Emergency Response

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Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 30 Jul 2008 08:12

Beloveds! Time to start a thread with ulterior motives (may lead to articles and other things). The topic is very timely, and the intent is to list sources of good knowledge on common sense preparations at every level:

1. National level: missile warning systems, asteroid warning systems, tsunami warning systems, disease control (counter - biological warfare); navy / air force / rapid deployed army response. Insurance, disaster recovery programs, bank funds protection.
2. State level: floods, earthquakes, epidemics, terrorist bombings, train / plane crashes, boat disasters, riots.
3. City level: civil defense preparedness, emergency designated traffic lanes, bomb disposal squads, ambulance / fire / police response.
4. Village / neighborhood level: drinking water, food storage; medicine storage, first aid training, designated first responders, volunteer fire/ riot control / excavation trained personnel; school / adult education programs.
5. Family level: emergency preparedness. Assembly points; means of identifying medical conditions; water storage; home protection against wind, water, fire, poison gas, and our radiation.
6. Individual level: documentation; communication; training; thinking through worst-case scenarios

I will contribute (but its too late at night right now, and I have had a very long week...) so please start putting down your thoughts and collecting sources of info.

As the old saying goes:
"Don't smoke in bed... the ashes falling on the floor may be your own".
My version is:
"Don't shirk the need to think through bad things: the life you save may be your own or someone you love".

The times are bad, and what we can do is to held think and educate.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 30 Jul 2008 08:22

B4 the Axe-e-Admin falls on this, let me point out that others have done a lot of work on these things: Example

Cyclone and Storm Surge, Pedestrian Evacuation and Emergency Response in India

Here is the UNICEF Emergency Response site.

[quote'In recent times, UNICEF has been an active member of the UN Disaster Management Team (UNDMT) in India. UNICEF also has regular disaster preparedness programmes where communities are motivated to build on their traditional knowledge and coping mechanisms to deal with annual climate-based phenomena such as floods.

With it’s network of 13 field offices covering 16 states in India – UNICEF has played a critical role of in times of crisis by gathering information, conducting rapid assessments and providing a platform for the UNDMT to coordinate the UN system’s response in areas where it has a presence.

Over the last two decades, India has borne the brunt of several major natural disasters such as the Latur Earthquake in 1993; the Orissa super cyclone in October 1999, the Bhuj earthquake in January 2001, the Tsunami strikes in December 2004 and lastly, the earthquake in Jammu & Kashmir.

During emergencies, children are especially vulnerable to disease, malnutrition and violence. Measles, diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections, malaria and malnutrition are the major killers of children during humanitarian crises. Therefore, emergency immunization is one of UNICEF’s priority interventions, along with vitamin A supplementation and therapeutic feeding centres.

UNICEF also works to ensure safe supplies of drinking water, and to improve sanitary conditions for communities and the displaced. UNICEF also advocates for early resumption of schooling as key to restoring a semblance of normalcy in the lives of affected children.

Building Back Better for Children

In responding to emergencies, UNICEF commits itself to not just bringing the situation back to how it was before the emergency, but if possible, in so doing, to build back better. This has been its guiding principle in restoring and rebuilding education, health, nutrition, water and sanitation systems after major natural calamities. [/quote]

Some examples from flood relief, 2007:
UNICEF together with the Government of India Health Department have set up 90 mobile medical teams and about 200 medical relief sites in the flood affected districts. These teams examine approximately 25,000 patients a day and thus far, a total of over 120,000 patients have been examined and medically treated.

UNICEF also worked with the Government of India Health Department in reaching and vaccinating 15,000 children against measles and provided Vitamin A and 250,000 tablets of iron folic acid (IFA) tablets to 15,000 pregnant women and adolescent girls in the 8 worst affected districts.

