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Guwahati is a multi-hazard prone City vulnerable to major Earthquake, Fire, Landslide, City flood etc. This calls for a concerted effort for disaster preparedness in the city. In order to make the City Prepared, ASDMA has been carrying out a number of Capacity Building & Public Awareness programmes, Trainings etc. along with catalysing effective techno-legal framework and appropriate policy for disaster preparedness. 

In the recent past there has been a phenomenal rise in the number of apartment buildings growing all over the city of Guwahati subjected to seismic vulnerability. As a non-structural mitigation measures, the citizens of the city needs to be educated about their risk, vulnerability and their capacity. It was realized that the best place to address the disaster / emergency concern for this section of the community was the apartment premises itself where all the residents/ Security staff/ utility operators could participate.

By using this platform ASDMA conducted a special programme in 194 residential apartment buildings in the month of February 2013 with an aim to educate the people on earthquake and Fire Safety and help them get prepared for emergencies. Although putting emergency planning at the top of the agenda, was a tough sale in some buildings as many residents are more concerned with day-to-day happenings rather than the risk of a mega earthquake which is otherwise a high probability in Assam. 

Moreover, the programme also addressed the issues related to major challenges faced by the concerned agencies in responding to the disasters the City is prone to. The issues were:

  • Narrow Roads for movement of Heavy Response Vehicle,
  • Lack of Water Hydrants
  • Lack of adequate exit routes in the buildings
  • Lack of knowledge of the people to respond to emergencies thereby creating panic that further complicates the situations

Objectives of the programme:

  • To involve the community in the Disaster Preparedness activities initiated by the State.
  • To Sensitise the apartment Dwellers on the issue of fare and earthquake safety
  • To educate the  apartment dwellers on the steps to be taken in pre, during and after Earthquake & Fire
  • To build a culture of safety in the society
  • To assess the fire and earthquake safety of the buildings on a pilot basis
  • To test the model of integrated exercise by blending with NGOs, Civil Society, Fire service Department, Civil defence and Home Guards, and Media towards disaster preparedness.

Involvement of NGOs and Civil Society in the initiative:

  • ASDMA initially gave publicity in the print media about the exercise and requested Apartment Societies to register with ASDMA which want this sensitization programme to be held in their apartments
  • Registration was solicited from NGOs for  facilitating the field work for the exercise in the newspapers  through public advertisement

Identification of Apartments:

Following the advertisement, only 12 apartment societies registered for the exercise to be carried out by ASDMA. Therefore, 188 apartments were identified by ASDMA fulfilling the following criteria in Guwahati City randomly:

  • Apartments having more than 30 families
  • Apartment with G+4 and above
  • Apartments having  two or more than two blocks
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