Gether Towards a Safer India

gether Towards a Safer India Part-III To A textbook on Disaster Management for Class X A Stride Ahead CENTRAL BOARD OF SECONDARY EDUCATION PREET VIHAR, DELHI – 110092 Together Towards a Safer India Part III A Stride Ahead A Textbook on Disaster Management for Class X CENTRAL BOARD OF SECONDARY EDUCATION PREET VIHAR, DELHI – 110092 TOGETHER, TOWARDS, A SAFER INDIA PART-III A textbook on disaster management for class X FIRST EDITION 2005 REVISED EDITION 2006 © CBSE, DELHI Acknowledgements

CBSE Advisors: Shri Ashok Ganguly, Chairman, CBSE. Shri G. Balasubramanian, Director (Academic), CBSE. Editors: Shri R. K. Singh Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India Shri Saroj Jha, I. A. S Director (Disaster Management), Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India. Authors: Prof A. S Arya, Shri Ankush Agarwal and Shri Arvind Nagaraju Shri Anup Karanth Dr. Kamla Menon and Ms. A. Venkatachalam Ms. Balaka Dey Shri Hemang Karelia Ms. Malini Narayanan Coordinator: Ms. Sugandh Sharma, Education Officer, CBSE.

Price: Published By: The Secretary, Central Board of Secondary Education, ‘Shiksha Kendra’, 2, Community Centre, Preet Vihar, Delhi-110 092 Design, Layout & Illustration By: Spectrum Media, 3721/5, IInd Floor, New Delhi-110 002 Phone : 011-23272562 Printed By: Contents Foreword For Students Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Introduction Tsunami – The killer sea waves Survival Skills Alternative Communication Systems….. during disasters Safe Construction Practices Sharing Responsibilities Planning Ahead 1 7 13 28 33 45 52 (iii) Foreword The recent massive earthquake of magnitude 8. , which hit Indonesia (off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra) on 26th December at 06:28 hrs, was the biggest in 40 years which has triggered the deadly tsunami waves in Southeast Asia and coastal India. Another earthquake of magnitude 7. 3 occurred 81 kms West of Pulo Kunji (Great Nicobar) at 9:51:26 AM (IST). Dozens of buildings were destroyed in the initial quake before a huge wall of water, up to 10m high in places, hit the Indian coast. More than 10,000 people died after huge waves swept away south Indian states. Not long before, on 16th July, 2004 93 innocent lives were lost in the Kumbhakonam fire tragedy in Tamilnadu.

Looking at the vulnerability of the country to various hazards like the floods, cyclones and drought which can be predicted to the more sudden disasters like earthquakes, landslides and various manmade disasters which cannot be predicted and are very frequent in the present day world, it is time for us to have an insight into these hazards and get ourselves prepared. Class VIII and the class IX books on Disaster Management “Together towards a safer India” part I and part II discuss various precautionary measures that one needs to take to get oneself prepared from various hazards prevalent in our country.

They also focus on various structural and non-structural measures that we need to take to combat such disasters. The class X textbook on Disaster Management aims at having a practical understanding of managing disasters. The aftermath of the tragic Tsunami has prompted the board to incorporate a chapter on Tsunami which contains useful information on causes and the preparedness measures to be taken up to combat the killer waves. Certain material for the enrichment and extension of student learning has been given as boxes items. We request teachers to make it a part of the teaching learning process.

Chapter 1 and Chapter 7 of this book are non-evaluative though their study is important to have a better understanding of Disaster Management. I hope this book will help all the students who are the future citizens, volunteers and also disaster managers to be able to cope up with disasters and be better disaster managers and save many precious lives. I would like to thank Ministry of Home Affairs for their support and guidance in the preparation of the course materials and helping the Board in carrying out orientation programmes in various parts of the country.

My sincere thanks to the UNDP Team which has tirelessly put all their efforts in every endeavor, without whose support the initiative would have been difficult to continue. Above all, I express my gratitude to the teachers across the country who have taken all the pains to introduce this subject in their schools, not only as a subject but as a necessary life skill as well. Many of the schools have gone beyond the premises of their schools and have taken pains to generate awareness among parents and also the community. Last but not the least, I express my appreciation and thanks to Shri. G.

Balasubramanian (Director, Academics) and his team who have taken a great interest in developing this book and also making the schools a safer place. Ashok Ganguly Chairman, CBSE. (iv) (v) (vi) For the Students… Your experiences on Disaster Management in Classes VIII and IX must have helped you by now to have a better understanding of various hazards, their causes and impact and knowing the mitigation strategies for reducing the impact. At this juncture of your life, CBSE intends to groom the students who are the future ‘Disaster Managers’, to have a better know how on handling disasters.

The book begins with a special section on tsunami detailing what these are and what possible steps can be taken to protect ourselves from their impact. This book tries to give hands on experience to the student on various survival skills, which would save many precious lives in an emergency. It also discusses various alternative communication systems, which can be made use of when existing communication systems fail during a disaster situation. A safe home is a secure home. Therefore, it is necessary to follow safe construction practices and strengthen our existing buildings as explained in the fifth chapter.

We would like to assure you that you are not alone in your stride towards making the community safer. The sixth chapter of the book outlines many Government and non-government bodies which play a major role in managing disasters and help you in sharing your responsibilities. Knowing them better will help you in taking their assistance at the time of need. So, it is right time to plan for the safety of the people who matter for you the most. Chapter seven discusses about some of the steps involved in the planning process.

As we all know now, disasters bring along with them heavy loss to life, property and livelihood. So, it is time to make disaster management a way of life – and an essential life skill. Let’s be prepared for the safety of our near and dear ones than to be a victim of it and repent later. (vii) 1. Introduction… Do you remember Do you know that any of these disasters could hit your area at any time, with or without any warning? People have been living with risk ever since they first joined efforts, shared resources and assumed responsibilities in social groups.

Social development and human well being have advanced only because people have taken risk. Time and again, we see the terrible toll that natural disasters inflict on vulnerable communities around the world. Over the recent decades there has been an alarming increase in the occurrence of natural disasters and the magnitude of their social, economic and environmental impacts. This extensive damage to lives, property and livelihood of the affected communities has turned back the development clock of the areas by decades.