UNICEF has despatched 10 trucks of relief materials to district magistrates/special district magistrates; 8 trucks to chief medical officers (CMOs) in the affected districts and 13 trucks to UNICEF-supported NGOs in 13 flood affected districts. The relief materials include:

- 500,000 halogen tablets for water purification
- 1 million IFA tablets
- 200,000 ORS sachets
- 9,000 tarpaulin sheets
- 40,000 PUR for purifying water
- 25,000 kg bleaching powder,
- 8,000 Life Straws (these can purify 700 litres of water per straw), and
- Large quantities of candles, jerry cans, plastic mats, etc

My take is, however, why can't a superpower like India, where floods occur EVERY YEAR, get to the point where these things are already present locally?

I have a friend in coastal Florida who tells me that preparing for hurricanes is now standard practice, they have the stuff ready to board up the house, get enough drinking water and food supplies, have emergency fuel and means to cook, etc.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby shiv » 30 Jul 2008 08:43

cross posting from poll thread

cshankar wrote:As a nation we should consider this an opportunity to forge community in order to minimize the impact of future terrorist attacks and maximize chances of law enforcement. We need to have a grassroots campaign that will help us deal with events like this I scoured the net (albeit briefly) to find out if there are effective ways of the community identifying terrorist threats, helping with early detection etc etc but could not find much appropriate.

Anyway there is plenty the public can do before, during and after a terror incident.

Before a terrorist event we need to inculcate the following
1. Create a community neighborhood watch
2. Ask all individuals in a community to keep an eye out for suspicious activity (I don't how to identify "suspicious")
3. Use cellphone cameras to record suspicious events, cars, bicycles, individuals and groups
4. coordinate with local Police Thana (in fact if the community invites the police regularly to coordinate security it will automatically take ownership of the security apparatus
5. create a cellphone text and pix 911 kind of number that can be used to relay information up the security
6. Get local businesses who have their own security to look out for suspicious activity, involve them and the police to liase effectively
7. Identify high crowd density points so that any suspicious activity there can be effectively managed (for example photographing car and driver by authorized personnel) before parking in such areas.

After a terror event
1. Educate public and even the police on how to behave to minimize casualties
2. Improve skills to identify those that are critically injured and those whose injuries are minor
3. Identify access points so as to erect barricades to facilitate ingress and egress of emergency vehicles
4. Identify locals that provide first point of contact for emergency personnel.

There is a big problem in India on the lack of trust in India between individuals, law enforcement, politicians etc etc. This needs to be changed pronto. And as people build up trust in each other cohesion will come about locally, regionally and nationally.

I don't know if there needs to be a BR emergency/terrorist response training page where some of the above can be thrashed out and disseminated to the public.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 03 Aug 2008 01:20

The US DHS and its "Federal Emergency Management Agency" are not exactly the models for efficiency in responding to natural (or presumably other kinds of) disasters, but they do have expensively, accumulated wisdom on their websites.

Here is one: "www.Ready.gov"

1. For kids (if you get past the asinine ShockWave thingy)

Important advice:

"Once you have a plan, remember to follow it".
"Always listen to the adults in charge and ask for help if you need it".

Hmm! At the BOTTOM (after all the download instructions):
"Before you download anything... Don't install software on your computer without a grown-up's permission! Go ask before you click."

This must have been created by the same wunderkinden who designed the Indian Embassy's "OCI APPLICATION" page. :roll:

"Emergency Supplies Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual's kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.

Recommended Supplies to Include in a Basic Kit:
Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
Battery-powered radio and a
NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and
extra batteries for both
Flashlight and extra batteries
First Aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Infant formula and diapers, if you have an infant
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
Clothing and Bedding: If you live in a cold weather climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that the power will be out and you will not have heat. Rethink your clothing and bedding supplies to account for growing children and other family changes.
One complete change of warm clothing and shoes per person, including:
A jacket or coat
Long pants
A long sleeve shirt
Sturdy shoes
A hat and gloves
A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

Topic 1: Remember to pack a flashlight and battery-powered radio with extra batteries. Be sure to check that everything works before closing your supply kit.

Topic 2: Your family's kit should have a three-day supply of food and water. Work with your parents to collect a yummy selection of nutritious food that won't spoil, like canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, canned meat (don't forget a can opener).

Topic 3: Work with your family to collect a first aid kit, tools, and other hard-to-find stuff on your supply list.

