to an unexplained uptick in military training of both foreign and domestic troops. NEC Rules 2006 specify that the committee was supposed to meet at least once every three months and as often as necessary in the times of crisis.
If this is the first you’ve heard of it, check out the video below by revmichellehopkins, who first broke the story, as well as a copy of the original email. Senator Songstad poses the question, ‘Is all the hoopla surrounding a government shutdown just a smokescreen for something much bigger? Finally the community based model is the better solution to face such natural and man made disasters.

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