But are we apathetic towards disasters? The answer is ‘No’. The recent Kumbakonam fire tragedy in Tamilnadu that killed 93 innocent lives has made us all think about “our lives” which is precious. The recurring floods in Assam and Bihar, frequent drought in Rajasthan and Gujarat and the 2001 earthquake in Gujarat have disrupted the normal life of people across the country. Disasters are as old as human history. They have been mostly dealt with from a purely humanitarian angle, while natural hazards such as cyclones; floods, 1 roughts and earthquakes have been analyzed technically and scientifically within scientific disciplines. Disasters can no longer be seen as ‘acts of God’ or ‘acts of nature’ over which we have little control nor can we leave disasters to be understood by natural scientists. It is high time that we as responsible future citizens of our country think of it and get ourselves prepared for a safer tomorrow. Knowing about risk that lead to disasters, understanding how they affect our livelihoods and environment and dedicating collective efforts to manage those conditions.

This book on Disaster Management, “Together Towards a Safer India – Part III” aims at stimulating the students and the teachers by transacting through case studies on various hazards. Let us analyze some of the major disasters that have created havoc with huge loss to life and property and how the affected communities have been able to cope up with it. Let’s learn from the past experiences and get our-selves prepared. This chapter gives an overview of all the chapters that has been covered in this book. Just one year to the day that an earthquake hit Bam, the dusty desert town in southern Iran, nature struck again on Sunday (December 26).

The strongest earthquake in the world for 40 years struck under the sea north-west of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Massive sea surges (tsunamis) spread from its epicenter bringing death and destruction to the coastal areas of south and south-east Asian countries ringing the Indian ocean. Waves ranging in size from 10 ft. to 30 ft. were reported by different witnesses. Water surged kilometers inside into many of the islands. Radio listeners who woke to hear the news in morning were told 500 were feared dead, but by evening the number was approaching 10,000 and still climbing.

Many thousands more were missing or injured and millions more displaced… Chapter 2 of the book aptly discusses the devastating killer waves that hit the country disrupting the normal life and ways and measures to prevent oneself form them. The Tragedy of Kumbakonam …. Kumbakonam, July 16, the fire of sustenance turned into a mass pyre for children between the ages of seven and nine with at least 93 getting charred to death, trapped in their blazing thatched-roof classrooms in Saraswati Primary School. The fire started in a kitchen on the ground floor when the mid-day meal for children was being cooked.

Fire fighters said that the victims stood no chance of survival as the blazing thatched roof collapsed on the trapped children. The terrible tragedy not only jolted the pilgrim town of Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, but the entire nation. 2 “Prevention is better than cure”. Have you ever analyzed why did this tragic incident occur? The local authorities who reached the site as soon as Dear Friends, they received the information said that the school Join me today… had no proper evacuation route and there was lack Karnataka’s Fire Department runs a of fire safety measures taken up by the school programme called SAFE (Students authorities.

Due to the lack of awareness among Association of Fire Education) impartthe teachers, staff members and the children ing fire safety training to students. present in the school, many precious lives were lost. www. karnatakafireservices. gov. in The local hospitals lacked the facilities to cope up with huge number of burnt victims and the school children too were not trained in first aid. No initiatives were taken Talk to the Fire Service Department in your up by the authorities to review the structural safety area and find out if they have any such of school functioning in thatched rooms. raining facilities. If ‘yes’ get yourself Who is to be held responsible for it? Is it the trained now. school administration, teachers or the children? Yes, all of us. Each one of us has a role to play. It was important for the school principal along with the other staff members to prepare the school disaster management plan and share it with the district administration. They need to train the students on first aid, search and rescue and usage of fire extinguishers. They too need to create awareness on the do’s and don’ts for fire and other hazards that they are vulnerable to.

You can yourself be safe and also save the lives of your dear friends by knowing some of the “Survival Skills” for search and rescue and first aid. Chapter 3 deals with the survival skills, which would give you an insight into Search and Rescue measures that need to be taken during an emergency and First Aid measures that need to be taken for burns, bleeding, snakebite, poisoning etc. ACTIVITY If you were one of the students in the classroom where these ninety-three children were your dear friends, how would you have reacted to it and what steps would you have taken up?

Analyze it with your friends and teachers and paste your learnings on the notice board of your classroom. Yet another Example……. Landslide affecting the villages 3 In the later half of August 1998, severe rains lashed the Himalayas, causing devastation in their wake. On August 14, 69 people died in a landslide in Okhimath block (near Gutptkashi). A week later, the entire village of Malpa, lying along the Kali River on the way from Dharchula to Lipu Lekh, was swept away Isn’t one-week time enough for the people of Malpa to evacuate?

Probably there was no proper communication given by authorities to villagers. The death toll, 205, included road workers, porters, members of the border police, and five dozen pilgrims returning from a yatra (pilgrimage) to Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar in Tibet (August 18). Two dozen more people died when Mansuna village in Rudraprayag district also disappeared (August 19). In addition, the torrential rains demolished hundreds of homes and infrastructure and intense winds also hampered rescue efforts. Isn’t site selection important for carrying out constructions?

By August 20, the authorities began evacuating 50,000 residents of the Okhimath block, as rubble, debris, and boulders had fallen into the Madmaheshwar River, a tributary of the Mandakini, plugging it and causing the formation of an artificial lake. Many houses that were located in these vulnerable sites were washed away. As the lake swelled, so did the danger, as a flash flood would submerge two – dozen villages. The army cautioned against blasting the artificial dam with dynamite, as the sudden discharge would overwhelm the villages below.

Instead, the villagers suggested that the lake should be left to erode naturally. Also, local villagers and social activists went on search and rescue expeditions, while various NGOs scrambled to attend to the needy. Don’t you think help from various agencies and community has helped in rapid search and rescue operations? In Dehradun and other large cities, generous people rallied to send aid to the victims of the landslides and flooding that had afflicted the plains.

What do you think were the steps that were to be necessarily taken by the people and the administration? Early warning to the villagers and the pilgrims regarding the weather, specialized training to the villagers on search and rescue and first aid, construction of retaining walls on the hilly terrains would have saved many precious lives. If you are residing in any of these areas, then look out for its safety. Know the type of soil and if vulnerable move to a safer place. Develop an evacuation plan for your locality in case you are prone to landslides.

From the above case study we need to realize the need for alternative communication for carrying out search and rescue operations and also establish linkage with various government and non-governmental agencies. Chapter 4 of the book discusses about various alternative communication systems that exist in the world of science and technology today. As this chapter is based 4 on science do take help from your Science teachers. Hope you all will enjoy reading it and relate it to your favorite subject of ‘Physics’.

