It is all about the prevention of disasters by learning basic knowledge about it.
By this, we can effectively take initiative by just taking small steps towards a better future for ourselves and for the generations ahead of us.
Let’s join hands to create a new and better world!
Below are some simple steps to get knowledge about disasters !
An earthquake is a sudden slipping or movement of a portion of the Earth’s crust or plates, caused by a sudden release of stresses.
Onset-type and warning:
Earthquake is a sudden onset hazard. It occurs at any time of the year, day or night, with sudden impact and without any warning sign.
Extensive research has been conducted in recent decades but there is no accepted method of earthquake prediction as on date.
An earthquake may last for seconds or minutes, while aftershocks may occur for months after the main earthquake. India has had a long history of earthquake occurrences. About 65% of the total area of the country is vulnerable to seismic damage of varying degrees.
India is divided into the following 5 seismic zones:
Zone V: This is referred as a very high damage risk zone.
Zone IV: This is referred as a high damage risk zone.
Zone Ill: This is termed as a moderate damage risk zone.
Zone II: This is termed as a low damage risk zone.
Zone I: This termed as very low damage risk zone.
The most vulnerable areas, according to the Pre c zone map of India, are located in the Himalayan and sub-Himalayan regions, North-East Kutch and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
• Physical Damage – Damage and loss of buildings and service structures Fires, floods may erupt due to dam failures landslides could occur.
• Casualties – Often high, near the epicenter and in places where the population density is high and buildings are not resistant to earthquake forces.
• Public Health – Multiple fracture injuries, moderately and severely injured is the most widespread problem Breakdown insanitary conditions and other unhygienic conditions could lead to epidemics.
• Water supply – Severely affected water supply due to failure of water supply distribution network and storage reservoirs If supply lines of fire hydrants arc vulnerable they could hamper fire service operations
• Transport network – Severely affected due to damage to roads and bridges, railway tracks, airport runways, and related infrastructure
• Electricity and communication – All links affected Transmission towers, transponders, transformers may collapse.
Main mitigation strategy:
• Engineering structures should be designed and built to withstand earthquakes, dependent on the soil type
• The Bureau of Indian Standards has published building codes and guidelines for safe construction against earthquake
• Building plans, me to be chocked by the Municipality as per the laid down bylaws.
• Public awareness needs to be created through sensitization and training programs
• Drop cover, and hold Move only if necessary, to reach a safe place
• If indoors, stay there. Many fatalities occur when people run outside, only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls
• If outdoors, find a spot away from buildings. trees, streetlights and power lines, and overpasses. Drop to the ground and stay there until the shaking stops
• If traveling in a vehicle or driving yourself stop the vehicle at a clear location. Stay in the vehicle with the seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops
• If in a coastal area, move to higher ground. Earthquakes often generate tsunamis
• It is a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris that could be loosened by the earthquake Also, watches for landslides that could be triggered by the earthquake.
• Look for and extinguish small fires
• Avoid keeping potted plants in heavy earthen pots on terrace walls
• Help neighbors who may require assistance
• Tune to the TV and Radio News channel for emergency information and instructions.
• Inspect the home for damage Aftershocks can cause additional damage to unstable buildings. If there are major cracks in the foundation or the home or utilities have been moved by the earthquake, get everyone out of the home Take photographs of the home and its contents for insurance purpose
• Don’t enter come back into the house immediately after an earthquake. Stay out in the open.
• Don t cook anything such as tea or snacks.
Immediately after an earthquake, there could be another shock in the next few minutes
• Don’t switch on or off any power plug gas cylinder etc.
• Don't go close to bridges, flyovers sheds, and covered porches during the shake. If you are on the main road or lanes, don't stand on footpath or close to the shops.
• Don’t drink well or tube well water after an earthquake until It Is tested scientifically. There could be traces of poisonous gases or minerals in the water that harm your health. Therefore, it is recommended that you always store enough water sufficient
for at least three days.
• Do not spread rumors.
Floods are temporary inundation of large regions as a result of an overflow of the reservoir, or of rivers flooding their banks because of heavy rains, high winds, cyclones, storm surge along the coast, tsunami, melting snow or dam bursts.
Floods can happen gradually and take over hours, or can even happen suddenly due to heavy rains, breach of the water storage and control structures,
spillover, storm surge Warning. Except for flash floods, there is usually a reasonable warning period. Heavy rainfall will give sufficient time to anticipate the occurrence of floods in India, a warning is issued by Central Water Commission Irrigation and Flood control Department, and Water Resource Department.
Anything in flood plains will get inundated. Buildings built of earth, weak foundations, and water-soluble materials will collapse and endanger humans and property Basements of buildings are at risk.
- Physical damages like landslides can happen, structures may damage due to high intensity flowing water.
- People and livestock deaths caused by drowning and outbreak of epidemics like diarrhoea, viral infection, etc.
