Sunday, December 27, 2009

Communication Facilities for Disaster Management

Ham Radi0

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Ham Radio is also know as Amateur radio.It is a community of people that use radio transmitters and receivers to communicate with other Amateur radio operators. If you were to ask a dozen different amateurs what ham radio meant to them chances are you would get 12 different answers. Amateur radio operators are often called ham radio operators or simply “hams” and frequently the public is more familiar with this term than with the legal term Radio Amateur. The source of this nickname is for all practical purposes lost from the beginning.

Communication is a major bottleneck in case of any major disaster particularly when the traditional network system already in force brake down. In order to strengthen communications, it has been decided that police network (POLNET) will also be used fordisaster management . For this purpose POLNET communication facility will be extended to District Magistrates, Sub Divisional Magistrates as well as the Control Rooms.

For emergency communication, mobile satellite based units which can be transported to the site of the disaster are being procured. A group was constituted to draw a comprehensive communication plan fordisaster management and the report has since been received. This provides for a dedicated communication system for disaster management with built in redundancies.

Besides the satellite, communication and education can play a proactive role in mitigation through awareness about the types of disaster and as to how prevention measures can be taken up.

There is also a Satellite based communication system called the Cyclone Warning Dissemination Systems (CWDS) for transmission of warnings. There are 250 such cyclone-warning sets installed in the cylone prone areas of east and west coast. The general public, the coastal residents and fishermen, are also warned through the Government mechinery and broadcast of warnings through AIR and Television.

What agencies need to be involved ?

  • Police
  • Fire
  • Ambulance
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Doctors
  • Red Cross
  • Blood Banks
  • Marine operations (are there bodies of water?)
  • Coast guard
  • Department of transportation
  • Departments of environment (if there is clean-up involved)
  • Airlines
  • Rail companies
  • Local transit companies
  • Bus companies (in case of evacuation)
  • Border services – if applicable

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