Cyclone, Drought, Tsunami, Earthquake, etc are natural hazards but there is nothing “natural” about disasters. Often natural hazards are the reasons for disasters. However, the severity of disaster depends on the impact of a hazard on society and the environment or in the other words the exposer, vulnerability and preparedness of society.
Hence the magnitude of a disaster is result of the complex choices we make for our lives and for our environment. These choices relate to the nature of food security systems, how and where we build our homes, how our financial system works and even what we teach in schools. The decision and actions we take make us more vulnerable to disasters or more resilient to them. Hence to address this complex interlinked issue OSDMA aims at Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) activities to build Resilience of system and the community, with an goal to reduce the damage caused by natural hazards, through a principle of prevention.
UNDRR defines “Disaster Risk Reduction is aimed at preventing new and reducing existing disaster risk and managing residual risk, all of which contribute to strengthening resilience and therefore to the achievement of sustainable development”. This further explains that “disaster risk reduction is the policy objective of disaster risk management, and its goals and objectives are defined in disaster risk reduction strategies and plans”.
OSDMA focuses on preparedness, capacity building & inculcating risk informed programming strategies in key departments in order to increase the resilience of state, departments and communities. Practices integrating disaster risk reduction measures into the restoration of physical infrastructure and societal systems, and into the revitalization of livelihoods, economies and the environment using recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction phases after a disaster.
It is known Odisha State and OSDMA have set their own benchmark in disaster response in the country, having remarkable experience in responding continuously to various disasters efficiently. Now the state has embarked to excel further and move from the culture of reactions and believe in creating a culture of prevention and achieving resilience through critical tools like Risk assessments, Education, Coordination, Supporting Policies, Laws, Good Governance, Risk informed Programming, Early Warning Systems, Contingency plans, Information sharing, Sustainable development, etc.
“We believe every decision can make us either more resilient or more vulnerable.” – UNDRR