- Water supplies can get contaminated.
- Food shortage can be caused due to loss of the entire harvest and spoiling of the stored grains due to flood water.
- Land can become infertile due to erosion or can turn saline it seawater floods the area.
- Mapping of the flood plain is the primary step involved in reducing the risk of floods.
- Land use control will reduce the danger of life and property when water inundates the flood plains and the coastal areas. Important facilities should be built in safe areas i.e. mainly on elevated land in urban areas water-holding structures like ponds and lakes may be constructed.
- Construct structures in the flood plains to withstand flood forces and seepage. If necessary, build structures on stilts and platforms.
- Flood Control aims to reduce flood damage. This can be done by Flood Reduction which decreases the amount of runoff by treatment like reforestation Protection of vegetation, clearing of debris from streams and other water-holding areas, conservation of ponds and lakes, etc. Flood diversion includes reeves, embankments, dams and channel improvement. Dams can store water and can release water at a manageable rate Floodproofing reduces the risk of damage. Measures include the use of sandbags to flood water away blocking or sealing of
and Windows of the house, etc. Houses may be by raising them through structural means or the land. Buildings should be constructed the water bodies.
- Unchain pet & domestic animals In the flood situation so that they can save their lives.
- Try to shift to higher elevation points out of your house
- Use boiled water for drinking and pay attention to hygiene
- If your home has suffered damage call the agent who handles your insurance to file a claim
- Check for structural damage before re-entering your home Don’t go inside before proper checking by the qualified engineer as there is the possibility of building collapse
- Keep power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety
- Check for sewage and water line damage If you suspect damage, avoid using the toilets and the tap and call a plumber
- Throw away any food — Including canned goods – that has come in contact with floodwaters
- Make sure to follow local building codes and ordinances when rebuilding Use flood-resistant materials and techniques as recommended by Municipal building codes to protect your property from future flood damage
- Remain calm and listen to elders
- Check your emergency kit
- Keep a check on the warning issued by the local authorities
- Don’t drink the flowing water at any cost Floodwaters may carry raw sewage. chemical waste and other disease-spreading substances If you’ve come in
contact with floodwaters, wash your hands with soap and clean water
- Don ‘t walk through floodwaters as little as six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.
- Don’t drive through a flooded area. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. A car can be earned away by just 2 feet of floodwater
- Don t walk through flooded areas Electric current passes easily through water, so stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires
- Upon re-entering your property, do not use matches, cigarette lighters or other open flames since gas may be trapped inside If you smell gas or hear a hissing
noise. open a window, leave quickly, and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home.
- If the floodwaters are rising, and there’s nothing you can do to stop them then you should make sure your family stays safe until the water levels drop again.
- Look out for stranded animals and insects – especially snakes
- Do not close offices when there is a flood situation. In city, town, the staff can wait in the office safely rather than venturing on the roads under risk. This will also reduce the pressure on traffic.
Cyclones are violent storms often of vast extent characterized by high winds rotating about a calm center of low atmospheric pressure. This center moves onward often with a velocity of 50 km an hour.
Onset-type and warning:
Cyclones strike suddenly although it takes time to build up. Satellite tracking can track the movement since the build-up and the likely path can be projected Warning and evacuation are done along the projected path It Is difficult to predict the path of cyclones with accuracy. The Indian Meteorological Department issues warning against severe weather phenomenon like tropical cyclones heavy rains and snow, cold and heat waves, etc
- Physical effect- Structures will be damaged or destroyed by the wind force, flooding storm surge and landslides. Buildings and communication systems can be damaged Roofs of lightweight material suffer severe damage.
- Casualties and Public Health- Due to flooding the water supplies can get contaminated and lead to casualties, viral outbreaks, diarrhea, and malaria.
- High winds and rains will ruin the standing crops and food stock lying in the low lying areas.
Cyclones in India generally strike the East Coast some of the Arabian Sea cyclones strike the West Coast of India as well, mainly the coasts of Gujarat and North Maharashtra. Out of the storms that develop in the Bay of Bengal, over 58 percent approach or cross the east coast in October and November.
Main Mitigation Strategies:
Hazard mapping: A hazard map will illustrate the areas vulnerable to the cyclone in any given year. It is an effective mitigation tool.
Land use control designed so that the least critical activities are placed in vulnerable areas. The location of settlements in the flood plains is of utmost risk. Vulnerable areas should be kept for parks, playgrounds or grazing lands.
You should evacuate under the following conditions:
- If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
- If you live in a high-rise building since cyclone wind is stronger at higher elevations.
- If you live on the coast, on a flood plain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
- If you feel you are in danger.
- Structures need to be built to withstand wind force. Good construction practice should be adopted such as,
- It is advised to construct houses on stilts or on earthen mounds.
- All elements holding the structures need to be properly anchored to resist the uplift of the object.
