Tag Archives: Disaster Awareness

Gorkha Earthquake 2015: Preparedness Lessons

Recalling the immediate moments after the major shaking of 25th April, 2015, Ms. Sita Shrestha a resident of Thankot, Chandragiri Municipality, Nepal, said “As soon as the shaking stopped, I took my son and daughter out of the house along with our Go-Bag”. She knew that Go-Bag was important but had never imagined that it could be so much useful under those chaotic circumstances.

She further added “At the time, many items out of the Go-Bag were very useful such as radio, tarpaulin, blanket, soap, Dettol, medications, torch-light, tooth pastes and even playing cards”. She was happy that playing cards kept the young boys awake in the nights which was good for the safety of the area. “This single Go Bag, I had stored, had been so useful to many of us. I thought what if everyone had their own Go Bag?” asked Sita rhetorically.

Mr. Hariman Singh Dangol, who lives nearby the renowned Nuwakot Palace in Nuwakot District, is an elderly local priest at the Bhairavi Temple close to the palace. Recalling the learnings from his old folks, Mr. Dangol actively demonstrated his earthquake-safe behavior that he applied inside the temple when the ground started shaking on that fateful day of the Gorkha Earthquake.

Mr. Manoj Tamang, a local resident of Laharepauwa VDC in Rasuwa District, mentioned that his younger brother was studying in the ground floor of a two-story house on the day of the Gorkha Earthquake. “He could run and go out but he chose to go under the bed during the earthquake; he learned this at his school” said Manoj painfully. On that day, Manoj lost his brother to the quake as the house collapsed and crushed the bed.

From Bidur Municipality-3 in Nuwakot District, Ms. Samita Dangol, a local shopkeeper, revealed her brave story and how she was able to rescue her two younger sisters even after the two-story house collapsed miserably. “The two school girls saved their lives taking shelter under the bed on the 2nd floor. This wouldn’t be possible if the bed was fragile or box-type” said Samita convincingly….

(NOTE: Please click the link below to read the entire article “’Go-Bag’ & ‘DCH’: Enough said, let’s make it right!”)

“Go-Bag” & “DCH”: Enough said, let’s make it right!

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Disaster Preparedness: At Personal & Community Level

ReadyCommunity(Photo Source: Google)

Disaster preparedness at personal and community level is very important in today’s time. The message of preparedness and its importance is also closely intertwined with our communities, schools, businesses or our social education offshoots in general. Basically the awareness message is usually designed so as to trigger a plain conversation or may be a simple discussion within our family or neighborhoods to keep us prepared and equipped against disasters including earthquake, flood, fire, landslide, lightening, etc.

Further the outcome of such root level interactions would probably pose some basic questions such as, what are the locally occurring natural or human caused hazards?, what are the vulnerabilities faced by our houses, schools, organizations, businesses, neighborhood or community?, what could be the level of impact in the event of a real disaster?, what supplies, equipment and human resources we might need to mitigate the damages and loss?, Can we have insurance against our losses?, Are there any precautions we could take?, Any local emergency response agencies available nearby that we could contact or coordinate with?, do we know who to contact and how they could help us?, etc.

Series of such sequential questions, pertaining to the safety and well-being of our local communities, should then drive the participants find the majority of solutions within their own discussions and probably in reach….

(NOTE: Please click the link below to read the entire article “Driver of Disaster Resilience”)

Driver of Disaster Resilience

Also Read:

(Part II) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part II) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part I) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

(Part I) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

Fire Prevention and Fire Protection – Air Pollution in Kathmandu – Construction PPE – Carbon Monoxide poisoning – Electrical Safety – Fall Protection in General Industry– Fearsome 4 of Construction Safety – Fall Restrain System Vs. Fall Arrest System – Respiratory Protection – Portable Ladder Safety – Confined Space Entry – Initiating First Aid/CPR – Are you too busy… – If you have $86,400 in your account… – Safety professionals have job prospects as Insurance Risk Surveyor or Loss Assessor

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Disaster Risks in Nepal: Perception Review

PERCEPTION(Photo Source: Google)

Prior to the Gorkha Earthquake 2015, National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal (NSET), under the Public-Private Partnership for Earthquake Risk Management (3PERM) program sponsored by the USAID/OFDA, conducted multiple earthquake risk perception surveys of various private-sector stakeholders in Nepal, during the years 2013 thru 2015.

