Odisha to strengthen disaster shelters

Bhubaneswar: With Odisha being frequently hit by natural disasters like flood and cyclone, the state government today decided to turn the cyclone and flood shelters into social hubs for strengthening disaster preparedness and awareness at the community level.
The decision in this regard was taken at the meeting of the State Executive Committee (SEC) Meeting for Disaster Management presided over by Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra.
As part of enhancing community capacity for disaster response, the SEC decided to train interested student volunteers in fire fighting services.
Reviewing the project proposals submitted by different departments for grants from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), Mohapatra said the projects must be for repair and restoration of damaged infrastructure for which fund provided for regular repair and maintenance is insufficient.
MCSs (Multipurpose Cyclone Shelters) and MFS (Multipurpose Flood Shelters) constructed by different agencies would be developed by utilising funds from the 13th Finance Commission Grant, the SEC resolved.
The Committee has approved a revised Action Plan of around Rs 6 crore to be utilised in capacity building. The basic activities of the capacity building will include strengthening MCS and MFS for providing better shelter facilities during disasters, enhance capacity of the community members for effective management of disaster and equipping MCS and MFS to act as social hubs during disasters.
Volunteers will be trained in search and rescue operations, first aid, psychological first aid to trauma patients, water and sanitation.
Women SHG members will be trained on disaster risk reduction, disaster survival skill, relief management and personal hygiene during disaster.
While the volunteers will be trained on post disaster need assessment, teachers will also be trained on school safety during disaster. The programme will run in all the MCS and MFS constructed by OSDMA (Odisha State Disaster Management Authority). At present 388 MCS and MFS are under different stages of completion in the state.