- Shelterbelts along the coastline will mitigate the impact of strong cyclonic winds and thus check soil erosion and inward sand drift.
- Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/ 8 ” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Make plans to secure your property.
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well-trimmed.
- Clear loose and clogged rainwater gutters.
- Close all interior doors secure and brace external doors.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed.
- Take refuge in a small interior room on the lowest level.
- Lie on the floor under a table or beside a sturdy object.
- Listen to the radio or T.V. for information.
- Turn oft utilities it instructed to do so.
- Turn off gas cylinders.
- Moor your boats if time permits.
- Ensure a supply of water for a sanitary purpose like cleaning and flushing toilets.
- Fill large containers with drinking water as per the guideline of WHO stating that minimum of 15 liters of water is required for consumption by an average family per day.
- Avoid using a mobile phone since the signal may attract thunderbolt and cause serious injury or death.
- Do not go out if there is a lull or no wind immediately after a cyclone because it could be the eye of the storm-winds will pick up again.
- Don’t go near windows and glass doors.
Fire is part of our life. When handled incorrect manner, it is a workable tool in the kitchen, garden, factory laboratory, and jungle. If not handled properly the same beautiful fire turns into an inferno that may kill, damage or destroy people and property in no time. Therefore, it is necessary to learn about fire and take care before it goes out of control.
Easy to understand the Concepts and Parameters of severity:
- Fire is FAST!
In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house. In minutes, a house can be engulfed in flames. Most fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won’t have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape
- Fire is HOT!
Heat is more threatening than flames. A fire’s heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs. This heat can melt clothes to your skin in five minutes a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once. This is called flashover.
- Fire is DARK!
Fire isn’t bright, it is pitch black. Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke
and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you’ve lived in tor years.
- Fire is DEADLY!
Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases that kill. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can even you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You deep wake up in time to escape.
KNOW YOUR VULNERABILITY
What is more difficult than extinguishing a fire is to prevent a fire from occurring. In order to minimize the damage caused by fire, the fire-Fighting Departments of Local Self-Governments are actively promoting the review of fire-prevention equipment in new and existing residential and commercial buildings. In residential fires, the number of elderly people who fail to escape and lose their lives is increasing yearly. It is our urgent task to precisely analyze the state of damage caused by fire, to install fire prevention equipment, and to adopt measures for fire control which minimize damage. The use of fire indispensable for our daily life. On the other hand, if we
are careless in using fire, it may lead to a disaster, which damages or harms people and property.
There are time-tested ways to prevent and survive a fire. It’s not a question of luck. It’s a matter of planning ahead.
- In the event of a fire, remember – the time is the biggest enemy and every second counts! Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. Immediately leave the place.
- When a fire occurs, do not waste any time-saving property. Take the safest exit route, but if you must escape through smoke, remember to crawl low, under the smoke and keep your mouth covered. The smoke contains toxic gases which can disorient you, or, at worst overcome you.
- Designate under a specific tree or away from the home. For example, meet under a specific tree or at the end of the driveway or front sidewalk to make sure everyone has got out safely and no one will be hurt looking for someone who is already safe. Designate one person to go to the neighbor’s home to phone the fire department.
- Escape first and then call for help.
- Make sure everyone in the family knows the way to escape from every room. Practice feeling your way out with your eyes closed.
- Every home should have at least one working smoke alarm. It is inexpensive protection for you and your family. Working smoke alarms can double your chances of survival.
- When using household appliances follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions.
- Overheating, unusual smells, short circuits, and sparks are all warning signs that appliances need to be shut off, then replaced or repaired.
- Unplug appliances when not in use.
- Use safety caps to cover all unused outlets, especially if there are small children in the home.
- Use deep ashtrays and soak ashes in water before disposal.
- Don’t stand up in the fire, always crawl low under the smoke and try to keep your mouth covered.
- Don’t put ashtrays on the arms of sofas and chairs.
- Don’t leave cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended. Put out all smoking materials before you walk.
- Don’t return to a building for any reason, it may cost you your life.
- Don’t overload circuits or extension cords.
- Do not place cords and wires under rugs, over nails or in high traffic areas.
- Don’t come back to houses/Offices till the Fire Brigade allows you.
- Once Out, Stay Out
Remember to escape first and then notify the department or proper local emergency number in your area. Never go back into a burning building for any reason. Teach children not to hide from firefighters. They are equipped to perform rescues safely.
Tsunami: A tsunami is a series of waves of extremely long wavelength and long periods generated in a body of water by an impulsive disturbance that vertically displaces the water. Tsunami is a Japanese word represented by two characters: “tsu” and “nami. The character “tsu” means harbour, and the character “nami” means wave.
Causes of tsunami:
There are many causes of tsunamis but the most prevalent is earthquakes. In addition, landslides, volcanic eruptions, explosions, and even the impact of cosmic bodies, such as meteorites, can generate tsunamis. Not all earthquakes generate tsunamis.
