India: NDMA prepares states to deal with heat wave 2018

Source(s): National Disaster Management Authority (India)

VIJAYAWADA - The two-day national workshop on Preparedness, Mitigation and Management of Heat wave concluded successfully today (February 22, 2018) with all stakeholders resolving to work towards effectively mitigating the impact of the imminent heat wave this year. The workshop was organised by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the Government of Andhra Pradesh. 

"The focus of our efforts should be on reducing the number of deaths. However, there is a need to look at heat-related illnesses so that the vulnerability of the most marginalised sections can be brought down," said Shri Kamal Kishore, Member, NDMA, while discussing the way forward and emerging issues this year.

At the technical session on Capacity Building & Enhancing effective response to Heat wave, the need to use specific awareness campaigns and outreach programmes to sensitise communities to take measures to reduce the impact of heat waves was discussed. The session also discussed heat resilience in the context of Sustainable Development Goals besides the issue of developing sector-specific Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for dealing with heat related illnesses and deaths.

The session on Monitoring, Review and Updation of Heat Action Plan discussed the importance of coordination amongst all agencies and regular monitoring of the heat wave situation. It highlighted the significance of reviewing and updating Heat Action Plans to suit the changes in an environment besides the role of standardized documentation and reporting.

Heat waves often lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, stress and even a fatal heat stroke. With advance planning and preparedness, heat wave induced deaths and illnesses can be brought down. 

 In 2016, with NDMA's ‘Guidelines for Preparation of Action Plan – Prevention and Management of Heat-Wave’ and the pro-active approach of some of the most vulnerable States, the number of deaths in the country came down significantly. Taking the success story forward, NDMA in 2017 organized a national workshop on heat wave at Hyderabad in Telangana. Deliberations at the workshop along with timely updation of the Guidelines, regular follow-up, close monitoring and review, effective implementation by State Governments and awareness generation campaigns further brought down the number of heat wave-induced deaths in the country.

Three technical sessions - Heat Wave Action Plan and Risk Reduction, Early warning, forecasting and Preparedness for heat wave and Experience Sharing & lessons learnt for heat wave mitigation measures and emerging issues in 2018 - were held on the first day of the workshop. 

Members and senior officials from NDMA, experts on heat wave, early warning and forecasting agencies, State governments and research institutions participated in the workshop.

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