Topic 4: Don't just pack a sweater; set aside a complete change of clothes for everyone in your family. Think about making personalized T-shirts for everyone by drawing a family crest!

Topic 5: Have a battery-powered game in your kit? Don't forget the batteries!

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 03 Aug 2008 01:24

Serious advice for Parents and Teachers:
"If you haven't already, please visit the Ready America website for more information and resources about preparing yourself and your family for all types of emergencies. Preparing makes sense. The likelihood that you and your family will survive a house fire depends as much on having a working smoke detector and an exit strategy, as on a well-trained fire department. The same is true for surviving a terrorist attack or other emergency.

We must have the tools and plans in place to make it on our own, at least for a period of time, no matter where we are when disaster strikes. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security urges all Americans to: get a kit of emergency supplies; make a plan for what you will do in an emergency; and be informed about what might happen. Just like having a working smoke detector, preparing for the unexpected makes sense. Get Ready Now."

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 03 Aug 2008 01:25

Now from the Ready America Site:
Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

* Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
* Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
* Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
* Flashlight and extra batteries
* First aid kit
* Whistle to signal for help
* Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
* Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
* Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
* Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
* Local maps

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

* Prescription medications and glasses
* Infant formula and diapers
* Pet food and extra water for your pet
* Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
* Cash or traveler's checks and change
* Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
* Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
* Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
* Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
* Fire Extinguisher
* Matches in a waterproof container
* Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
* Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
* Paper and pencil
* Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 03 Aug 2008 01:27

Emergency Plans:

Family Emergency Plan

* It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
* Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.
* You may have trouble getting through, or the telephone system may be down altogether, but be patient.

Emergency Information

Find out what kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made, are most likely to occur in your area and how you will be notified. Methods of getting your attention vary from community to community. One common method is to broadcast via emergency radio and TV broadcasts. You might hear a special siren, or get a telephone call, or emergency workers may go door-to-door.

Emergency Plans

You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together in the event of an emergency. You will be better prepared to safely reunite your family and loved ones during an emergency if you think ahead and communicate with others in advance.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 03 Aug 2008 01:29

Deciding to Stay or Go:
"Depending on your circumstances and the nature of the attack, the first important decision is whether you stay put or get away. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information, including what you are learning here, to determine if there is immediate danger.

In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should monitor TV or radio news reports for information or official instructions as they become available. If you're specifically told to evacuate or seek medical treatment, do so immediately."

there may be situations when it's simply best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty outside.

There are other circumstances when staying put and creating a barrier between yourself and potentially contaminated air outside, a process known as "sealing the room," is a matter of survival. Use available information to assess the situation. If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or if local authorities say the air is badly contaminated, you may want to take this kind of action.

The process used to seal the room is considered a temporary protective measure to create a barrier between you and potentially contaminated air outside. It is a type of sheltering in place that requires preplanning.
To "Shelter in Place and Seal the Room"

* Bring your family and pets inside.
* Lock doors, close windows, air vents and fireplace dampers.
* Turn off fans, air conditioning and forced air heating systems.
* Take your emergency supply kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
* Go into an interior room with few windows, if possible.
* Seal all windows, doors and air vents with plastic sheeting and duct tape. Consider measuring and cutting the sheeting in advance to save time.
* Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to seal gaps so that you create a barrier between yourself and any contamination.
* Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.

Learn how and when to turn off utilities:

If there is damage to your home or you are instructed to turn off your utilities:

* Locate the electric, gas and water shut-off valves.
* Keep necessary tools near gas and water shut-off valves.
* Teach family members how to turn off utilities.
* If you turn the gas off, a professional must turn it back on. Do not attempt to do this yourself.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 03 Aug 2008 01:31

(Note from me: Experience with Evacuation Plans of US cities - New Orleans 2004, Houston 2005 - both relatively unhurried compared to a terror strike evacuation - suggests that many people will die on the road from:
1. Accidents as panicked people hit/run over others
2. Armed robbery and sheer meanness
3. Complete gridlock on the roads, where people HAVE died of heat exposure, and many more may die if it is winter as they are hopelessly stuck for days. Temperature on a concrete 6-lane urban highway in summer easily crosses 120F. )


There may be conditions under which you will decide to get away, or there may be situations when you are ordered to leave. Plan how you will assemble your family and anticipate where you will go. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency.
Create an evacuation plan:

* Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
* If you have a car, keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case you need to evacuate.
* Become familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area.
* If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if you have to.
* Take your emergency supply kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
* Lock the door behind you.
* Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency.

