After the recent earthquake in Nepal, the United States Geological Survey has stated publicly that predicting the time and magnitude of earthquakes is next to impossible. Thus, with regards to earthquakes and some other geophysical phenomena, the focus shifts to response after the fact.
Information Communication Technologies present an important set of tools that an aid responders in effectively deploying aid and resources to people in need.
In India, the Disaster Management Act (2005) lays the institutional framework and legal arrangements for organisations working on disaster management in India.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) – the apex body for disaster management in India. Headed by the Prime Minister and has the responsibility for laying down policies, plans and guidelines for DM (and coordinating their enforcement and implementation for ensuring timely and effective response to disasters). It also has oversight and control on the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which is a specialised force created for the purpose of a specialised response to a threatening disaster situation or disasters/emergencies both natural and man-made such as those of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear origin.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) – comprises the Union Home Secretary as the Chairperson, and the Secretaries to the GOI in the Ministries/Departments of Agriculture, Atomic Energy, Defence, Drinking Water Supply, Environment and Forests, Finance (Expenditure), Health, Power, Rural Development, Science and Technology, Space, Telecommunications, Urban Development, Water Resources and the Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff of the Chiefs of Staff Committee as members. Secretaries in the Ministry of External Affairs, Earth Sciences, Human Resource Development, Mines, Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Secretary, NDMA will be special invitees to the meetings of the NEC.
- State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) – Headed by the Chief Minister of each state and is responsible for the creating policies for disaster management in the state.
o State Executive Committee (SEC) – Headed by the Chief Secretary to the State Government and coordinate and
monitor the implementation of the National Policy, the National Plan and the State Plan
- District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) – headed by the District Collector, Deputy Commissioner or District Magistrate as applicable, with the elected representative of the local authority as the Co-Chairperson. Creates plans for disaster management at the district level.
- Local Institutions include Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI), Municipalities, District and Cantonment Boards and Town Planning Authorities which control and manage civic services.