Onset-type and Warning:
Tsunami is a sudden onset hazard. It occurs during any time of the day and coastal areas are prone to be struck by tsunamis.
- Contamination of drinking
- Fires from ruptured tanks or gas
- Loss of vital community
- Loss of agriculture and
- Loss of human life and
Most deaths caused by tsunamis result from drowning. Tsunamis are often most destructive in bays and harbors. Tsunamis are least destructive in deep, open ocean waters. Tsunamis can travel upstream in coastal estuaries and rivers, with damaging waves extending farther inland beyond the coast. A tsunami can occur during any season of the year and at any time, day or night. A tsunami can move hundreds of miles per hour in the open ocean and smash into land with waves as high as 100 feet or more.
The first wave of a tsunami is usually not the largest in a series of waves, nor is it the most significant. One coastal community may experience no damaging waves, while another, not far away, may experience destructive waves. Depending on a number of factors, some low lying areas could experience severe inland inundation. A major earthquake or landslide occurs close to hor· the first wave in a series could reach the beach in a few minutes, even before a warning is issued. Areas are at greater risk if they are less than 25 feet above sea level and within a mile of the shoreline
- Know the risk of tsunamis in the area. Know the height of your street above sea level and the distance of your street from the coast or other high-risk water. Evacuation orders may be based on these numbers.
- Plan and practice evacuation routes. If possible, pick an area 100 feet or more above sea level, or go at least two miles inland, away from the You should be able to reach your safe location on foot within 15 minutes and be able to follow your escape route at night and during inclement weather.
- Discuss tsunamis with your family. Discussing tsunamis ahead of time will help reduce fear and anxiety and let everyone know how to respond. Review flood safety and preparedness measures with your
- Take life insurance, insurance of property, household utilities and
- Avoid building or living in buildings within several hundred feet of the coastline. These areas are most likely to experience damage from tsunamis, strong winds, or coastal
- Follow flood preparedness precautions. Many of the precautions that are appropriate for floods are also appropriate for
- If you are visiting an area at risk from tsunamis, check with the hotel, motel, or campground operators for evacuation information.
If a strong coastal earthquake occurs:
- You should protect yourself from the earthquake first follow the Dos in earthquake
- When the shaking stops, gather your family members and evacuate quickly. Leave everything else behind. A tsunami could occur within Move quickly to higher ground away from the coast.
- Avoid downed power lines, and stay away from buildings and bridges from which heavy objects might fall during an aftershock.
- If you hear an official tsunami warning or detect signs of a tsunami, evacuate at once. A tsunami warning 1s issued when authorities are certain that a tsunami threat exists, and there may be little time to get
- Follow instructions issued by local authorities. Recommended evacuation routes may be different from the one you planned, or you may be advised to move to higher ground than you had
- Get to higher ground as far inland as officials cannot reliably predict either the height or local effects of tsunamis.
- Return home only after local officials tell you that it is safe. A tsunami is a series of waves that may continue for hours. Do not assume that after one wave, the danger is over. The next wave may be larger than the first one.
- Stay out of damaged areas, buildings until told that it is safe to enter.
- Turn off utilities, if necessary.
- Don’t enter the house or show without precaution. Poisonous snakes may have come into buildings with the water. Use a stick to poke through debris.
- Don’t go near fallen power lines or broken utility lines and immediately report those to the authorities.
- Don’t drink well water until examined by the local authorities.
- Don’t keep the house closed. Open the windows and doors to help dry the building.
- Don’t rearrange the things till you photograph the damage. These photographs will be useful to claim insurance.
- Don’t allow your pets and other domestic animals to go away from house. Watch your animals closely.
Stampede is the sudden trampling of individuals in a crowded place ultimately resulting in injuries or even deaths.
EASY TO UNDERSTAND CONCEPT AND PARAMETERS OF SEVERITY:
Stampede is crowd without discipline and control, often occurring in places like temples, exhibitions, shopping malls, cinema staircases or stadiums where people start pushing and shoving each other to get through crowds. Stampede starts when people are tense and in a hurry to go somewhere while pushing others. If someone falls, many people also fall and get trampled by many more. It happens in a crowd when it becomes unmanageable and indisciplined. It could happen in a pilgrimage, during the procession, etc.
KNOW YOUR VULNERABILITY BY THESE SIMPLE TOOLS:
- Be alert & attentive about the surrounding
- You should know where emergency exits are,
- Know which floor you’re on in case you need to take stairs down
- Know how to exit a building or an area safely.
- You should also know how to contact emergency services.
- Being aware also means that you should notice things that are strange or unusual. If you do notice a strange person or situation, do not confront that Instead, contact the appropriate authority and let them handle the situation. Awareness can go a long way in keeping yourself and others safe.
The main casualties in stampede are injuries and death.
