The Himachal Pradesh government will start a programme for creating awareness about disaster reduction and resilience in communities across the state from 12 October.

A HP State Disaster Management Authority official (SDMA) said in this campaign, the role of community and the individual has been specifically emphasised in promoting disaster resilience.

“Individuals will be encouraged to be aware of the common hazards around them, prepare their family and community disaster management plans, and equip themselves with essential supplies required to tide through an emergency situation, like: dry ration, drinking water, medicines, torch, radio sets, spare batteries etc,” he added.

He said to familiarize the community with Do’s and Don’ts for the hazards that their regions are prone to, an interesting online quiz to educate the citizens has been prepared and shared electronically with the public so that they may test their knowledge about disasters and improve their understanding.

The link of the quiz is also available in HPSDMA Website www.hpsdma.nic.in.

“As a symbol of solidarity with the global efforts to observe the celebrations related to the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) on 13th October every year, the SDMA will organize mass awareness campaign on Disaster Risk Reduction- ‘Samarth’.

Started in the year 2011, Samarth, a statewide campaign is carried out at the state, district and community level and a variety of events and activities are organized in the month of October every year for two weeks,” he said, adding SDMA is celebrating 10th edition of Samarth this year starting from second week of October.

He further stated that the focus for this year has been on developing content as news stories, photographs, quiz, videos, social media cards to highlight the links between good disaster risk governance and having national and local disaster risk reduction strategies in place, that align with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

“Online and digital modes will be extensively used this year to create awareness, build capacities towards promoting disaster resilience in the state.

Besides this, as part of this campaign, a table top mock exercise on chemical (Industrial) disasters has been planned on 15th October, 2020 along with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

The exercise will assess and review the preparedness of all stakeholders to deal with industrial disasters in industrial areas of the state.

As a run up to this exercise, an online training for officers of District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs) and Nodal Officers of all departments has been planned on 12th October,” he added.

He added a 3-day online training programme on ‘Hill Area Environment’ will be organized by SDMA in coordination with National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) from 21 to 23 October. Similarly, one such programme will be organized for traditional construction practices in HP and School Safety.