In its continuous efforts towards reducing the adverse impact of the imminent heat wave across different parts of the country, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the Government of Andhra Pradesh is conducting a two-day national workshop on Preparedness, Mitigation and Management of Heat Wave in Vijaywada today.
The workshop is aimed at sensitising States to the need of preparing and implementing their Heat Wave Action Plans in line with NDMA’s ‘Guidelines for Preparation of Action Plan – Prevention and Management of Heat-Wave’, first prepared in 2016, updated in 2017 and shared with all heat wave-prone States and stakeholders for implementation.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri R.K. Jain, Member, NDMA, said that with advance planning and preparedness, and active participation of all stakeholders, heat related deaths as well as illnesses could be brought down as was evident from the reduced number of casualties in 2016 and 2017. “Our approach should be to have zero tolerance to heat wave deaths this year. We have ample time to revise our plan, launch awareness campaigns, and take preventive steps.”
Giving a presentation on past experiences, achievement and lessons learnt inprevention and management of heat waves, Dr. V. Thiruppugazh, Joint Secretary, NDMA, emphasised on the importance of local threshold determination and a granular data base.
The first technical session on Heat Wave Action Plan and Risk Reduction focused on the development of Heat Action Plans for prevention and management of heat waves. It discussed the nuances of fine-tuning Action Plans to cater to localized needs and solutions. This session also highlighted the features which need to be integrated into the built environment to mitigate the impact of heat wave.
The session on Early Warning and Forecasting of Heat Wave was chaired by Shri Kamal Kishore, Member, NDMA. It focused on the importance of area-specific short-range forecasting, extended forecasting along with operational issues of cooperation, coordination and dissemination of early warning.
During the third session, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Odisha and Maharashtra shared their experiences and best practices to help other States prepare their Heat Wave Action Plans. These States, which are among the most vulnerable, have been able to largely mitigate the impact of heat waves with better preparedness and timely intervention.