Main mitigation Strategies:
- Tight security
- Restrict the number of visitors and lane system should be implemented
- Try to stay at the edge of the crowd, avoid the middle where you would have trouble exiting quickly.
- Have communication plans and take some time to consider how you might contact friends and family in case some kind of emergency occurs. The worried families may panic if they can’t contact you in the crowd.
- Avoid special days of workship if you plan to visit a religious place. If you need to visit such a place on some
auspicious day, you should go early morning and leave the place before midday. Most of the rush starts by midday and the risk of stampede increases.
- If you begin to feel uncomfortable, physically pushed from all sides or suffocated in the crowd, just leave the place immediately.
- Wear bright, solid-colored shirts, jackets, caps, or hats for ease in finding every one of your family and friends.
- Be courteous to others.
- Always follow the rules. They are for your safety.
- Don’t enter or go near a building that has been damaged by an explosion, fire or smoke. Also, try to move away from the scene of any incident. Be cautious that you avoid becoming part of a crowd. Sometimes panic can set a crowd into a frenzy and more injuries may result. Also, never put yourself in danger.
- Don’t get into a rush. Leave with plenty of time to get to your destination.
- Don’t go alone in dense crowds. If you have a family with you, have one parent in front and one parent in the back. The leading parent should make sure everyone is keeping up and no one is missing.
- Do not rush. Stop frequently to make sure everyone is still with you.
With a few safeguards, you can eliminate many of the common dangers that may result in an accident. Remember an accident to a person or a child is no less than a big disaster we read in newspapers.
KNOW YOUR VULNERABILITY:
There are too many deaths and injuries caused by unintentional home injuries. Fall is the most common injury followed by poisoning, fire, choking, suffocation and drowning. Now is a good time to take a look around your home and eliminate the dangers to your family and friends. In India, there are several occasions when people celebrate with fireworks. It is a time-honoured tradition that unfortunately carries with it the risk of causing serious damage to the eyes and even causes fires. Despite many of the advances made in eye surgery, repair of the severely injured eye remains a challenge. Incidentally, the probability of accidents, especially among children is very high.
Elements at risk:
3. Elderly people
4. Electrical and electronic gadgets
2. Short Circuit
3. Gas cylinder explosion
4. Fire breakout
5. Kerosene stove explosion
6. Hazardous cooking practices.
An alert Individual is Safe.
- Always keep valuables in lockers.
- Electric wires and connections should be supervised to avoid short circuits.
- Eliminate top-heavy or overloaded bookcases. If you have a bookcase that needs to hold a lot, then fasten the bookcase to the wall.
- Open one drawer of a dresser at a time to keep it balanced. Don’t let children to use the drawers as steps.
- Light all areas of the house well, especially stairs, halls, and any areas with steps. Add non-slip treads to stair steps and add handrail.
- Put night-lights in bedrooms, bathrooms hallways, and on stairs.
- Lock up household chemicals, cleaners, and medications. Be careful with medications. Put away all medications safely.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and change the batteries twice a year. Use an aerosol synthetic-smoke spray to test the alarm’s power, electronics and sensor.
- Use baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs if you have young children. Use the kind that is fixed to the wall. Do not use the pressure type since toddlers can often push these away.
- Bigger f1reworks are more dangerous. The bigger the firework, the more you are approaching a truly firework, the more you are approaching a truly dangerous explosive device. We forget that fireworks are literally bombs, rockets, and incendiary devices. We are fireworks since childhood and hence can grow complacent about using them.
- Always read and follow all label directions on fireworks. Buy from reliable sellers. Stay away from illegal explosives.
- Never use fireworks inside or under a covered area. Always use them outdoors.
- Have a full bucket of water handy for any emergency and to douse used sparklers.
- Dispose off fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then dispose of them in your trash can.
- Do not store household chemicals, cleaner non-consumable products in containers meant for consumables. Children may be fooled and may try the contents.
- Don‘t put the gas cylinder in water, if you smell gas. Better call person from gas dealer to check the leak.
- Don ‘t let children play around recliners or sofas. Hands and feet can be pinched. Heads can get caught as the furniture unfolds.
- Remove toys and other clutter away from doors. Keep the stairs clear.
- Avoid cleaning supplies that leave a slippery residue on floors or tubs.
- Don‘t leave a child unattended near a well or pond. With a water body around, an attentive adult should always accompany children.
- Never let toddlers near the water unless they have on flotation devices, even if they are not in the water.
- Never experiment or make your own fireworks. Never take apart legal fireworks you have bought.
- Don‘t keep trash cans with disposed off fireworks inside your garage or covered areas. Leave them outside overnight and away from buildings and flammable material.
- Never try to re-ignite fireworks that have malfunctioned. Soak them with water and throw away.
- Never point any rocket or flying fireworks at other people’s homes, trees, cars or yards.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Never ignite fireworks in metal or glass containers.
- Do not try to light several fireworks at the same time. The more fireworks you handle at once, the more firepower, i.e. potentially destructive force, you deal with.