If time allows:
o Call or email the "out-of-state" contact in your family communications plan.
o Tell them where you are going.
o If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
o Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
o Check with neighbors who may need a ride.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 03 Aug 2008 01:37

Neighborhoods and Apartments

A community working together during an emergency makes sense.

* Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together during an emergency.
* Find out if anyone has specialized equipment like a power generator, or expertise such as medical knowledge, that might help in a crisis.
* Decide who will check on elderly or disabled neighbors.
* Make back-up plans for children in case you can't get home in an emergency.
* Sharing plans and communicating in advance is a good strategy.

In a High-Rise Building:
* Note where the closest emergency exit is.
* Be sure you know another way out in case your first choice is blocked.
* Take cover against a desk or table if things are falling.
* Move away from file cabinets, bookshelves or other things that might fall.
* Face away from windows and glass.
* Move away from exterior walls.
* Determine if you should stay put, "shelter-in-place" or get away.
* Listen for and follow instructions.
* Take your emergency supply kit, unless there is reason to believe it has been contaminated.
* Do not use elevators.
* Stay to the right while going down stairwells to allow emergency workers to come up.

In a moving vehicle:

* If there is an explosion or other factor (EARTHQUAKE?) that makes it difficult to control the vehicle, pull over, stop the car and set the parking brake.
* If the emergency could impact the physical stability of the roadway, avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards.
* If a power line falls on your car you are at risk of electrical shock, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.
* Listen to the radio for information and instructions as they become available.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 03 Aug 2008 01:38

Keep your emergency supply list in your wallet, and pick up a few items at a time when shopping until you have built up a well-stocked supply.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 03 Aug 2008 01:43


Emergency Phone Numbers:


Qn: Do these work everywhere in India?

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby Nayak » 03 Aug 2008 18:27

Here is my contribution --

Are You Ready?

This FEMA manual provides practical information on how your family can prepare for any disaster. It includes up-to-date hazard specific safety tips and information about preparedness and protection. In addition to information on most natural and technological disasters, there are new chapters on "Animals in Disaster," "Extreme Heat (Heat Wave)," "Landslide & Debris Flow (Mudslide)," "Emergency Water Shortages," and newly updated information on terrorism.

Code: Select all


How-To Survival Library

HTML (45.7 mb)
Excellent website (Downloaded) on survival, compiled during the Y2K hysteria, and archived here to ensure nothing happens to it. Topics include Construction Projects, Solar Energy, Preparing Your Home, Medical Readiness, Food and Water Information, Gardening, and many others. An invaluable resource.

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Survival Bible

ZIP (1.15 mb) by: Richard Perron Excellent compilation of survival-related files and documents. A must-read.

Code: Select all


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Re: Emergency Response

Postby Rahul M » 03 Aug 2008 18:33

narayanan wrote:INDIA:
Emergency Phone Numbers:
Qn: Do these work everywhere in India?


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Re: Emergency Response

Postby RamaY » 03 Aug 2008 20:48

Based on Indian conditions:

Family Level KIT - Backpack carriable
- Water Filtering System>> I have noticed few UVL based tool which can be dipped into a bottle of water to purify it.
- Medicine kit>> Based on the family composition. Must include medication for tranmittive deceases.
- Emergency light and radio >> the new coming crank radio kit kind of stuff
- A pair of blankets
- A small tent - that can cover 3-4 people
- Packaged high energy food - for 3-4 days per family.
- A Cell phone with additional battery

Community Kit - An apt complex or a village or community
- Ham Radio + Volunteer
- RMP Doctor/Nurse + Medical kit
- 4-5 volunteers to do nightwatch
- 4-5 volunteers to engage children with games, education etc..
- 4-5 volunteers to coordinate and manage the chaos, collective decision making
- 2-3 volunteers with motor bykes to coordinate with nighbouring villages
- A vehicle with emergency supplies, food, and fuel...