This case study that you have just read points out how important it is for us to have an understanding of good constructional practices so that you are safe in your schools and at home. To have a better understanding of safe construction practices Chapter 5 of the book discusses about various safe construction practices that needs to be adhered to by people residing in vulnerable pockets like earthquake, landslide, flood and cyclone prone regions of the country. It is time to take help and support from the government and various agencies like the NCC, NSS, Home Guards etc and get ourselves prepared.

Chapter 6 discusses the roles that government and various agencies play in managing disasters. You Safe traditional house which has survived the too as an active and responsible citizen of the major landslide country can play a major role. You can be a volunteer and also a skilled personnel and save lives of your near and dear country men/women in any disaster scenario. To have a safer living and a safer tomorrow it is time for us to plan ahead for our community/locality that we live in.

Being a part of the community you should now take up the responsibility of preparing the community/locality that you live in, based on the hazard that you are prone to. Chapter 7 of the book discusses the components and the process of preparing the disaster management plan for your area. The case study below shows how proper planning at the community level has saved people of Bangladesh from the devastating cyclones. Community planning in progress Following the 1970 cyclone, which killed 50,000 people, the Government of Bangladesh began working to improve the coastal warnings and evacuation.

The main objective was to issue warnings, building and operating shelters assisting evacuation, search and rescue, first aid, relief and rehabilitation and building up community preparedness capacity. A cadre of 32,000 village volunteers, men and women were, organized into local teams of 12. They were equipped with radios to monitor weather bulletins, megaphones and hand operated sirens, first aid kits, rescue equipments and protective clothing. These volunteers were trained at regular interval. Specialist training such as radio use, first aid and leadership was provided separately.

The volunteers organized regular rehearsals and demonstrations in the villages and mass awareness campaigns every year. However, this community preparedness programme has been widely acknowledged and hundreds and thousands of people can now routinely be evacuated from the path of cyclone. In May 1994, three quarters of a million people were safely evacuated; only few people died. 5 Thus, from the above case studies it is evident that proper planning and knowledge is necessary for reducing human, social, e4conomic and environmental losses due to various natural and man made hazards.

This would build a disaster resilient community and would make the world a safer place to live. Reference for further reading: ? ? ? ? http://www. gsi. gov. in/quake. htm www. karnatakafireservices. gov. in. Good Practice Review – Disaster Risk Reduction Mitigation and Preparedness in development and emergency programming by John Twigg. World Congress on Natural Disaster Mitigation, Proceedings volume -2 6 2. Tsunami – The killer sea wave A killer Tsunami hit 11 South Eastern Countries of Asia on the 26th of December 2004 killing more than 1,50,000 precious lives.

The count hasn’t stopped…. At the end of the day statistics only remain. The emotional, economical and ecological toll of the disaster can’t be calculated. Many villages have lost an entire generation. This was the biggest earthquake to hit the world in 40 years and no one could have thought that its effects would ripple worldwide overnight. Do you know what Tsunamis are? How they can be predicted and how you can save yourself from the deadly Tsunami? Read the section below and you will know more about it. Follow the instructions if you reside in any of the coastal states of the country.

The term ‘Tsunami’ has been coined from the Japanese term Tsu meaning ‘harbour’ and nami meaning ‘waves’. Tsunamis are waves generated by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or underwater landslides and can reach 15m or more in height devastating coastal communities. In recorded history, tsunamis worldwide have killed hundreds of thousands of people. Tsunamis caused by nearby earthquakes may reach the coast within minutes. When the waves enter shallow water, they may rise to several feet or, in rare cases, tens of feet, striking the coast with devastating force.

The Tsunami danger period can continue for many hours after a major earthquake. 3 As waves approach shore they 2 Tsunami wave train formation slow down, the waves lengths shorten and become higher 4 Possible bore formation on shore 1 Submarine fault movement, landslide, or volcanic activity 7 In 1883, the violent explosion of the famous volcano, Krakatoa in Indonesia, produced tsunamis measuring 40 meters which crashed upon Java and Sumatra. Over 36,000 people lost their lives as a result of tsunamis that are capable of crossing oceans.

Tsunamis are nearly always created by movement of the sea floor associated with earthquakes which occur beneath the sea floor or near the ocean. Important Facts About Tsunamis ? Tsunamis may also be generated by very large earthquakes far away in other areas of the Ocean. Waves caused by these travel at hundreds of kilometers per hour, reaching the coast several hours after the earthquake. Unlike ordinary tides, which are short, frequent and surface level, tsunami, are barely noticeable in their deep-sea formation stage. At this point despite a wavelength up to 100 km, they are shallow in depth and move at hundreds of kilometer per hour.

If a quake hits Los Angeles, a Tsunami can reach Tokyo in a time less than a Jet would take to traverse the same distance. Some tsunamis can be very large. In coastal areas their height can be as great as 10m or more (30m in extreme cases), and they can move inland several hundred meters. All low-lying coastal areas can be struck by tsunamis. A tsunami consists of a series of waves. Often the first wave may not be the largest. The danger from subsequent tsunami waves can last for several hours after the arrival of the first wave. Tsunamis can move even 50 km per hour on coastal plain, faster than a person can run.

Sometimes a tsunami causes the water near the shore to recede, exposing the ocean floor. This is nature’s Tsunami warning and should be heeded. 1 Rupture in seafloor pushes water upwards starting the wave 2 Wave moves rapidly in deep ocean reaching speed of upto 500 km. /h ? ? ? ? 3 As the wave nears land its slows to about 45 km/h but squeezed upwards, increasing in height 4 Wave heads inland destroying all in its path ? The force of some tsunamis is Tsunami wave train formation: Seen in the figure is the rupture in the seafloor shunted in the vertical direction. This movement enormous.

Large rocks weighing displaces hundreds of cubic kilometres of the overlaying water, several tons along with boats and generating a massive tsunami, or sea surge. other debris can be moved inland several meters by tsunami wave activity. Homes and other buildings are destroyed. All floating material and water move with great force and can kill or injure people. ? Tsunamis can occur at any time of day or night. ? Tsunamis can travel up rivers and streams that lead to the ocean. 8 Detecting Tsunamis With the use of satellite technology it is possible to provide nearly immediate warning of potentially tsuna-migenic earthquakes.