If fires, chemicals leaks or explosions occurs in industrial facilites, people are exposed to the following dangers:
2. Poisonous chemical gas leak
3. Combustion of various products
4. Low oxygen levels
5. Falling of structural elements and machinery
6. Contamination of nearby environment viz. land, water, and air.
Concept and parameter of severity:
Industrial disasters are threats to people and life support systems that arise from the mass production of goods and services. When these threats exceed humans coping capabilities or the absorptive capacities of environment system they give rise to industrial disaster. Industrial hazards can occur at any stage in the production process, including extraction, processing, manufacture , transportation, storage, use, and disposal. lndustrial disasters generally involve the release of damaging substances (eg. chemicals, radioactive, genetic material) or damaging levels of energy from industrial facilities or equipment into the surrounding environment. This usually occurs in the form of explosions, fires, spills, leaks, or wastes. Release may occur because of factors that are internal to the industrial system (e.g. engineering flaws) or they may occur because of the external factors (e.g. extremes of nature). Release may be sudden and intensive, as in power plant explosion, or gradual and extensive, as in build-up of an ozone-destroying chemical in the stratosphere or the progressive leakage of improperly disposed toxic wastes. Most public policies for disaster reduction emphasize safer industrial technologies and upgraded working conditions in mines, on the foundry floor, in the machine shop and power station, or on the ships and railroads that transport a majority of industrial products.
Know your Vulnerability by simple tools.
If you experience any of these symptoms or the following, you are vulnerable to the risk of severe injury. It is necessary to go as far as possible from the spot, especially in the opposite direction of wind.
• Irritation of eyes.
• Irritation of throat.
• Burning sensation on skin
• Funny smells
• Fumes and Visual fire
• Overturned truck or trailer with liquid or fumes leaking.
Onset type and warning:
Onset in case of industrial disaster can be either rapid (minutes or hours) or sudden (no warning) depending on the nature of the occurrence. As there is a series of processes and reactions involved the onset may vary accordingly. Release of chemical may be the result of human error, technological failure or natural events like earthquakes, natural fires, and floods, etc. The industrial facilities should have monitoring and warning systems for fire and building up of dangerous conditions. Explosions in some of the cases can be anticipated.
Elements at risk:
• The industrial set up and its nearby environment is under immediate threat. Employees, residents, livestock and standing crops in the nearby vicinity are at risk.
• Hazardous substance released into the air or water can travel long distances and cause contamination of air and water supply, thus making it dangerous for humans. Large scale disasters would threaten the ecological system.
• Physical damage: This is damage to buildings and infrastructure.
• Casualties: The routes of exposure in chemical accidents are inhalation, eye exposure, skin contact, and ingestion. Health effects are described in terms of system or organ being affected and can cause cancer, heart failure, brain damage, dysfunction of the immune system, deformation, genetic disorders, congenital (present since birth) disorders, etc. Fire can spread to a large area. Many people may die of burn s and asphyxiation.
Possible Risk Reduction measures:
1. Hazard Mapping: Inventories and maps of storages should be known to all. The community in the nearby should be made aware of the hazards and vicinity possible side effects.
2. Land Use Planning: A densely populated area should be separated from the industrial area. A buffer zone should separate the industrial and residential one
3. Community preparedness: The community should be aware of the hazardous installation and know-how to combat the situation. Community members should participate in mock drills and monitor the pollution level of the industry.
4. Other possible risk reduction measures: Maintain the wind flow diagram of the region. Improve fire resistance and warning systems, improve fire fighting and pollution dispersion capabilities and develop emergency relief and evacuation planning of employees and nearby settlements. Limit the storage capacity of toxic substances. Get the plants insured and follow safety legislation.
- Get familiar with the chemicals used by industries and workshops in your area and their potential industries and (you can get this information from Local Municipal Authority or Industrial Development Corporation under “Right to Information Act “)
- If a chemical disaster happens in your vicinity the remain in your house till you receive any advice from local authority.
- Develop a plan of action before disaster strikes. This means developing a list of essential personal items his be carried with you, a pre-determined meeting place. A breakdown of each team member’s individual task and responsibilities also needs to be chalked out in advance.
- Do keep towels and water handy, and in case of irritation covers your face with a wet towel and escape.
- Do not assume that all safety and rescue personnel will be available immediately. You need to be self-sufficient for at least 48 hours.
- Do not forget to keep your friends and relatives informed during the planning and recovery process.
- Do not limit your disaster planning to a best-case scenario. Many such disasters happen in the night, so you and your family should be prepared to face it and make the right decisions in dark.
- Do not forget to carry your personal papers, bank passbook, ration card, insurance papers, cash, and relevant addresses when you leave the house.
- Do not forget to lock your house.