The core objective of the survey was to discover the industries’ individual-level as well as organization-level earthquake/disaster risk perception. The participants included various private sector business personnel as well as core business stakeholders from diverse fields such as manufacturing, trading, retailers, pharmaceuticals, construction, telecommunications, commerce & industries.

Post-Earthquake, in 2015, another round of such earthquake risk perception survey was carried out in as many as 15 private-sector manufacturing houses including brick, cement, reinforcement steel, CGI Sheet, GI Wire and four different construction companies to understand their present-day perception of disaster risks, the level of disaster preparedness in their organizations and major obstacle faced by the industries while moving in the direction of building an organization-level Disaster Risk Management (DRM) system.

riskmanagement(Photo Source: Google)

In this study, the pre and post-survey results were then carefully compared, analyzed and presented graphically. Altogether, around 500 competent individuals participated throughout the entire survey process. A major portion of the actual survey questionnaire-set, listed below in Table 1, has been discussed in this article.

Table 1. Earthquake/Disaster risk perception survey questionnaireTable 1

  • An encouraging 73% of business circle thought that the earthquake preparedness activities could help them face disasters at personal as well as at organizational level. After the Gorkha Earthquake, the perception for the need of earthquake preparedness has certainly gone up. 87% of the construction sector businesses think that preparedness can help them in the event of a real disaster. Please see below Figure 1 and 2.

Figure 1. Before the Gorkha Earthquake 2015Figure 1

Figure 2. After the Gorkha Earthquake 2015Figure 2

  • A total of 78% private sector survey-responders acknowledged that they at least knew something about the existence of earthquake safe building technology and relevant safe construction practices. The level of awareness has risen since the advent of the earthquake. Altogether 93% of the construction sector industries claim that they are aware of such safe practices. Please see below Figure 3 and 4.

Figure 3. Before the Gorkha Earthquake 2015Figure 3

Figure 4. After the Gorkha Earthquake 2015Figure 4

  • Before the Gorkha Earthquake, nearly 85% of the private sector responders admitted that they either didn’t have an Emergency Management Committee in their organizations or they had no idea about it. Although there is some progress, an alarming 67% of the construction sector organizations still don’t have Emergency Management Committee in place. Please see below Figure 5 and 6.

Figure 5. Before the Gorkha Earthquake 2015Figure 5

Figure 6. After the Gorkha Earthquake 2015Figure 6

  • 87% of the responders agreed that they either didn’t have emergency/disaster preparedness, response or business recovery plans in their organizations or had no clue about their existence at all. There is no major shift in the preparedness level of the companies, although the level of initiative in this direction has risen from 4% to 33%. In the post disaster scenario, 80% construction sector companies were still sitting struggling with no Emergency Preparedness & Response plan or a Business Recovery Plan on hand. Please see Figure 7 and 8.

Figure 7. Before the Gorkha Earthquake 2015Figure 7

Figure 8. After the Gorkha Earthquake 2015Figure 8

  • A majority 30% of private sector responders had pointed to ‘Lack of knowledge’ as one of the main reasons for not having a Disaster Risk Management (DRM) program in their organizations. Besides, ‘Lack of qualified professionals’ and ‘Lack of Government guidelines’ were the next major reasons why companies didn’t have DRM in place. After the Gorkha Earthquake, there seems to be a major hike in the response which points the finger at the Government for not encouraging or pressing enough to have an organizational DRM. 47% of the construction sector industries think that there is a serious lack of concrete government policy which is hindering the process of DRM implementation in business organizations. Please seeFigure 9 and 10.

Figure 9. Before the Gorkha Earthquake 2015Figure 9

Figure 10. After the Gorkha Earthquake 2015Figure 10

Also Read:

(Part II) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part II) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part I) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

(Part I) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

Fire Prevention and Fire Protection – Air Pollution in Kathmandu – Construction PPE – Carbon Monoxide poisoning – Electrical Safety – Fall Protection in General Industry– Fearsome 4 of Construction Safety – Fall Restrain System Vs. Fall Arrest System – Respiratory Protection – Portable Ladder Safety – Confined Space Entry – Initiating First Aid/CPR – Are you too busy… – If you have $86,400 in your account… – Safety professionals have job prospects as Insurance Risk Surveyor or Loss Assessor

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