Cyclone Disaster Management – UPSC GS3

India has taken many steps in forecasting cyclones. However, it needs to develop greater expertise in crafting policies to increase resilience among communities. Only then it would be prepared to handle cyclones.
IMD’s role:
  • IMD introduced an impact-based cyclone warning system from the October-December season aimed to reduce economic losses last year. It focussed on districts and specific locations. It also incorporated factors such as population, infrastructure, land use, and settlements.
  • IMD’s accuracy of forecasts is now better in plotting landfall location.
Suggestions:
  • Climate-proofing of lives and dwellings should be a high priority now. Climate proofing requires a multi-sectoral approach:
    • To build durable homes of suitable design.
    • Create adequate storm shelters.
    • Provide accurate early warnings.
    • Ensure financial protection against calamities through insurance for property and assets. Governments must rise up to this challenge.
  • Community Approach: Prepare communities to deal with disasters in a manner that people’s lives and properties are protected, and to ultimately become resilient.
  • Public awareness:
    • Public Awareness generation will serve to empower people with knowledge about the role and responsibilities of the state.
    • Targeting schools, colleges and all educational institutions is a very important part of awareness.
    • It has to be sustained through constant updating, upgrading and mock drills.
    • Awareness will also help in induction of the constantly evolving knowledge of science and technology as well as research and development applications.
  • Supplementary Power Supply: To overcome the power cut it is important to have rooftop solar and battery storage systems as supplementary power sources for households and corporates.
  • Role of Trees: Planting trees with strong root systems and pruning the canopy ahead of cyclone season could reduce uprooting.
  • Timely Relief: The government should restore infrastructure and provide priority relief to the families of those who lost their lives, and the worst-hit communities.
  • Sendai Framework: Efficient use of technology and implementation of the Sendai framework is the need to the hour.
  • International cooperation: Collaboration with other countries in the region to strengthen the cooperation and efforts and to make a common fund for disaster management.
  • Shelters: Construction of multipurpose cyclone shelters, access roads, saline embankments and underground.