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Communication Facilities for Disaster Management

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Communication is a major bottleneck in case of any major disaster particularly when the traditional network system already in force brake down. In order to strengthen communications, it has been decided that police network (POLNET) will also be used for disaster management. For this purpose POLNET communication facility will be extended to District Magistrates, Sub Divisional Magistrates as well as the Control Rooms.

For emergency communication, mobile satellite based units which can be transported to the site of the disaster are being procured. A group was constituted to draw a comprehensive communication plan for disaster management and the report has since been received. This provides for a dedicated communication system for disaster management with built in redundancies.

Besides the satellite, communication and education can play a proactive role in mitigation through awareness about the types of disaster and as to how prevention measures can be taken up.

There is also a Satellite based communication system called the Cyclone Warning Dissemination Systems (CWDS) for transmission of warnings. There are 250 such cyclone-warning sets installed in the cylone prone areas of east and west coast. The general public, the coastal residents and fishermen, are also warned through the Government mechinery and broadcast of warnings through AIR and Television.

What agencies need to be involved ?

  • Police
  • Fire
  • Ambulance
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Doctors
  • Red Cross
  • Blood Banks
  • Marine operations (are there bodies of water?)
  • Coast guard
  • Department of transportation
  • Departments of environment (if there is clean-up involved)
  • Airlines
  • Rail companies
  • Local transit companies
  • Bus companies (in case of evacuation)
  • Border services – if applicable

The use of satellite, computers, electronics, better communication facilities are going to make significant difference in disaster management. The data processing and computers are providing a useful tool in decision making in disaster.

When the disaster strikes, power goes out, all modes of communication (Telephone etc.) becomes inoperable, lifts stop functioning, when drinking water becomes contaminated, when normal modes of transportation suddenly becomes impossible, when casualties start coming in groups that is not the time for planning but that is the time of acting.



Place Of Disasters in India

Casualties Reported


Earthquake Calcutta, India



Floods India



Cyclone Andhra Pradesh, India



Flash Flood Gujrat, India



Chemical Disaster Bhopal, India



Train Accident Quilon, India (Injured)



Air Crash Ahmedabad, India



13 Bomb Blasts In Mumbai, India.



Train Accident Khanna, Pusa, India.



Earthquake Bhuj Gujrat, India.



Frontier Mail Fire Ludhiyana, Punjab, India

36 (14)


2 Bomb Blasts In Mumbai, India.



Cloud Burst Himanchal Pradesh, India.



Stampede At Kumbh, Nasik, India.

35 (75)


Terrorist’s Attack Kaluchak, Jammu.



Terrorist’s Attack on Railway Station, Jammu



Terrorist’s Attack on Railway Station, Jammu.



 Communication facilities for disaster management System

Communication facilities for disaster management system is most important act as it convey at the right time communication in disaster, it may handle disaster and helping to decrease it.

Two type of information needs in disaster management

  • Pre disaster information: Question arise that how to get pre disaster information? It is getting from the research and analysis department of the geography in the country.
  • Post disaster information: After the disaster, our first job is to find out where and where it was occurs. What is the next step to help people?

Now a days Satellite communication play a major role in disaster management communication. Communication facilities can be set up for rescue and relief operation purposes. That type of early warning system developed at the different area’s by itself.

Here are the disaster communication facilities:

  • DCWDS Digital Cyclone Warning Dissemination System set at Delhi and other coast area. It is for the pre disaster information.
  • The WLL – VSAT system is in terms of handsets which can be easily taken inside of the affected areas and sends information by direct audio communication.
  • The MSS Type C reporting terminal developed for the sending short messages directly through satellite in remote area.
  • AES-SNG is a system which can send video pictures of the affected area for online review from the control center.
  • Tele medicine: It is one more step for the disaster management communication. In this system, on line help can be provided from the hospital and super specialty doctors. Only connect up link to laptop or PC and get the online information about cure.

Set up of a communications centre – who needs access and how would it operate (generators, supplies in case people need to stay more than 12 hours, etc).

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