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby John Snow » 03 Aug 2008 22:10

Most importantly we need to move away from "Ration Card identification" to some better ID of people, I would prefer biometric ids or some way weeding out Bdesh ba#$% and TSP ba%$^, otherwise they will sabotage even emergency plans.
case in point bombing of Trauma unit of hospital in Ahmedabad

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby John Snow » 04 Aug 2008 00:00

As we speak hear!

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/0 ... index.html

145 killed in India temple stampede

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- A stampede at a mountaintop Hindu temple in northern India killed at least 145 people Sunday, officials said.

Bodies line a wall as police, worshippers and witnesses stand outside the Naina Devi Temple on Sunday.

more photos » Witnesses and authorities had varying accounts of what caused the morning stampede at the Naina Devi Temple in Himachal Pradesh state.

Deputy Police Commissioner C.P. Verma said the stampede, which began about 10 a.m., was caused by rumors of fighting near the temple.

The rumors led to "a rush of the public in a very small place," he said.

But witnesses said the initial stampede was caused by a railing in the temple that appeared to break, causing panicked worshippers to flee.

The stampede was exacerbated by police who hit the fleeing worshippers with canes to keep them moving, witnesses said. Map of Himachal Pradesh state »

"We ask the public not to fall prey to rumors," Verma said.

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Police and Punjab Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla told a CNN-IBN reporter that 145 people died and 40 were injured in the stampede.

CNN-IBN is CNN's sister network in India.

The dead were taken to a hospital in neighboring Punjab state for autopsies, authorities said.

Rescue workers used a cable car at the temple to help evacuate the injured from the mountaintop temple.

The incident came during the second day of a nine-day religious festival at the temple. The emergency rescue was hampered by a narrow road being one of the only ways to reach the temple, police said.

As the word spread about the deaths, large crowds of mourners and onlookers gathered at the base of the temple, causing police to close a section of road leading to the area.

In 2005, at least 258 people were killed during a stampede on a narrow road leading to a Hindu shrine in western India. The chaos started when a few impatient devotees started to push through the 200,000 Hindu worshippers who were making their way uphill to the Mandhara Devi shrine, authorities said.

so a country where there is no confidence in people that terror can be contained, where just a rumor can kill hundreds with a shot being fired by terrorists. Sad

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby Bade » 04 Aug 2008 01:17

Without adequate crowd control which requires training for the law enforcement guys as well as aam aadmi, there is little hope. It has to begin right in schools so that one grows imbibing this stuff, before we can be really ready to use all the emergency advice and planning to face real life incidents.

Whenever I visit Guruvayur temple these days I rarely go in. The darshan standing outside is good enough for me. If God has given me the brains to use, there is no need to ask for more help and luck to avoid preventable incidents.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby Dileep » 04 Aug 2008 09:31

Living in god's own midlands, emergencies were not something you hear often. Nor you plan for that. The only kind that happen is the personal kind, and you deal with that yourself. Public emergency support is non existant.

Of course, there is an odd mudslide or flood, but that is localized, and the community kind of pull it together.

My outlook drastically changed when the earthquake hit us in 2000. It even gave me the courage to take the SilliCon valley stint. And once there, I lived in scare of the 'big one'. I had reasonably pragmatic preparations.

1. Planned and drilled the family on the escape path. SHQ to grab the little one, me to grab the big one, and run to the middle of the car park. Made primary and backup routes. Also, planned and drilled them on escaping while at other places. Like identify the nearest exit. Run to the open area etc.

2. Planned and charted the routes and means to reach home from work.

3. Made supplies kit, with water, canned food, packets of flour, oil, a portable stove etc.

And back in midlands, there is no real prep. Earthquake prep is not an issue. A quake that can topple the house would definitely kill the inhabitants, with all the bricks and concrete falling. Anyway, the plan/drill is in place to run to the nearest open area.

Rest of the prep is not necessary. All you need is walk a few hours to the relatives place in the interior, which is self sufficient with water, food etc.

