Tabletop exercise conducted on disaster management

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H.P. State Disaster Management Authority in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted a tabletop exercise on disaster management, on Wednesday. The aim of the exercise was to simulate emergency situations and exercise the roles and responsibilities of key disaster managers while learning from domain experts about the latest trends in disaster relief. The scope encompassed contemporary disaster issues in the state, including flood, landslides and glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF).

While chairing the meeting, Chief Secretary Prabodh Saxena said that it would be an exercise to prepare and check Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to meet out various exigencies during disaster. He said that preparedness and response in case of disaster needed to be properly coordinated and entire exercise should be drilled up to the lowest level. This mock exercise would help in knowing the efficacy of Incident Response Plan (IRS) at the ground level.

He said that the tabletop exercise was a landmark event for knowledge exchange, capacity building and strategic planning in disaster management. It would provide a valuable platform for stakeholders to collaborate, share knowledge and enhance their preparedness for effective disaster management.

The Chief Secretary said that mock drill would be conducted on June 14 under the guidance of consultants and observers of NDMA, Army and ITBP. This exercise would help in drawing an effective disaster and IRS plan and know the short comings.

Senior Consultant, NDMA, Major General (Retd.) Sudhir Behl conducted the table top exercise through video conference in which senior officers of NDRF, Army, ITBP and state government besides all Deputy Commissioners and senior district level officers also participated.  He gave a detailed presentation of conducting mock drill.

Special Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management D.C. Rana said that hypothetical scenario related to floods, landslides and glacial lake outburst flood, prophylactic evacuation etc. would be created in which all districts of the state will participate actively. This exercise would be conducted in co-ordination with NDMA, Army and Para Military forces personnel who would help in finding the short comings in preparedness and its mitigation.

The multi-stakeholder exercise brought together central ministries, disaster management institutes, early warning agencies and disaster management organizations. As key stakeholders in disaster management, the NDMA, SDMAs, and the Indian Army recognized the importance of learning from the past experiences.

The participants included representatives from the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), SDMAs, and early warning agencies such as the India Meteorological Department (IMD), National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Central Water Commission (CWC), and Geological Survey of India (GSI) under the ministry of mines.

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