Equipping Children To Handle Disasters
Parent Circle|January 2017

Even as Cyclone Vardah took us all by ‘storm’, it brought to the fore the need to learn a very important life skill, disaster management. How does one go about it? Find out as we talk to the Director General of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), in this exclusive conversation.

 

 

 

Even as Cyclone Vardah took us all by ‘storm’, it brought to the fore the need to learn a very important life skill, disaster management. How does one go about it? Find out as we talk to the Director General of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), in this exclusive conversation.

Rajesh Viswanathan

With 150+ km wind speeds, fallen trees, broken window panes and life without power and connectivity, Cyclone Vardah rattled us all. The ‘severe cyclonic storm’ left us with bigger questions:

Can we be resilient in the wake of such natural disasters? Is disaster management an essential life skill we should teach our children? RK Pachnanda, Director General of NDRF, answers them all. Here are the excerpts.

Q Cyclone Vardah tested the resilience of Chennai. How did families respond? Were they better prepared?

When it comes to natural disasters, we have come a long way, as a society. In the last decade or so, we have seen a shift from a relief-centric approach to a more proactive disaster mitigation approach. There has been a very strong change in the mindset. Today, the level of awareness among families is quite high and that was aptly reflected in the response to Vardah. Not just the agencies, but even households were better prepared. From NDRF’s point of view, we did our vulnerability mapping with the other agencies like IMD (India Meteorological Department), CWC (Cyclone Warning Centre) and state government authorities. We had requested the Relief Commissioner to publicise advisories, and dos and don’ts well in advance. What I can say is that during Vardah, disaster resilience at all levels was at its best.

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