Emergency operation centres
Emergency operation centres - Control Room
The Emergency Operation Centre commissioned at Puducherry as a critical part of emergency management process. The Emergency Operation Centre is a communication hub designed to ensure effective response to disaster situations. To ensure effective response to disaster situations, the following initiatives were made for disaster management activities:-
- Puducherry Decision Support System(PDSS)
- Toll Free – Call Centre
- Crisis Management framework for U.T. of Puducherry
(I) Puducherry Decision Support System(PDSS)
The Puducherry Decision Support System is a desktop application built on a Spatial Database Platform by adding information about exposure, hazards and vulnerability. It is designed to provide support for planning, coordination, response, guidance and decision making for emergency management personnel. The key features of PDSS are:-
- Provides a decision support system for planning and to catalyze the process of preparedness, response and mitigation
- Provides access to vital information with respect to natural perils such as cyclone, storm surge, flood and drought for disaster preparedness to decision makers and citizens
- Suggests early warning dissemination
- Facilitates emergency communication for timely relief and response measures
- Facilitates in building a knowledge base for use in planning and policy making
There are four modules in PDSS which can be accessed for the specific purposes. They are as follows:-
- Data Warehouse module
- Mitigation module
- Response and Recovery module
- Preparedness module
(II) Toll Free - Call Centre
Under PDMA, the Disaster Response Centre (DRC) has been setup in EOC to receive information on disaster situation from state, central agencies responsible to provide such information. The DRC will also provide access to general public to convey information by dialing “1077” toll free number, which is specifically allotted for incoming call only.
The DRC will have:-
- On-line call recording mechanism to ensure that information received at as well disseminated from DRC is available for subsequent analysis and effecting corrective actions if necessary
- Facility to generate Short Messaging Services (SMS) to issue alert messages to a large number of senior officers from various organizations responsible for disaster response
- Communication network to collect information from hospitals etc. for conveying up-dated information to responsible officers or general public if permitted by authorities.
(III) CRISIS MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK FOR U.T. OF PUDUCHERRY
These three stages – preparedness and risk management, emergency response and recovery and rehabilitation may be subdivided into various detailed activities as presented.
THE INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM FOR PUDUCHERRY
The Incident Command System (ICS) is an on-scene, all- risk, flexible modular system adaptable to any scale of natural as well as man-made emergency/incidents. The ICS seeks to strengthen the existing disaster response management system by ensuring that the designated controlling/responsible authorities at different levels are backed by trained Incident Command Teams (ICTs), whose members have been trained in the different facets of emergency/disaster response management. The ICS will not put in place any new hierarchy or supplant the existing system, but will only reinforce it. When an ICT is deployed for an incident, all concerned agencies of the Government will respond as per the assessment of the Team.
This system therefore enables proper coordination amongst the different agencies of the Government. The five Command functions in the Incident Command System are as follows:
- Incident command - Has overall responsibility at the incident. Determines objectives and Establishes priorities based on the nature of the incident, available resources and Government policy.
- Operations- Develops tactical organization and directs all resources to carry out the Incident Action Plan (IAP).
- Planning- Develops the Incident Action Plan (IAP) to accomplish the objectives. Collects and evaluates information, and maintains status of assigned resources.
- Logistics- Provides resources and all other services needed to support the organization.
- Finance/Administration-Monitors costs related to the incident, provides accounting Procurement, time recording, cost analysis, and overall fiscal guidance.
DISTRICT LEVEL INCIDENT RESPONSE TEAM
At the District level, one District Headquarters Team with the primary function of assisting the Collector (Incident Commander) in handling tasks like general coordination, distribution of relief materials, media management and the overall logistics is envisaged.
In the District level, Incident Command System the Collector is the Incident Commander. Senior Superintendent of Police (L&O) is the Safety Officer, Public Relations Officer, Information Department is the Information Officer and Commissioner, Municipality is the Liaison Officer to the Incident Commander. Planning Unit headed by Joint Director (Planning), Logistic Unit headed by Superintending Engineer (PWD), Operation Unit headed by Sub Divisional Magistrate and Finance headed by Deputy Director of Accounts and Treasuries. Situation unit headed by Block Development Officer, Resource Unit headed by Regional Transport Officer, Supply unit by Deputy Director (Civil Supplies), Medical Unit by Deputy Director (Health).
EMERGENCY SUPPORT FUNCTIONS
Emergency Support Functions are some of the most common functions carried out in any response activity to a disaster either man-made or natural. The Crisis Management Plan is based on the premise that the Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) performed by various Departments and organizations during emergency operations generally are similar to the normal day to day functions. The same personnel and material resources will be employed in both cases. Day-to-day tasks or operations that do not contribute directly to the emergency may be suspended or re-directed for the duration of any emergency disaster and efforts that would normally be assigned to those tasks will be channeled towards emergency and disaster ESF as assigned.
Emergency Support Functions is a functional area of response activity established to facilitate the delivery of critical assistance required during their immediate response phase of a disaster / crisis to save lives, protect property and public health, and to maintain public safety.
It is important to note that while the causes of emergencies vary greatly, the potential effects of emergencies do not. This means that the District can plan to deal with effects common to several hazards, rather than develop separate plans for each hazard. For example, earthquakes and floods, can force people from their homes. The District administration can develop a plan and an organization around the task, or function, of finding shelter and food for the displaced with minor adjustments for the probable rapidity, duration, location, and intensity of different hazards based on the requirements. The District administration can do the same for other common tasks. In fact, a critical aspect of planning for the response to emergency situations is to identify all of these common tasks, or functions, that must be performed, assign responsibility for accomplishing each function, and ensure that tasked organizations have prepared SOPs that detail how they will carry out critical tasks associated with the larger function.
The incident commander (State level) is authorized to trigger a particular ESF into operation based on the nature and magnitude of Crisis/Disaster.