GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Disaster and Disaster Management
Direction: The article highlights the approach for disaster mitigation, preparedness, emergency response and recovery efforts in the power sector.
Context: The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has released the disaster management plan (DMP) for the power sector in a bid to evolve a proactive and integrated approach to strengthen disaster mitigation, preparedness, emergency response and recovery efforts.
- The Power Sector is one of the most important infrastructures of the country, as the growth of this sector is directly correlated with the economic growth of the country.
- Any disruption in the power sector due to disaster creates a hardship for human beings, as every aspect of human life is directly or indirectly associated with electricity.
- The DMP comes as the Government is investigating instances of land subsidence in the Uk’s Joshimath, the gateway to pilgrimage sites, such as Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib.
- The DMP is also in conformity with the 10-point agenda articulated by the PM at the Asian Ministerial Conference on disaster risk reduction in 2016. It includes –
- Investing in risk mapping globally.
- Creating a network of universities working on disaster-related issues.
- Leveraging social media and mobile technologies for disaster risk reduction (DRR).
- Building local capacities for disaster management, reduction and relief, etc.
Highlights of the DMP:
- It provides a framework and direction to the utilities in the power sector for all phases of the disaster management cycle.
- It is intended to guide all agencies within the sector with a general concept of potential emergencies and roles and assignments before, during, and following emergency situations.
- To estimate threats to power infrastructure, it is pertinent that fragility and vulnerability analysis is carried out for civil structures like buildings and foundations in transmission and distribution facilities.
Objectives of the DMP:
- To find out the quantitative risk involved in power networks.
- To devise effective strategies for prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery.
Significance of DMP:
- Accurately assessing climate risks is difficult, hence, electric utilities can manage risks by considering different climate scenarios and potential impacts on their assets.
- This will ensure a reliable power supply and quick restoration even in times of extreme weather events and natural disasters.
- This will be helpful for policy and decision-makers to evaluate strategies and measures for critical infrastructure planning and protection.
Way ahead suggested in the DMP:
- Social media has become an important tool for disaster management since it may be used for rescue, rehabilitation, and relief.
- Hence, the use of social media on an organisational level can be conceived in two broad categories –
- Passively, disseminate information and receive user feedback via incoming messages.
- Proactively, as an emergency management tool, for –
- Conducting emergency communications and issuing warnings;
- Monitoring user activities and posts to establish situational awareness;
- Using uploaded images to create damage estimates, etc.
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Q. Vulnerability is an essential element for defining disaster impacts and their threat to people. How and in what ways can vulnerability to disasters be characterised? Discuss different types of vulnerability with reference to disasters. (UPSC 2019)