The chosen young officials will be given training at various centres attached to FEMA like the Centre for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) which provides advanced training for emergency response providers. (Photo: DC/File)
Thiruvananthapuram: Having drawn lessons from the Kashmir floods, the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) has decided to beef up disaster management infrastructure across the state.
SDMA is raising 300 member fully trained State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) for specialised interventions during disaster. Besides, there is a plan to send 10 young master trainers for intensive training at Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the US.
Another team of experts would be dispatched to Army War College Pune for intensive training.
“The idea behind choosing young for proposed training at FEMA is to have people whose services will be available for a long period of time. They can also train others back home in specialised disaster management activities,’’ said Sekhar L. Kuriakose , SDMA member.
The chosen young officials will be given training at various centres attached to FEMA like the Centre for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) which provides advanced training for emergency response providers, emergency managers and government officials. The focus of such training programmes is on incident management, mass casualty response and emergency response to catastrophic natural disaster.
They would also undertake courses on how to enhance capabilities of governments, NGOs, volunteer organizations, private and public sectors to minimise impact of the disasters. Besides courses would also be imparted to help build critical skills required for functioning effectively in mass consequence events.
Though earlier the proposal was to have 100 member force, now the state will have SDRF comprising 300 men who would be trained at the best training centres in the country. Many of them would also be trained at Army War College Pune especially in chemical disasters. The SDRF will be unleashed depending on the gravity of the problem and for specialised intervention. Meanwhile, district level disaster management plans are being revised and finalised across the state. So far eight districts have completed the revised disaster management plan.
State has a well organised system in place. In the event of heavy rainfall disaster management system is activated up to taluk level and during very heavy rainfall up to village level. Most villages have earmarked buildings which could be used as rescue shelters in the event of a disaster and the keys are available with local officials.
District natural calamity cell under deputy collector and assistant collector coordinate disaster management activities. Strong communication network is in place with wide VHF coverage, SMSs and mobile connectivity. Standard operating procedures involving police, fire force and oil companies are in place to meet gas tanker tragedy. 500 cops have been specially trained to handle tanker tragedies.