Warning time depends upon the distance of the epicenter from the coast line. The warning includes predicted times at selected coastal communities where the tsunami could travel in a few hours. Coastal tidal gauges can stop tsunamis close to the shore, but they are useless in deep oceans. Tsunami detectors, linked to land by submarine cables, are deployed 50 odd kms. out at sea. ‘Tsunameters’ transmit warnings of buoys on the sea surface, which relay it to satellites. What to do BEFORE a Tsunami ? Find out if your home, school, workplace, or other frequently visited locations are in tsunami hazard prone areas.

Know the height of your street above sea level and the distance of your street from the coast or other high-risk waters. ? Myth… Tsunamis are caused by moon’s pull. ? Plan evacuation routes from your home, school, workplace or any other place you could be where tsunamis present a risk. Practice your evacuation routes Have disaster supplies on hand. Discuss tsunamis with your family Develop an emergency communication plan. In case family members are separated from one another during a tsunami have a plan for getting back together.

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the family contact (After a disaster, it is often easier to call long distance). ? ? ? ? If you are at risk from tsunamis, you should: ? ? ? Avoid building or living in buildings within several hundred feet of the coastline. Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a tsunami. Elevate coastal homes. Most tsunami waves are less than 10 feet (3 meters). Elevating your house will help reduce damage to your property from most tsunamis. Take precautions to prevent flooding. Have an engineer check your home and advise about ways to make it more resistant to tsunami water.

Use a local radio or television station for updated emergency information. Follow instructions issued by local authorities. Design Solution to Tsunami effect ? ? ? ? What to do DURING a Tsunami ? If you are at home and hear there is a tsunami warning, you should make sure your entire family is aware of the warning. Your family should evacuate the house if you live in a tsunami prone area. Evacuate to a safe elevated area and move in an orderly, calm and safe manner to the evacuation site. 9 ? Take your Disaster Supplies Kit. Having supplies will make you more comfortable during the evacuation.

If you evacuate, take your animals with you. If you are at the beach or near the ocean and you feel the earth shake, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for Tsunami warning to be announced. Stay away from rivers and streams that lead to the oceans. High multi-storey, reinforced concrete buildings (like hotels etc. ) are located in many low-lying coastal areas. The upper floors of these buildings can provide a safe place. Eyewitness… I saw the water disappearing and the water went back so far away and everyone wondered what it was – a full moon or what?

Then we saw the waves come, and we ran,” said Katri Seppanen a tourist from Finland ? ? ? ? Offshore reefs and shallow areas may help break the forces of tsunami waves, but large and dangerous waves can still be a threat to coastal residents in these areas. Staying away from low-lying coastal areas is the safest advice when there is a tsunami warning. Update yourself on emergency information or warning announced on radio and television from time to time. ? If you are on a boat or ship ? Since tsunami wave activity is imperceptible in the open ocean, do not return to port if you are at sea and a tsunami warning has been issued for your area.

Tsunami can cause rapid changes in water level and unpredictable dangerous currents in harbors and ports. If there is time to move your boat or ship from port to deep water (after you know a tsunami warning has been issued), you should weigh the following considerations: ? Most large harbors and ports are under the control of a harbor/port authority. These authorities direct operations during periods of increased readiness. Keep in contact with the authorities should a forced movement of vessels is directed. ? Smaller ports may not be under the control of a port authority.

If you are aware there is a tsunami warning and you have time to move your vessel to deep water, then you may do so in an orderly manner. Owners of small boats may find it safest to leave their boat at the pier and physically move to higher grounds. ? Damaging wave activity and unpredictable currents can affect harbors for a period of time following the initial tsunami impact on the coast. Contact the harbor authority before returning to port. What to do AFTER a Tsunami After a tsunami, you should: ? Continue using a radio or television for updated emergency information.

The tsunami may have damaged roads, bridges, or other places that may be unsafe. Check yourself for injuries and get first aid if necessary before helping injured or trapped persons. If someone needs to be rescued, call professionals with the right equipment to help. Many people might get killed or injured while trying to rescue others in flooded areas. ? ? Help people who require special assistance-infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them. ? 0 Avoid disaster areas. Your presence might hamper rescue and other emergency operations and put you at further risk from the residual effects of floods, such as contaminated water, crumbled roads, landslides, mudflows, and other hazards. ? Use the telephone only for emergency calls. Telephone lines are frequently overwhelmed in disaster situations. They need to be cleared for emergency calls to get through. Stay out of a building if water remains around it. Tsunami water, like floodwater, can undermine foundations, causing buildings to sink, floors to crack, or walls to collapse.

When re-entering buildings or homes, be very careful ! Tsunami-driven floodwater may have damaged buildings where you least expect it. Carefully watch every step you take. Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy shoes. The most common injury following a disaster is cut feet. Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights when examining buildings. Battery powered lighting is the safest and easiest to use and it does not present a fire hazard for the user, occupants, or building. DO NOT USE CANDLES. Examine walls, floors, doors, staircases, and windows to make sure that the building is not in danger of collapsing.

Inspect foundations for cracks or other damage. Cracks and damage to a foundation can render a building uninhabitable. Look for fire hazards. There may be broken or leaking gas lines, flooded electrical circuits, or submerged furnaces or electrical appliances. Flammable or explosive materials may have come from upstream. Fire is the most frequent hazard following floods. Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone outside quickly. Turn off the gas using the outside main valve if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home.

If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional. Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell burning insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice. Electrical equipment should be checked and dried before being returned to service. Check for damage to sewage and water lines. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber.

If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water from undamaged water heaters or by melting ice cubes that were made before the tsunami hit. Turn off the main water valve before draining water from these sources. Use tap water only if local health officials advise it is safe. Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into buildings with the water. Use a stick to poke through debris. Tsunami floodwater flushes snakes and animals out of their homes. Watch for loose plaster, drywall, and ceilings that could fall.

Open the windows and doors to help dry the building. Shovel mud before it solidifies. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? The above brief on Tsunami teach us clearly that we can no longer afford to ignore the forces of nature and it should serve as a wake up call to us to rebalance our relationship with our environment. Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them. 11 Reference for further reading: ? http://ioc. unesco. org/itsu/ IOC/UNESCO International Coordination group for the Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific (ICG/ITSU), Paris, France. http://quake. sgs. gov//tsunami/ Tsunamis and Earthquakes, USGS, USA. www. asc-india. org Amateur Seismic Centre is a comprehensive website carrying details of state wise seismicity for the country. This also has extensive reports on various past Earthquakes/ Tsunamis. http://www. prh. noaa. gov/pr/itic/ International Tsunami Information Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. http://www. tsunami. org/ Pacifc Tsunami Museum site. Includes answers to frequently asked questions, links, and information related to Pacific Ocean tsunamis. ? ? ? ? 1. Name three causes of Tsunami and explain its impact. 2.

