Disaster Management in India by Yaminee Verma @LEXCLIQ

A disaster is a sudden and serious hazardous event that brings in major damage, loss and destruction that terribly affects the life of living beings. Disasters can be natural or human-caused. Disaster management is the process of conserving as many lives as possible along with property at the time of a disaster. In this article, we will discuss about Disaster Management in India in detail.

Disaster management has three phases: Response, Rehabilitation, Recovery

When an emergency or a disaster affect a region, the first efforts are conducted to care for the wounded, to restore lifelines and provide basic services, and subsequently to restore livelihoods and to reconstruct communities. Such efforts can be structured in three phases:

  • The Response phase– In this phase activities such as search and rescue, providing first aid, making temporary shelters for people who lost their homes, providing food and water, etc., are carried out.
  • The Rehabilitation phase- In this phase basic services and lifelines are restored, even on a temporary basis, including the road network and other essential facilities including bridges, railway stations, airports, ports and helicopter landing sites;
  • The Recovery phase- In the last phase reconstruction efforts are carried out on the basis of a more precise assessment of damage and destruction of infrastructure. In addition, efforts are conducted to reconstruct infrastructure when needed and to restore the livelihoods of those affected by the disaster.

Agencies involved in Disaster Management

  1. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
  2. National Executive Committee (NEC)
  3. State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA
  4. District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA)
  5. Local Authorities

National Disaster Management Strategy

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) have formulated the National Disaster Management Strategy. It took into consideration all the contemporary works done in the past, the performance of the armed forces, the work of voluntary organisations, role of corporate sector in providing relief, the innate resilience of communities to live with the disasters, role of educational and scientific institutions in providing inputs, etc. The national strategy for disaster management is based on six pillars namely; prevention, mitigation, preparedness and capacity development, awareness generation, rapid operationalization of National Disaster Relief Force and further strengthening of the National Institute of Disaster Management.

It was also decided to centre stage the community which bear the consequences of disasters as immediate responders. Necessity of making them aware of the various types of disasters they are vulnerable to, the elementary preparedness measures & training they must undertake, to provide themselves immediate succour and to save their own and their families lives before specialized response is activated, are the cornerstone of national DM strategy.

Disaster Management Act, 2005

The Act calls for the establishment of a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Prime Minister of India is the chairperson. The NDMA has no more than nine members at a time, including a Vice-Chairperson. The tenure of the members of the NDMA is 5 years. The NDMA is responsible for laying down the policies, plans and guidelines for disaster management and to ensure very timely and effective response to disaster. Section 6 of the Act says it is responsible for laying “down guidelines to be followed by the State Authorities in drawing up the country plans”.


Disaster management is a complex and detailed process that requires long term planning, organisation and development of systems, training, awareness, education, etc., so that whenever an emergency situation arises, it can be handled immediately, efficiently and effectively.

Written by Yaminee Verma @LEXCLIQ

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