About the public emergency services here:

100 and 101 works. You call 100 from a land line, the call goes to the nearest police station. 101 goes to the fire&rescue station. You can talk to the mostly helpful guys there.

If you have a fire, they will deploy the fire truck immediately, provided it is in running condition. It will come to the closest point where it can reach, and the brave men will do whatever they can to put it out. But often, the roads are too narrow for the truck to come. My house if just 200 metres off a busy main artery, but the fire truck can't reach my place because the road is narrow.

If you live in the interior, it will take a long time to reach, so, normally calls are will be for rescue service. They do a decent job, given their limitation in equipment, technology and manpower.

The police number is a joke. The station will have one or two jeeps, and they will be away on providing escort to the minister, or such things. A rapid crime response is non existant in most of the places. They will come to "investigate" rather than "prevent". Often programmes will start with fanfare to provide crime intervention service, but it will die on within a month. Recently a programme started in Cochin, where some 14 patrol cars roam around, and the control room (where the 100 calls go if dialled within the city) would deploy them to the location. Not sure if it is running now. Our guys are experts in redeploying resources to the minister escort type of low risk operations.

So, basically, you are on your own.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby negi » 04 Aug 2008 10:11

In the context of the discussion and trajic accident at Naina Devi Temple where about 145 people have been reported to have been killed .

We/GOI need to enforce some elimentary crowd control measures. I have not been to many temples in India , but from my visits to Dakhshineshwar Temple (WB) and Tirumala Tirupati I would say that we need to at least have following in place :

1. Demarcate confined areas such as corridors/halls/galleries where there is limited space for movement.
2. Come up with a very basic and preliminary estimate of maximum number of people that can be present across various sections of the Temple .
3. Number of personnel involved in ensuring crowd control be increased during peak season
and major festivals.
4. Lastly Efforts should be made to limit the inconvenience to the public in event of a VIP visit (I have seen politicians being escorted inside the temple premises in vehicles where people can barely find a place to stand.). I can understand the security part , but they should not be allowed to take their own sweet time for the darshan and other unnecessary rituals.

From my two visits to Tirupati I realised that the conditions have vastly improved in terms of crowd control , the corridors leading to the main temple were not that cramped as more parallel queues were formed , the huge dakshina handi was placed outside the confined walls which was a nice change from last time when it used to be inside with survailance cameras and cops crwoding the place. (got darshan under 6 hours this time as compared to 14 hours the first time :shock: )

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby Rupesh » 04 Aug 2008 16:23

negi wrote:
From my two visits to Tirupati I realised that the conditions have vastly improved in terms of crowd control , the corridors leading to the main temple were not that cramped as more parallel queues were formed , the huge dakshina handi was placed outside the confined walls which was a nice change from last time when it used to be inside with survailance cameras and cops crwoding the place. (got darshan under 6 hours this time as compared to 14 hours the first time :shock: )

There are a few big temples with excellent crowd management, Shirdi Sai Baba Temple has good systems in place with CCTV's for added crime prevention. Tribakeshwar near nasik has the worst crowd management system as per my experience. Guruvayoor also manages things well, though i haven't been there on extremely crowded days.
IMHO poor crowd management also has to do with our nature to cut corners, we lack discipline..thats it.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby Philip » 04 Aug 2008 17:25

Disaster management is a much negelected issue,though,India has perhaps one of the world's most experienced institutions that deal with natural disasters on an annual basis.Come floods ,cyclones and earthquakes,time and time again,the Indian armed forces ,paramilitaries and NGOs have proved their worth.The GOI probably also budgets for natural disasters each year.Copmared with our efforts,the US was reduced to a "turd world" nation in the aftermath of Katrina,where the babus imagined that the people of New Orleans would all get into their SUVs and drive out of trouble and the survivors were treated like criminals or illegal refugees by the cops!

However,when it comes to law and order and security,especially in these days of terrorism,we have failed miserably.We cannot rule out any major city or town in India from being immune to such attacks,especially historic places of religious significance.We have actually had several years of terror being unleashed upon our soil,right from the days of the Khalistani movement.We must educate the public of the danger through the media,etc.,and warn them of taking the consequences of taking the law into their own hands by rioting,etc.Usually,this is done by political activists/goondas,who wish to settle scores with their enemies.Unless we are capable of establishing law and order,the state collapses.On this there can be no compromise.

