Governments and local civic authorities have, over the years, put in places standard operating procedures and 'active deterrence' plans in the event of natural calamities.
The mechanisms incorporate a gamut of items including cyclone tracking, issuing of alerts, evacuation, disaster response and awareness creation. Here is a quick look at how the government functions in the event of a natural disaster.
• Governments activate a series of 'watch and warning' mechanisms if there is a cyclone alert
• These include broadcast of warning and alerts
• Mass evacuations are carried out along vulnerable areas
• Cyclone shelters are already in place in high-risk areas
• A specialized network on monitoring stations called Regional Specialised Meteorological Stations, track the movement of cyclones
• The India Meteorological Department is also part of the network
• Additionally, the Kerala government has asked the army to be on standby as Cyclone Ockhi heads towards the Kerala coast Thursday.
• Standard Operating Procedures are activated
• The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is put on standby
• NDRF teams with inflatable motor boats, life jackets, lifebuoys, underwater torches, and other 'extrication, rescue and access' equipment are despatched
• People are actively urged to listen to radio updates
• The IMD uses the ISRO's meteorological payload on INSAT satellites. At present, KALPANA-1 and INSAT-3A satellites support meteorological imaging and data collection.
• IMD has 679 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) across the country
• For quick dissemination of warnings against impending disaster from approaching cyclones, special receivers have been installed at the vulnerable coastal areas in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal and Gujarat for direct transmission of warnings to the officials.
(Courtesy IMD, ISRO)