Beyond a Natural disaster – The need to think about being prepared always!!!

As efforts progress for the immediate relief to the Kerala Flood devastation, it will be a while before normalcy is attained and the damages are addressed. At this juncture there are some (not so immediate but extremely important) things we need to be prepare for.

I am putting some thoughts I have in my mind and in the coming days I will be trying to reach out to some of you and see how we can work towards making this happen. Already some of my friends have started getting people together via WhatsApp to talk on how we can all help in being more prepared. Please do share your thoughts on the site and any links to suggestions or organizations we can connect with.

This is not a complete list.. but I am trying to add my thoughts as they come….

  1. While we should do everything to foresee or stop natural disasters, it is not enough and not always effective. Such disasters can pierce the veil of what we know or try to avoid and strike us. The only solution to reduce the damage or plan for fast and quicker efficient relief operations is to be prepared.
  2. We need to start publicizing and promoting the need for having effective and adequate disaster relief kits in various places like Schools, Apartment buildings, Hospitals, Public buildings, malls and such places where people might come to and be stranded.
  3. We should also have the cadence of having individual kits in houses. There should be a low cost survival kit available and affordable for people across the economic spectrum.
  4. We should have disaster relief training for adults and kids through schools as well as Govt. and other private institutions both to participate in relief as well as being prepared. Disaster relief should be part of curriculum.
  5. We need to make people aware of the etiquette to be maintained while a disaster strikes, like agreeing to leave houses to safe zones, being prepared to avail a relief effort.
  6. People should be made aware of what not to do in such situations like not to waste time for selfies and in no way do anything that obstructs relief efforts, Not to pass judgements and spread hate messages as well as sharing negativity, confusion and pessimism.
  7. Create prepared on-demand action teams within local areas that can group efficiently and kickstart quickly in such needs.
  8. Create technology innovation cells within colleges where students can work on projects that could help in disaster relief. And connect them to such global challenges as well as have a way to promote such student efforts to the world so it can be supported by people across the world. Create a platform for students across the world to think on solutions to big challenges.
  9. Create a Government cell (or use existing offices/branches) to promote innovation specifically aimed at addressing such challenges. We have so much talent that remains untapped.
  10. Understand what a ‘relief infrastructure’ need could be that we should be prepared for, like boats, helicopter, vehicles, people, and so on.
  11. Have a public forum to create lessons learned so we can collate information to create several level of plans where we can know the gaps in unpreparedness when such a disaster strikes. There is individual learning and collective learning.
  12. And don’t forget what happened and how the people emerged together putting an end to all differences they harbored at times of ease and together helped one another. See how that can be continued on.
  13. And acknowledge and appreciate and reward and not forget the people from various walks of life, many in the tail end of the economic spectrum, who rose up to the need and without thinking of themselves and helped others.

I will keep adding as I think of more….


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