A central disaster management HQ is needed,with regional HQs as well for faster relief.The first step in a crisis is transporting emergency relief of food,water,tents,clothing,etc.,through hospitals,etc. for the wounded/injured.In the case of earthquakes,special equipment for moving fallen debris is needed along with sniffer diogs,etc.In the case of earthquakes,the eqpt. cannot be in all places,but must be at a point near an airfeild where heavy lift transports and helos can quickly airlift them to the affected areas.In the case of tsunamis/cyclones,amphibious aircraft are of especial value when airstrips are destroyed,as was the case in the Andamans after the tsunami.Malaysia is buying them as they are equally useful in the firefighting mode,being able to carry tons of water for dousing forest fires.Baots,all terrain vehicles and above all scores of helos to gain access to remote areas are essential.Medicines for the survivors and disinfectants for disposing of the dead are esential.

As we plan for war,we must also plan for disasters with the same intensity.In any disaster,speed is of the essence as the first few days are vital to rescue the injured and affected and prevent disease from breaking out with all manner of shortages especially water.
Just some ideas which can be elaborated upon.
In the case of war and God forbid war in which WMDs are used,the time honoured method of putting your head between your legs and kissing your a**e goodbye will apply!

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 04 Aug 2008 18:16

For crowd control at places of worship, there are some alternatives (assuming that catching and hanging the 3 guys who first start pushing others is not feasible):

1. Destroy the ancient pathways etc. and put in ugly things like airport corridors. I would say a definite "NO" to that.

2. Limit entrance, VERY VERY STRICTLY. Huge fines on the management in case of violation, through routine or Additional Protocol inspections. This threat is what imposes discipline in places where the danger of fire is ever-present because of mostly wood structures, and heating needed.

3. Impose reservations for admissions, with maybe a few dozen "unreserved" tickets on any given day. This of course will cause huge awaaz because it is Denial of Right To Worship etc. But the present systems is murder, and certainly discriminates against the most vulnerable of society. Part of the problem is the notion that if you go to the temple on certain days you get more points accumulated etc. This is all nonsense as far as my take on religion goes. The Almighty is equally reachable any time.

4. Going to community festivals is understandable, but the notion of planning in advance may be needed. Perhaps for such events, all the locals must have guaranteed admission, and tickets can only be given for the remaining spaces, to outsiders. Certainly this produces a lot of scope for economic activity in baksheesh and ticket-scalping. The locals can sell off their tickets for all I care. But trains do it, cricket stadia do it, rock concerts do it, any place where there is international pressure eventually does it. Temples are generally immune to such basic planning requirements because of the "only yindoos allowed" protection for gross negligence, lack of discipline, and failure to invest in basic amenities.

5. There is a fifth improvement which I am sure is very controversial. At many prominent temples, the proportion of the day during which people are allowed to see the Sanctum Sanctorum, is very limited. There are all kinds of "poojas" etc. during which the Sanctum is kept closed. We need some serious religions discussion to eliminate this practice, and guarantee ability to worship for 90% of the time between, say, 5AM and 11PM. I am not saying that poojas can't be done, but there is nothing there that requires the doors to be kept closed for such long periods, IMHO.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby Yugandhar » 04 Aug 2008 19:02

enqyoob sir
here is the official babudom`s website

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby Dileep » 05 Aug 2008 10:15

N guru, by any chance, you are not related to G. Sudhakaran, the current devaswom minister are you?

Before you embark on converting the temples to a "spiritual service centres (IT enabled)", is THAT the primary problem in EMS today? How many incidents happened at Guruvayoor in the past few decades? What about Tirupati? Priorities saar, Priorities. First get me a decent ambulance system, before you go overhaul the temples.

Accidents within the temple complex is very very rare IMO. Accidents happen mainly outside, especially in the rough terrain pathways. This is because there IS queue system and guards managing it in side the temple complex. It becomes tough outside the complex.

