New Book on natural disaster management

Ankur Bhattacharya

Kolkata, 14 January : A new book entitled “Are You Prepared for a Disaster?” and authored by Rajni Sekhri Sibal, Union Secretary in the Department of Fisheries,has dealt with various geological hazards,epidemics,pandemics and other disaster risks in India threatening the life and livelihood of millions of people across the country, was released here this evening to help make the people aware of such impending danger and disasters and take necessary precautionary steps.
Speaking on the occasion of the formal release of her book at a function here this evening, organised under the aegis of Indian Chamber Of Commerce(ICC), the country’s oldest business Chamber of more than 125 years,Sibal quoting from her 300 pages book, said India’s unique geo-climatic conditions made it vulnerable, in varying degrees, to a large number of natural disasters like Sunami, earthquake, floods and infernos of huge scales.
According to her,increased vulnerability related to changing demographics and socio-economic conditions, unplanned urbanization, development within high-risk zones, environmental degradation and above all the present climate change in the era of Global warming were some of the prime reasons behind all these incredible natural disasters threatening the lives of several thousands of people in almost every year.
Clearly, all these contributed to a situation where disasters seriously threaten India’s economy, its population and sustainable development,Sibal said and referred to a United Nations (UN),report whIch said India had lost a stagering amount of 79.5 billion USD in the last two decades due to climate-related disasters.
Stating that she had penned the book “Are You Prepared for a Disaster?” to provide a ‘comprehensive outline for methods for preparing households, businesses, commercial establishments and communities to address the substantial risk of disasters and take necessary precautionary steps to avoid them on time.
Referring to her personal experience of watching from close quarters a number of major natural disasters which struck India during the past few years,Sibal, as a senior government official, said the unprecedented disaster like the 2004 Psunami and the great floods in Kerala of 2018 had also encouraged her to address considerations important in understanding hazards of cyclones, chemical spills, floods and landslides to catastrophic events.
The book not only included the procedures used by safety experts but also focuses on areas often overlooked during the response and post disaster periods, she told Hindusthan Samachar later during an interactions on the sidelines.
Packed with information, real life experiences, case studies and important details, the book also contained an extensive list of the ways for avoiding mistakes which turn natural and man-made catastrophes into larger disasters, and made preparing for disasters less intimidating, she said.
Among others ICC President and noted industrialist Mayank Jalan and ICC Secretary General Rajiv Singh were among those present at the book launch along with large number of senior members of the Chamber.The book would be available through on line sales of Amazon.