Disaster management system: an integrated approach using satellite communication, education and remote sensing
Space Applications Centre (ISRO)
Disasters are reported of varying intensity and occurrence ranging from less frequent like earthquake, volcanic eruption to more frequent like floods, drought, cyclones, landslides besides industrial and epidemics. On a global basis it has been observed that there has been an overall increase largely due to changes in sinks of heat resulting from the overall warming in the tropics and cooling in the polar regions. Some of the resultant affects, including the man-made are reduced forest cover, advancing desert, cropland under conditions of water logging, overgrazing and increased salinization. While dealing with the disasters, one of the key element one talks about is the mitigation strategy. This means taking action to reduce the impact of disasters that can be taken prior to its occurrence. This includes preparedness and short-long term risk reduction measures. The best-known example of mitigation is that of Andhra Pradesh after 1977 cyclone wherein use of INSAT system and cyclone tracking led to early warning. The result was substantial reduction in the loss of human lives and livestock. Typically, the disaster management system addresses the three distinct phases viz pre-disaster planning i.e. early warning, during disaster activities (=response) and post disaster (includes relief, rescue and rehabilitation). Satellite communication can be used for early warning besides creating awareness and education in the disaster prone areas. One of the early warning systems developed at the center is the Digital Cyclone Warning Dissemination System (DCWDS). Such a system is being planned to be deployed at IMD, Delhi and other vulnerable areas on the coast. Communication facilities can be set up for rescue and relief operation purposes. The WLL – VSAT system has provision for handsets, which...