When warm and moist air rises very quickly, deep cumulonimbus storm clouds form. Ice crystals and water droplets whirl around inside the clouds and bump into each other, making tiny electric charges. The charges build up until huge electric sparks flash from cloud to build up until huge electric sparks flash from cloud to cloud and down to the ground and back. The lightning flash heats up the air it passes. The air expands very rapidly and makes the noise we call thunder.
Onset-type and warning system: It is a sudden onset hazard.
KNOW YOUR VULNERABILITY:
When you see that a possible electrical storm is developing, and if you are standing alone on an open plot, farm, or road, first avoid or GO AWAY from the danger zone, which is a high exposed target area for lighting. Half of all fatalities occur out in the open, such as farm, playgrounds, beaches, hills and boats.
Most victims (two out of every three) survive a lightning strike. Injuries are usually limited to superficial burns since the skin is a high-resistance membrane and very brief charge flashes over the surface. Some victims require cardiac resuscitation because penetrating electric currents can depolarize and stop the normal electrically controlled heart rhythm. Neurological disturbances, including the brain, eye, and ear damage may occur, resulting in respiratory arrest and coma. Lightning often strikes the tallest object around, and you don’t want that object to be you. That‘s also why isolated trees, picnic shelters, and covered bus stops offer no protection, and may actually increase your chances of being struck. If no other shelter is nearby, get into a car with metal sides and roof, and roll the windows up.
Physical effect: structures will be damaged or destroyed by the wind force, flooding, storm surge, torrential rains, heavy downpour, etc. Casualties and public health: Lightening and storms tends to damage roof buildings and lead to electrocution.
Water supplies: would get contaminated.
Crops: Standing crops may be ruined due to storms.
Communication: Severe disruption in communication links may occur. Transport facilities may get adversely affected.
Hazard mapping: A hazard map will illustrate the areas vulnerable to thunderstorms and lightning.
Management of traffic: Air traffic should be managed properly so as to avoid any kind of casualties during rough weather and thunders.
Coastal Area Plantation Program: To prevent stormy winds coming inland dense plantation along the sea coast would mitigate the effects of a storm.
- A typical storm travels at about 20mph; you cannot outrun it.
- Crouching on the ground on your feet offers a smaller grounding which minimizes the change of getting struck.
- Seek refuge in a building (but not an isolated shed in a field) or vehicle.
- In a forest, wait out the storm in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.
- If you are watching television, after hearing a thunder, switch off the T.V. and remove the cable connection from T.V.
- Stay away from metal fences, flag poles and lamp posts.
- Don’t use a mobile phone while in rain and especially in a thunderstorm. The microwave signal may attract the bolt.
- Don’t go to the beach while there is a thunderstorm.
- If you are in the swimming pool, as the rain starts come water immediately and wipe your body dry.
- Don’t stay in tents. Metal objects such as tent poles could attract lightning.
- Don’t go close to a single tree. About ten percent of fatalities occur under single trees.
- Don’t go near metal frame towers.
- Don’t go for boating in a lake or sea.
- Don’t talk on a telephone, don’t take a bath or shower, don’t use electrical appliances. If lightning strikes outside phone lines, electrical wires or pipes, the electrical current can travel indoors.
- Don’t watch lightning from an open door or window. It’s almost as dangerous as staying outside.
What is drought?
Drought is a condition of deficient rainfall combined with significant fall in agricultural production.
For an area to be declared drought-affected, the government uses two key indicators: one, a significant reduction in the amount of rainfall received, compared to the normal rainfall of the region; and two, the annawari (estimate of crop production based on visual estimates and crop-cutting experiments) falls to below 37% 0f its normal value.
Famines are shortages of food in an area. Thus drought and famine are different phenomena, though the terms are used interchangeably. Droughts may lead to famine (or may not), depending on how they are handled.
Onset type and warning:
Drought is a slow-onset disaster and it is difficult to demarcate the time of its onset and end. Nevertheless, a good time to take stock is to estimate the total rainfall at the end of the monsoon (usually October/November).
Drought adversely affects rain-fed crops to start with and subsequently irrigated crops. Areas with a minimum of alternative water resources to rainfall (ground and canal water supplies), areas subjected to drastic environmental degradation such as denuded forest lands and altered ecosystems, and areas where livelihoods alternative to agriculture are feast developed are most vulnerable to drought. Herdsmen, landless laborers, subsistence farmers, women children and farm animals are the most vulnerable groups affected by drought condition.
Drought, different from other natural disasters, does not cause any structural damages. The typical effects include loss of the crop, dairy, timber and fishery production; increase in energy demand for pumping water; reduced energy production; increased unemployment, loss of biodiversity, reduced water, air, and landscape quality; groundwater depletion, food shortage, health reduction and loss of life, increased poverty, reduced quality of life and social unrest leading to migration.
