Kathmandu, October 27
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has developed the model ‘Rural Municipality/Municipality Emergency Operations Procedure’ for the purpose of local levels to ensure timely search and rescue of disaster victims and to reduce disaster risks.
As per the procedure, each local level shall have Emergency Operations Centre which works as per directions of Local Disaster Management Committee. The functions of centre include disaster preparedness, collection and analysis of early warning, and keeping necessary equipment and fire engines in ready condition. “The centre shall inform the committee about potential loss of lives and property in disasters. If any disaster occurs, it shall alert the nearest security agency for immediate search and rescue operation,” the procedure states.
The centre shall also be responsible for recovery works, management and mobilisation of resources, and requesting district, provincial government, federal government and partner organisations for support of resources if the local level cannot meet the cost.
The centre shall be in operation 24×7. Its meeting shall be held once a month during normal conditions. On disaster preparedness and response, the centre is required to conduct workshops, simulation and regular interaction in addition to maintaining updated records of population vulnerable to disasters.
The centre shall have its own VHF and HF radios to stay connected to national, provincial and district emergency operations centre, Nepali Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and emergency operations centres of other local levels for search and rescue operations during disasters. The sources of information will be volunteers, security agencies, mediapersons and communities. “The centre shall not disseminate any disaster-related information without verification. In case false and misleading information is disseminated, it shall be rectified immediately,” the procedure states. The centre shall appoint an information office for collection, processing and dissemination of information on disasters.
For collection of information at night, mobile phone number of chief administrative officer of the local level, chief of the centre or prescribed official shall be disclosed for public. The centre is also responsible for maintaining coordination and collaboration with various stakeholder agencies to carry out Initial Rapid Assessment and Multi-sector Initial Rapid Assessment within 24 hours and seven days respectively for damage assessment.
A version of this article appears in print on October 28, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.