Explain two different ways of detecting Tsunami. 3. State two preparedness measures each in pre, during and post tsunami scenario. 12 3. Survival Skills Search and Rescue being carried out by Village Volunteers in Gujarat The Orissa super cyclone of 1999 offers several lessons in disaster management. When the cyclone struck, western Orissa was already in the grip of a drought. It hit the landfall point near Paradip coast on October 29 with a wind velocity of 270 to 300 km per hour. That cyclone and the one that preceded it on October 17-18 together affected over 19 million people, including 3. million children. They affected 128 blocks in 14 districts. Search and Rescue measures were carried out on a massive scale. To cater to the requirement of huge human resource, volunteers were roped in from various walks of life. NCC and Civil Defence played a vital role in burning carcasses, distribution of relief and carrying our search and rescue operations. Looking at the need for large-scale volunteers in an emergency situation, this chapter aims at understanding the survival skills for various natural and man made hazards.

It also discusses various Search and Rescue skills and First Aid measures that can be carried out by “you” and “me” which would save many precious lives. Mankind has been coping with disasters since time immemorial. This chapter also gives an in-sight into the indigenous ways to cope up with disasters. 13 Search and Rescue Skills Whenever and where ever disasters strike the first responder for search and rescue always begins at the local levels: individual and neighborhood. It is a daunting task for the locals to rescue the victims due to lack of skilled human resources. Disasters or emergencies disrupt normal life.

We cannot stop hazards from happening but preparedness can make all the difference between life and death. People habitating in highly vulnerable pockets cope up with frequent disasters on the basis of their acumen, accumulated knowledge, accumulated skills and resources of the community and they have managed to survive the fury of the nature through centuries. In a post disaster scenario Search and Rescue has always played a major role in disaster management. It is on the strength, capability and effectiveness of the search and rescue team that more of human lives could be saved.

Victims being evacuated by the Air Force in the Tsunami hit area in Tamil Nadu Defining Search and Rescue Search and rescue is a technical activity rendered by an individual or a group of specially trained personnel, who rescue and attend to the casualties under adverse conditions, where life is at threat. Search and rescue is organized in close cooperation with the community and in a team approach. The search and rescue activities are undertaken in two manners: Community as Local Rescuers: With adequate safety measures, rescue activities are taken up immediately by the community after any disaster.

Outside Community Resources: Circumstances where the situation is grave and the local rescuers do not have required skills and equipments then specialist assistance from outside the community is required. The main Objectives of a Search and Rescue Team are to: ? Rescue the survivors trapped under the debris, from the damaged buildings or from a cyclonic storm surge. ? Provide First Aid services to the trapped survivors and to dispatch them for medical care. ? Take immediate necessary actions, as for temporary support and protection to endangered collapsed buildings to structures. Hand-over, recover and dispose-off the bodies of the deceased. ? Train, demonstrate and raise awareness on how to use the local materials for rescuing the community people. 14 1. 1 Team Composition Honest, emotionally sound, professionally decisive, volunteers male and female, having good physical condition, with demonstrated capacity and willingness to work in an emergency, could constitute a rescue team. Volunteers, of both sex, above the age of 18 years with a minimum education level (reading and writing the local language) can be a part of the search and rescue team. Preference would be given to ex-military or army personnels.

Maggie an 18 year old young girl from Pilloba – one among several small islands in Nicobar, belongs to the fishing community and is an only daughter. On Sunday morning she was woken up by the roar of the sea. She felt her home giving way. She quickly clutched on to a large bamboo raft, and shoved her ailing parents onto it. She held on to it tight. “So did several others”, says Maggie. She did scream at everyone to hold as tight as she was doing. That was the only way to escape the fury of the giant waves. The Coast Guard commander confirms: “The waves were well above 10 meters high. They sucked in anything in their path. He says 44 persons from Pilloba were found hanging on the rafts on the violent sea when Coast Guard vessels stopped them. Maggie says “I did what I could do for my dear villagers. I knew I would survive this way, and if I could, the others would too. ” 1. 2 What are the duties of a Rescuer? The first job of a rescuer is to assess the area so as to save time, which would help in effective response. It is very important for a rescuer to collect information on the extent of damage, approach to the damage area, particulars of the damage and understand if any further damage is likely to occur.

The local leaders or the people residing in that particular locality provide all this information. Follow three key principles during the survey: (a) Look: See physically the incidents and make a thorough visual School students being trained by Fire Services on Search and Rescue inspection. (b) Listen: Listen to all the sources of information – from the community, Government records and media reports. (c) Feel: Feel convinced regarding the fact, the gravity of the dangers and our own capacity to respond. 15 1. 3 Plan Rescue is a team effort that needs coordination and planning amongst the members for an optimum response operation.

After the assessment, the Rescue Team would be in a position to adequately plan the Rescue Operation based on the following specifications: ? Infra red cameras help in (a) Manpower (b) Equipment (c) Method locating people under the rubble by detecting the (a) Manpower—The Rescuers can use the skilled manpower if body heat of the victim. available and also take the help of the local community if required. ? Acoustic devices can detect faint noises from (b) Equipment: Ropes, ladders, bamboos or stick, stretchers, boats the rubble. etc are essential to rescue the affected victims.

Sometimes these rescue materials are not available to the rescue team at ? Bio radars are the site of emergency. Therefore the rescuers use locally equipments used for the available resources like barrels, tinned cans, tubes etc. location of marooned victims in flood-affected (c) Method: There are various other methods, which would be areas. useful for rescuing the victims. The adequate method of rescue is to be determined depending upon the nature of the casualty, the nature of the injuries and the position in which the casualty is found. Do you know some of the indigenous methods of rescue?

When you visit different states do understand the hazard that they are prone to and the indigenous ways to cope up with them. Be ‘BRAVE’ and ‘STAY CALM’ if you have to rescue people 16 PRECAUTIONS Some precautions need to be taken while rescuing a person from a building in the following situations. Before entering a building ? Observe the construction of the building and collapsed portions ? Check whether the walls need any support ? Be careful for possible hazards, which may occur from weak structures When entering the damaged building ? Use a helmet ?

