Online tabletop exercise on IRS held

ITANAGAR, 11 Feb: An online ‘tabletop exercise on incident response system (IRS)’ in case of a mega earthquake scenario was conducted on Thursday by the disaster management department.

The participants included members of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the State Disaster Management Authority, deputy commissioners of all the districts, the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), the SDRF, the NDRF, the BRO, the CRPF, the ITBP and other stakeholders.

The tabletop exercise was conducted to assess the capabilities and preparedness of the state to endure any major disaster, and to find gaps and address them.

Addressing the meeting, NDMA member Syed Ata Hasnain said that, despite the ongoing pandemic, it is necessary to conduct training on preparedness regularly “as disasters won’t wait for pandemic to subside, which is evident from the recent case of avalanche disaster in Uttarakhand.”

He emphasized on the role of the BRO during disasters.

Disaster Management Secretary Dani Salu presented an overview of the state disaster management plan and the state’s preparedness for earthquakes. He informed that the state has notified an incident response team to respond to major disasters, “which is automatically activated during the event of a disaster.”

He also commended the NDMA for conducting the state-level mega mock exercises last year, which enabled the state to face the Covid-19 pandemic crisis effectively.

The exercise was followed by a presentation on the status and preparedness of SDRF by SDRF nodal officer Sanjay Bhatia.

State Epidemiologist Dr Jobsang Jampa made a presentation on the medical preparedness for earthquake and Covid-19 information for first responders.

The tabletop exercise was conducted by Kuldip Singh from the NDMA. He gave an elaborated presentation on the step-by-step actions to be taken by every stakeholder during the event of an earthquake. He stressed on the role and responsibility of each member and the importance of having a dedicated emergency operation centre, equipped with a robust communication system to efficiently tackle any disaster.