- In the intro, briefly state what is disaster preparedness?
- In the body, explain the importance of disaster preparedness in the process of disaster management. It involves the preparation of an action plan, practicing it, and increasing awareness among the people. In the next part, describe how zonation mapping helps in disaster mitigation in the case of the landslide. Landslide hazard zonation refers to the division of land into homogeneous areas and ranking of these areas according to their degrees of actual or potential hazard caused by landslides and mass movements. The landslide hazard zonation maps display the spatial distribution of hazard classes.
- Conclude by stating the importance of disaster preparedness and implementing it in all the disaster-prone areas of the country.
Disaster preparedness refers to measures taken to prepare for and reduce the effects of disasters i.e. to predict and prevent disasters, mitigate their impact, and respond to and effectively cope with their consequences.
Components of disaster preparedness
Disaster preparedness is a continuous and integrated process resulting from a wide range of risk reduction activities and resources. It is considered as the first step in any disaster management process as it involves:
- Risk assessment (to point out which measures to implement) and early warning systems
- Life safeguarding equipment, for example, cyclone shelters
- Resources and emergency kits in anticipation of need, maintaining emergency rosters and evacuation plans, emergency information and communication systems
- Training to ensure adequate emergency response capacity, maintenance of preparedness levels, public education and preparedness campaigns
Landslides and disaster preparedness in India
Over 12% of the area is prone to landslides in India. Hazard zonation is a process where hazardous spots are identified so that steps are taken in order to meet any disaster that would occur.
Role of zonal mapping in mitigating landslides
- Identifying vulnerable areas: Zonal mapping of landslide areas will surely allow authorities to identify those places that are vulnerable to landslides. By keeping a focus on these areas, authorities can be well prepared to handle sudden crises.
- Ex: Mountain slopes with no vegetation are the most vulnerable to landslides. In addition, high rainfall aids landslides.
- Relocation of human settlement: Saving human lives is at the core of disaster mitigation exercise. In this regard, the role of preparedness becomes of utmost importance. The human population vulnerable due to landslides can be relocated to safer regions.
- Ex: Houses present on mountain slopes need to be relocated in order to protect them from landslides.
- Creating awareness: The threat of disasters like landslides cannot be handled by authorities alone. The citizen participation will ensure that they will not be immediately affected by the landslide. In this regard, authorities have to make people aware of the threat and also techniques to protect themselves. Ex: Mock drills.
- Capacity building: The infrastructure needs to be built well in advance in order to tackle any sudden disasters. The people handling operations must be trained to handle any kind of crisis. Ex: Rescue operation training.
Landslides and their consequences are still a great problem for many countries, particularly in India due to rapidly increasing populations. The most recent example being that of Kerala. For this reason, landslide hazard zonation mapping serves as one of the many components in an integrated disaster management planning.