Work in pairs – do not move alone ? Listen for possible sounds ? Keep calling ? Do not touch or disturb any damaged walls or blocked doors which are broken and/or projected. ? Treat all naked wires as live wires. While moving inside the damaged building ? Do not ignite fire. ? Keep close to the walls ? Be careful in all of your movements. ? Do not pull anything projecting out from the collapsed portions. Do’s for Search and Rescue Operations ? Keep calm ? Make a thorough assessment prior to rescue ? Keep as near to the wall on damaged stairs as possible. Take maximum safety while removing debris from the vicinity of the casualty. ? Proper examination of the casualty is a must. ? Provide First Aid, check and facilitate proper breathing ? Cover the patient with a blanket or tarpaulin etc. and protect the casualty from further injury ? Use sharpened tools carefully when moving the casualties. ? Loosen the clothing and keep the patient lying down and warm. ? Give artificial respiration, if required, and control bleeding Don’ts ? Do not panic ? Do not start rescue work until you are equipped with adequate information ?

Do not pull timber out of the wreckage indiscriminately. You may cause further collapse. ? Do not carelessly move an injured casualty unless the person is in immediate danger. ? Do not expose to further possible injury or adverse conditions. ? Unless absolutely necessary do not crawl over the debris or on the damaged structure. ? Do not touch live electric wiring ? Do not violate safety measures 17 After rescuing, the victim has to be provided First Aid and every attempt has to be made to see to it that the condition of the victim doesn’t deteriorate. You can have hand made stretchers also!

Try it along with your friends. Temporary arrangements need to be made for seating the injured and this can be done with the help of two persons using their hands to form a seat. With this the patient can be shifted to a short distance. (a) Upper Garment as stretchers: The upper garment can be used as stretcher with the help of rods. Close the front openings (buttons/zips) and pull the sleeves inwards. Insert rods through the sleeves in succession for three or four garments. (b) Ladder/rope as stretcher: Making stretchers out of ropes Ladders/ropes are very commonly available.

These can be used as stretchers and if you have accessibility to rope and two rods or only rope this can also be used as stretchers. ACTIVITY 18 The class can be divided into five groups and each group need to spell out the equipments that they would require if they had to be a part of the Search and Rescue Team. Group A: – Cyclone Group B: – Earthquake Group C: – Floods Group D: – Fire Group E: – Landslides First Aid The Encyclopedia Britannica states First Aid as “measures to be taken immediately after an accident not with an idea to cure but in order to prevent further harm being done”.

It uses the available human and material resources at the site of accident to provide initial care to the victim of injury or sudden illness until more advance care is provided. First Aid has the following main objectives: (i) To preserve life (ii) To prevent the victim’s condition from worsening (iii) To promote recovery Take a moment to think clearly as to what “YOU” should do. If you think you can take appropriate action during the emergency then do so, but if you are in any doubt then don’t act as a “HERO”. Do not hesitate to ask others to assist you or to raise the alert. The Goals of First Aid are: 1.

To restore and maintain vital functions. The ABC of basic life support (Airway, Breathing, and Circulation) are always the first priority. ? ? ? Airway must be open so that air containing oxygen enters the body Breathing must take place so that oxygen passes through the lungs into the blood stream The heart must circulate the oxygen carrying blood 2. To prevent further injury or deterioration 3. To reassure the victim and make him or her as comfortable as possible Action Plan This Action Plan is a vital aid to the first aider in assessing whether the victim has any life-threatening conditions and if any immediate first aid is necessary.

They are ‘DRABC’ D – Check for DANGER ? To you ? To others ? To victim R – Check RESPONSE ? Is victim conscious? ? Is victim unconscious? A – Check AIRWAY ? Is airway clear of objects? ? Is airway open? 19 Make your own First Aid Kit: ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Cotton wool Adhesive tape Crepe bandage Sterile Dressing Triangular Bandage Thermometer Scissors Glove Soap Pain reliever Antacid ORS Packets B – Check for BREATHING ? Is chest rising and falling? ? Can you hear victim’s breathing? ? Can you feel the breath on your cheek? C – Check for CIRCULATION ? Can you feel a pulse? Can you see any obvious signs of life? FIG 1: Assessing the casualty / Recovery position 20 Fainting or losing consciousness Fainting is a brief loss of consciousness and is the result of an interference with the function of the brain. There are many causes of unconsciousness, the most common of which are: fainting, head injury, epilepsy, stroke, poisoning, diabetes and conditions associated with lack of oxygen. If you have seen a person fainting then: Do’s ? Catch the person before he/she falls ? Pinch the person and see if she moves or opens her eyes ? Examine the injuries and causes of unconsciousness ?

Tilt head back and keep arms at right angle to body ? Raise the legs 8 – 12 inches. This promotes blood flow to the brain. ? Loosen any tight clothing ? Keep the victim warm if it is cold outside ? Keep a record of the casualty’s condition Don’ts ? Don’t give the patient anything to eat or drink ? Don’t allow the person who has just fainted to get up until the victim is fully conscious ? If the area is warm, don’t crowd around the victim 21 Burns A burn is damage to the skin caused by contact with dry heat. It may be caused by fire, flames, steam, hot liquids, hot metal, sunlight, electricity or chemicals.

The degree of burn varies: (i) First Degree (Superficial) – Involves only top layer of the skin and is red and dry and the burn is generally painful. The area may swell. Most burns are first degree burns. (ii) Second degree (Partial – Thickness) – Involves both the epidermis and dermis. The area is red and blisters may open and weep fluid, making the skin appear wet. These types of burns are usually painful and the area often swells. (iii) Third Degree (Full Thickness) – Destroys both the layers of the skin with muscles, bones, blood vessels and nerves. These burns may look brown or charred with tissues underneath sometimes appearing white. 2 Do’s ? Immediately immerse the burnt area in cool water or by applying clothes soaked in cool water. ? Remove jewellery and constrictive clothing before swelling or blisters occurs. ? Cover the area with a dry, sterile dressing and not cotton or other fluffy material. ? Drop, Cover and Roll if caught fire or cover the person with a blanket immediately Don’ts ? Don’t place a burn under extreme water pressure ? Don’t remove the cloth that is stuck to the burnt area. ? Don’t apply butter ointment, oil, ice in the area affected Frost-bite Frost- bite occurs when body tissues freeze after exposure to below zero temperatures.