Main mitigation strategies
Drought monitoring is continuous observations of rainfall situations, water availability in reservoirs, lakes, rivers and comparing with the existing water needs of various sectors of the society. (Add picture/sketch depicting sources of water and uses of water). Water supply augmentation and conservation through rainwater harvesting in houses and farmers fields increase the amount of water available. Water harvesting by either allowing the runoff water from all the fields to the common point(e.g. farm ponds, see picture/sketch) or allowing it to infiltrate into the soil where it has fallen (in situ) (e.g. contour bunds, contour cultivation, raised bed planting, etc.) helps increase water availability for sustained agricultural production. The expansion of irrigation facilities reduces drought vulnerability. Land use based on its capability helps in optimum use of land and water and can avoid the undue demand created due to their misuse. Livelihood planning identifies those livelihoods which are least affected by drought. Some such livelihoods include increased off-farm employment opportunities, collection of non-timber forest produce from community forests, raising goats, and carpentry, etc.
Drought mitigation in urban areas
Urban lifestyles are quite water-intensive. We like to use shower while bathing, we use sprinklers for lawns, a lot of water is required for washing vehicles, among a host of many other uses. The basic principle of conservation, viz. reduce, reuse and recycle can be effectively used to keep a check on the consumption of water. Besides water planning and continuous monitoring of the balance between the availability of water and the use of water is required.
- As far as possible reduce, reuse and recycle water for domestic use, industrial use and agriculture.
- Implement water conservation and water harvesting measures like check dams, contour bunds, gabion structures, rooftop rainwater harvesting, farm ponds, percolation tanks, etc.
- Repair leaking taps, tanks, pipes, etc.
- As far as possible avoid wastage of water for domestic use, industrial use and agriculture.
- Avoid using water-intensive devices like flush toilets, sprinklers, bathtubs, etc.
Road, Rail and Air Accidents
Disaster in transport involves vehicles and people. Several aspects such as vehicle condition, neglect of the traffic rules, alcoholism, rash driving, and indisciplined pedestrians cause innumerable accidents every day. The death toll in traffic accidents is rapidly increasing all over India.
Onset-type and warning system:
These are suddenly occurring hazards.
Casualties: the main damage is the deaths and injuries that take place in the accident.
Structural damage: the transport system may get disturbed and vehicles may get damaged.
Road network is laid for better connectivity and services but we find that the number of accidents is also on the rise. The main causes are violations of the traffic regulations, speeding, drunks driving and poor maintenance of the vehicles and the roads. All these reasons add to the rising number of accidents and road fatalities.
- Drive only when you are competent enough and possess a valid license.
- The best way to be safe on the road is to follow lane discipline while driving.
- Be familiar with all the signboards, road symbols, etc and honor them.
- Be careful while driving in the rainy season, driving uphill and driving during the night.
- Drive your vehicle at the speed recommended by the manufacturer.
- If you are a pedestrian use the zebra crossing for crossing roads.
- Use a helmet while riding two-wheelers.
- Always maintain your vehicle in good condition.
- In case an accident is unavoidable, avoid a head-on collision.
- Be familiar with road markings.
- Do not rush the vehicles on a bad road.
- Do not accelerate and decelerate suddenly.
- Do not use a harsh horn.
- Do not exceed the speed limit in any condition.
- Do not use curtains, dark tinted glasses and stickers on windscreen and window, as they inhibit visibility.
- Do not carry more passengers than prescribed by the manufacturer.
- Do not use a mobile phone while driving.
- In case of a fire, try to get out immediately and do not worry about the baggage. Your life is precious.
Many factors govern the safety of passengers in an aircraft. They include technical problems, fire, landing and take-off conditions, the environment an airline operates in (mountains terrain or frequent storms), factors like airport security in cases of hijacking, bombing attempts, etc.
- Pay attention to the flight crew safely demonstration.
- Carefully read the safety briefing cards.
- Know where the nearest emergency exit is and know how to open it in case of an emergency.
- Always keep your seat belts fastened when you are seated.
- Stay calm. Listen to the crew members and do what they say. The cabin crew’s most important job is to help you leave safely.
Remember smoke rises. So try to stay down if there’s smoke in the cabin. Follow the track of emergency lights embedded in the floor; they lead to an exit. If you have a cloth, put it over your nose and mouth.
- Before you try to open any emergency exit yourself, look side the window. If you see a fire outside the door, do not open it or the flames may spread into the cabin. Try to use an escape route.
The most common type of rail accidents is derailment due to lack of maintenance, human error or sabotage. Various type of dangerous cargo is also transported such as fuel, oil products, etc.
- At railway crossings pay attention to the signal and the swing barrier. Do not get underneath and try to get across.
- In case of unmanned crossing, get down from your vehicle and look at either side of the track before crossing the track.
- Do not stop the train on the bridge or tunnel where evacuation is not possible.
- Do not carry inflammable material on trains.
- While on a moving train do not stand and lean out of the door.
- Do not smoke in the train.
- Do not pull the emergency chain unnecessarily.