ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Disaster Response Preparedness in India and China

In India, disaster response preparedness still means rebuilding what has been destroyed. In China, disaster response is an opportunity not only to rebuild, but also to develop the affected areas and communities.

China is not only growing more rapidly than India, but also it is better in protecting the results of economic growth from natural disasters. Recent reports about China’s disaster response preparedness and recovery indicate that New Delhi can carefully watch Beijing in this matter.

India has taken a broad-based approach to reach out across the country through its administration. Mainly with the high-powered and central National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), India has achieved widespread but low levels of scattered results in terms of public awareness about impending floods, droughts, earthquakes, cyclones and more. Important activities, according to NDMA, include the preparation of guidelines, and improvements in risk assessment, early warning systems, capacity-building, and expanding communication networks.1 Despite these activities, there is still a widespread lack of public appreciation for disaster preparedness and there is a limited policy interest in disaster risk reduction (DRR).2 In India’s case, its broad focus may detract from establishing institutions at all levels which raise awareness of disaster and the ways to effectively respond to disasters. This is, of course, a crucial aspect of effective disaster management which builds on the knowledge base of local people and strong institutions.

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