The signs and symptoms include white, waxy looking skin that is firm to the touch but the tissue underneath feels soft and pain followed by numbness. Do’s ? Cover frostbitten toes, ears with warm hands. ? The area affected can be warmed by breathing on them or placing them in a warm area of the body or by dipping the affected area in warm water (40 degree centigrade). ? Cover the area affected. Don’ts ? Do not rub as tiny ice crystals in the tissues may cause more damage. ? Never rub snow on the area as this may cause further freezing and do not apply direct heat as this may re-warm the area too quickly. Do not let the patient walk. ? Do not break blisters if any. Bleeding Cuts, scrapes and puncture can result in bleeding. Severe bleeding can be life threatening. To stop bleeding restore to: ? Direct pressure ? Elevation – Lie victim down and raise the injured part above the heart and handle gently if you suspect a fracture. The blood gets thicker after bleeding for a few minutes. This is called clotting. Clotting slows down bleeding. Bandaging is done to stop bleeding and to stop dirt infecting the wound. Change the bandage at least once a day and tetanus injection needs to be taken if required. 23 Warning ?

If bleeding from a limb doesn’t stop, apply pressure with hand to pressure point. ? If embedded object in wound, apply pressure either side of wound and place pad around it before bandaging. ? Wear gloves, if possible to guard against infection ? If the victim becomes unconscious, follow DRABC Electrocution Electricity can be very dangerous unless used with care. When an accident occurs with electricity, the First Aider must remember that it is not safe to touch the casualty until the power has been turned off. The signs and symptoms include surface and internal burns and breathing and heart beat stopped.

The best way to treat the person electrocuted is to cut off the power supply and remove the victim from the source with non-conductive material. Carry out the DRABC exercise and cover the area affected with clean dressing and send him/her to the hospital immediately if necessary. REMEMBER…Never approach the casualty in a high-voltage zone, as the first aider might endanger his own life Snake Bite Most of the snakes are harmless. It is because of our fear that snakes generally attack us. Snakebites generally occur on the limbs and most often on the legs. Always assume the bite to be from a venomous snake.

Suspected snakebite must be treated with a pressure immobilization bandage. 24 Do’s ? Keep the bitten limb below the level of the heart ? Allow the affected area to bleed freely for 15 – 30 seconds ? If the bite is on the limb, apply a firm roller bandage two inches away from the wound. ? Wash the affected area with soap and disinfect the area ? The bandage should be loose enough for a finger to slip through ? Constantly check airway, breathing and blood circulation ? Start resuscitation if needed but see to it that there are no wounds in the mouth. Suck it out but do not swallow – spit the venom out.

Rinse your mouth afterwards. ? Shift the patient immediately to the hospital and see to it that the person is at rest during transport. ? Stay calm. ? Instruct the person to avoid all movement on the area affected. Fractures and Sprains Fracture refers to an injury affecting the skeleton and can be caused by the application of direct and indirect force. The general signs and symptoms are: ? Pain at or near the site of injury increased by movement. ? Movement may be difficult or impossible ? Swelling and later bruising of the injured part ? Deformity at the site of the fracture ? Shock may occur 25

General First aid that could be given to a person is ? Check the danger, response, airway, breathing and the blood circulation of the victim (DRABC) ? Always control severe bleeding before immobilizing any fractures ? Place sufficient padding to support fracture site ? Immobilize fracture sites ? Do not force bones back into the wound ? Give proper padding before the patient is shifted to the hospital ? Apply ice pack on the affected area to reduce pain and control swelling ? Treat to prevent shock Poisoning Poisoning is any substance that causes injury, illness or death when introduced into the body.

Ingested poisons are introduced through the mouth by eating or drinking poisonous substances. Inhaled poisons are introduced through the lungs by inhaling industrial gases, fumes from fire, chemical vapors and petrol and engine exhaust. Absorbed poisons are absorbed through the skin via contact with poisonous sprays such as pesticides and insecticides. Do’s ? Check the danger, response, airway, breathing and the blood circulation of the victim ? Give milk or water to dilute down the poison ? Monitor vital signs and prevent shock ? Observe the amount and colour of vomitus ?

Check for foreign matter in his or her mouth and remove it so that he/she can breath freely ? Place the patient in the recovery position and wait for medical assistance. ? Send to hospital Don’ts ? Don’t induce vomiting Heat Stroke It strikes suddenly with very little warning. When the body’s cooling system fails, the body temperature rises fast. This creates an emergency condition. The signs are: the temperature of the body is very high, hot and dry. The skin is red with no sweating and fast pulse rate, dilated pupils, confusion and sometimes there might be loss of consciousness. Do’s ?

Lower the body temperature by removing/loosing the clothing or fanning the person. ? Put ice pack or cold compresses to the neck, under the armpits and to the groin area. ? Drink lots of fluid and those who perspire more should drink as much fluid as possible. ? Stay away from places that are hot. 26 Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) ORS has been a lifesaver in case of dehydration (loss of salt and water in the body). The ORS is prepared by dissolving a pinch of salt in a glass of water (the amount of salt added should just be enough for the water to taste like tear drops) and one tablespoon of sugar to it.

ORS helps in restoring back the electrolyte balance of our body and re-hydrate it. You too can now make it at home when you feel you are de-hydrated Dog Bite The aim of First Aid in case of dog bite is to prevent rabies, to reduce the risk of infection and to get medical aid as soon as possible. ? Wipe the saliva away from the wound using a clean cloth or handkerchief. ? Do not come in contact with the saliva that gets wiped away. ? Wash the wound thoroughly with plenty of soap and water. ? Cover the wound with a dry, sterile dressing. ? Get medical aid or send the patient to the hospital as soon as possible.

Reference for further reading: ? Report on ‘Training Programme on Search and Rescue for the members of the Village Disaster Management Teams, by Disaster Mitigation and Management Centers, Government of Uttaranchal. ? Training manual of Indian Red Cross. ? http://www. frontlineonnet. com/fl1805/18050350. htm 1. What is the main objective of Search and Rescue team? Define the team composition. 2. Identify two indigenous ways to rescue people in case of Floods. 3. Name three different ways to make a stretcher with the locally available resources. 4.

