Abu Dhabi: A community group organised a panel discussion on Disaster Management and Risk Reduction to share experiences and expertise in the aftermath of the devastating floods in Kerala.
The event held by the Friends of Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad (FKSSP) at the Indian Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) saw experts from various sectors such as environment, health, safety and security and IT interacting with media representatives, social media activists and representatives of Indian associations. They discussed and closely analysed different aspects of crisis response and shared the lessons learned, said a press release.
Each panel discussed at length the measures to be taken in order to mitigate the short and long-term effects of the flood.
Syam Thaikkad, Secretary and Coordinator of FKSSP’s Abu Dhabi chapter, said the question of ‘What next?’ could be answered only by analysing the shortcomings of the existing rescue and relief systems.
“This is the first of a series of panel discussions and workshops that we plan to conduct in the near future. The suggestions that were made during this discussion will be scrutinised by experts. Our aim is to create a flood archive, which will be verified by experts and relevant external bodies,” he said.
The findings will be compiled in the form of a book that will be presented to the Kerala government as the organisation’s recommendation.
The discussion was led and moderated by Nishad Kaippally, who, in his opening speech explained the concept of scientific temper, and the need to approach natural calamities from a scientific point of view. This was followed by an in depth scrutiny of the crucial roles played by media, social media, science, social organisations, environment groups, mental and physical health experts, information technology and volunteering in post-disaster rehabilitation efforts.
The group had played an active part in the rescue operations during the floods. Gathering the technical expertise of over 100 people from various parts of the UAE, FKSSP team was able to connect rescue teams with people who were stranded in remote locations, thereby saving many lives. In addition to monetary and logistics support, the group was able to tap Cloud SOS call centres, live data analysis, geo tracking, live radio and other web tools to provide remote assistance to Kerala’s rescue efforts, said the press release.