New Delhi: Union home ministry (MHA) Friday organized the Annual Conference of Relief Commissioners and Secretaries of the Departments of Disaster Management of States and Union Territories through video conference. The Conference was convened primarily to review the status of preparedness for dealing with natural disasters that may arise during the South-West Monsoon 2021.

The Conference was presided over by the union home secretary. In his inaugural address, the union home secretary stressed on the need for building up capacities and response reflexes to ensure 24×7 preparedness throughout the year. He also advised all authorities to make extra efforts to secure all health facilities, oxygen generation plants from heavy rains/floods during the South-West Monsoon or any other impending disaster. The home Secretary asked all concerned officials of the Central and the State governments to be better prepared, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, to minimize losses due to natural disasters, such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes.

The union home secretaryalso released the Version 4.0 of the National Database for Emergency Management (NDEM), developed by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), which is very helpful in integration of real time alerts and warning from forecasting agencies and dissemination of this to Disaster Management Authorities upto district level for disaster risk reduction in the country.

The IMD made a presentation on forecasting, warning and dissemination mechanism, response and preparedness measures and their future plans for enhancing capability in the field of disaster management. 

Representatives of States and Union Territories, Central Ministries, Central Armed Police Forces, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Central Water Commission (CWC), Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), NRSC, (ISRO), GSI and other Scientific Organisations, along with Armed Forces and National Disaster Response Force participated in the Conference.  Issues connected with disaster preparedness, early warning systems, flood and river/ reservoir management, disaster management on-site and off-site plans of the States and Union Territories were discussed.