Explain the goals of First Aid. 5. What are the causes of fainting and what are the measures that need to be takeup if you see someone who has fainted? 6. Identify two signs and symptoms of sprain and fracture. 27 4. Alternative Communication Systems… during disasters In Monsoon-2004, severe flood situations in the States of Assam and Bihar caused major devastation. Many district head quarters got totally cut-off from the State head quarter and neighboring districts due to submerged telephone exchanges or damaged cables and disrupted roads and railways communication.

In the worst affected districts the need for relief and rescue operation could not be communicated to the State head quarters. Realizing this, State Government requested National Disaster Management Division of the Government of India to immediately send the emergency coordination kits containing satellite phones to establish communication links among the severely affected districts and state headquarters. From the above case study, we see that during any major disaster or emergency situation, the communication links are totally disrupted.

Therefore, it is crucially important to have completely functional communication links among Government authorities at various levels to provide adequate assistance to the affected population. This chapter tries to explain various basic telecommunication facilities, need for alternative communication systems during the large-scale natural disaster/emergency situations, and modes of emergency communication systems including satellite based communication systems. 28 Can you think of today’s world without the telecommunication links? Quite difficult, right? The telecommunication links have become a vital part of our daily life.

Most popular means of communication is the public wired telephone, which is known as Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) line. This is the prime network connecting all Government and Private offices, police stations, fire stations, hospitals and majority of homes and business places by transmitting and receiving voice, fax and data. The usage of Wireless phones such as mobile (cellular) phones have also become widespread in recent times. Why does telecommunication network get disrupted or jammed in event of a major natural disaster or emergency situation?

Do You Know… Generally, a perfectly working PSTN system is designed so that no more than 5% of the phones connected to it can be talking at the same time. During a crisis, there may be too much traffic for it to handle as ‘Everyone wants to speak to everyone’ , and hence the network gets jammed. Unfortunately at the time of major natural disasters such as earthquake, cyclone, flood and landslide, the regular telecommunication infrastructure of public wired and wireless (mobile) telephones get severely damaged and become nonfunctional.

This mainly happens because of the damaged cables and cellular transmission towers or disrupted power supply to operate the telephone exchanges and cellular transmission towers. The wireless radio communication network of Police and Civil authorities also gets affected due to damaged transmission towers. During this emergency situation, the communication traffic goes beyond its capacity which leads to congestion of the network or in worst case, complete failure of network. Do we really need to have alternative communication systems, in case the normal communication lines fail?

Yes, we do. At the time of any major disaster or emergency situation, it is extremely necessary to have the communication links operational among Government authorities at various levels and the people/ volunteers working in the disaster affected areas to help the affected population. It becomes imperative to ensure that the critical needs of search and rescue operations, relief and response measures are communicated among the authorities of State Government, local administration, voluntary organizations and the affected population.

This situation calls for reliable alternate communication links, which ensures the rapid movement of the right resources to the right place at the right time. It may also happen that some severely affected areas get completely disconnected from other parts of the world. In such situations, the urgent needs of the disaster-affected population are not known or communicated to the responsible Government authorities, voluntary organizations and unaffected populations in the vicinity. This may lead to severe losses in terms of human lives, livestock and property.

The prime communication networks of Government of India. NIC: National Informatics Centre (NIC) is a premiere Science & Technology organization of the Government of India in this field. It functions through a nationwide information and communication technology (ICT) network called NICNET. 29 BSNL: The Department of Telephone Operations, Government of India became a corporation on October 1, 2000 and was christened Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). Today, BSNL is a leading telecommunication company and the largest public sector undertaking of India.

It has a network of over 45 million lines covering 5000 towns with over 35 million telephone connections. Its responsibilities include improvement of the quality of telecom services, expansion of telecom network, introduction of new telecom services in all villages and instilling confidence among its customers. Modes for Emergency Communication RADIO COMMUNICATIONS In the scenario where normal telephone and mobile phone network is disrupted or such services have never existed in the disaster affected area, we need to find out other reliable means of communicating urgent messages from the site to shorter and longer distances.

The first obvious choice is to establish a wireless radio communication network limited to the area of operations. Any wireless communication link is based on the Radio waves either using the terrestrial or satellite systems. A radio wave is an electromagnetic wave propagated by an antenna. Radio waves have different frequencies, and by tuning a radio receiver to a specific frequency you can pick up a specific signal. Hand held wireless sets (walky talky) are considered to be more suitable for local communication in case of such emergencies.

Amateur (Ham) Radio In the event of major disasters/emergencies, it has been experienced that Amateur Radios have worked successfully when no other communications worked. Amateur radio, also known as ‘Ham radio’, does not refer to special kind of radio but to a special set of rules which apply to certain frequencies as defined by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and regulated in India by Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing, Ministry of Communications. The aid down rules allow these frequencies to be used only for research, education and personal purpose. The word Amateur implies the use of radio communications for non-commercial purposes. Amateur Radio operation does not use the ground based infrastructure, and has limited power requirements which can be easily met by batteries and generators and thus work successfully in emergencies. Amateur radio is getting popular in India as a creative hobby and there are around 15,000 licensed Amateur Radio Operators (Hams) in India.

Amateur Radio is an unbeatable way of learning about radio communications, and not only will you learn much, but you would also be able to help at the time of emergency. Licensed Amateur Radio Operators are known as Amateurs or Hams. Most Governments expect their Amateurs to provide emergency communication support in case of an emergency and Amateurs always come forward to provide their services voluntarily for establishing crucial 30 communications among the emergency response managers. Such Amateur volunteers provided commendable services during the Orissa super cyclone in 1999 and Gujarat earthquake in 2001.

In efforts to popularize the Amateur Radio in the country and develop a trained force of licensed Amateurs, Department of Information Technology has initiated a nation wide programme to establish Amateur Radio Stations at various places and provide the necessary training for interested Amateur Station Operators. SATELLITE BASED COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS HAM operator helps families connect with tsunami victims New Delhi, December 28 . The Tribune Satellite based Communication systems mean communication systems intended for users on the Earth but which have some equipment in space, i. e. a satellite.

Different satellites carry out different jobs, such as taking weather pictures or finding accurate positions on earth in terms of latitudes and longitudes. Communications satellites are essentially radio relay stations in space and are sometimes referred to as COMSATs. The other words you may hear are SATCOMS for satellite communications in general and SATPHONE for a satellite phone terminal. The most important feature of a communications satellite is the transponder – a radio that receives a conversation at one frequency and then amplifies it and re-transmits it back to Earth on another frequency.