I am a regular visitor to Guruvayoor and Sabarimala, and am well aware of the practices there. Unless you are obsessed with the need for "personal space" and hate body odour, the systems are pretty fine within the temple complex. The current system at Guruvayoor is to make the main queue outside the outer wall. This queue is pretty orderly, and on busy days, extend beyond the front pandhal and go pretty far to the mammiyoor road. But even that queue is pretty orderly. There is security check at the entrance, and you take a short queue inside, over a foot overbridge, directly to the main door. The only improvement needed is a good queue complex, which is in plan. Maybe will happen before my grandkids are born.,

For sabarimala, you need to improve the trekking path, making it safer. That's all. I'd been to Tirupathi only once, a decade ago, that looked ok as well.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby shiv » 05 Aug 2008 14:21

May I state my view on the current state of disaster prevention in India.

Prevention of disasters requires a degree of awareness of "accidents waiting to happen". that awareness must be present to some extent among the people who visit public places. But full knowledge of accidents waiting to happen needs to be there for local authorities and workers such as temple staff, mall staff, cricket/football stadium staff and cinema hall staff.

Over and above these people must be local officials, and district officials and local politicians who need to be fully aware of areas where accidents can happen and need to ensure that all the measures are in place to prevent accidents.

That does not happen in India. The diagram below represents what happens in India. the people are totally unaware. they will crowd in and overload stands and temporary structures. The local staff make feeble warnings and often flout rules because they too don't know. the district officials give licenses for public gatherings without ensuring safety measures. So you have a concentric ring of clueless people who allow things to build up to such an extent that when disaster strikes - it strikes big.


How often have you read of fires in enclosed placed becoming deadly because of lack of escape routes? For people in Bangalore, th next time you attend a "Furniture mela" in the Indoor stadium in Bangalore note how there is only one entrance and one exit. The exit is almost half km away and is possible only after passing a tortuous route that gets you past every stall.

If it catches fire only god can help you. And who gives permission for this? In Bangalore. That is a disaster waiting to happen. but the visitors don't understand. Stadium officials don't know. The civic authorities don't care as long as the rent comes in.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby Rahul M » 05 Aug 2008 14:34

am I correct in assuming that the tirupati temple administration handles as much devotees on a regular day that the smaller temples like naina devi handle on a special day ?
and I don't remember hearing of this kind of incidents from tirupati. if that is the case, tirupati already has a working system in place. people I know who have gone there speak of the high level of efficiency, discipline and strictness of the place.
what stops the govt to rope in the experts from there and form a general guideline that can be modified according to the needs of particular temples ??

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby Prasad » 05 Aug 2008 15:37

IIRC, the TTD offices schedule "appointments" to visit the temple at a specified date and time and give you tickets for that. You can get those appointments and tickets here at the TTD office in madras. You'll have to be there at Tirupathi in the queue at that time and you'll be allowed inside the temple for darshan.. If you get there earlier, you'll have to wait until its time for your appointment with God. Not sure if the dharma dharshan is still in practice now. I guess that has been modified into the above procedure.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby Dileep » 05 Aug 2008 16:39

About the fire safety at melas:

I used to be scared crap at them, where you are forced to walk narrow walkways with booths on one side, with no escape path at all. Many times, I refused to enter them.

The local administration now require approval of the plans with proper exits. And all the melas are now done in A/C pandhals. People won't visit otherwise. Also there are properly marked exits. However I have seen cartons stacked in front of one of them. But in general, I felt them safe enough.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 06 Aug 2008 02:42

Dileepji, I would request that you show me where the word "Guruvayoor" appears in my post above. Perhaps you were using my post as a strawman to air whatever issues you have. FYI, I have been to Guruvayoor many times, most recently Dec. 07, and I am aware of the system you describe.

Having said that, I still do suggest that the practice of keeping the sanctum sanctorum closed for long parts of the day is not something that the Almighty expressed a wish for, but is a result of something else, and hence can be altered with some intelligence. Strange that one can say that sitting around a porch in Kerala and not be accused immediately of being the Minister or IT crazy or whatever - it's plain common sense.

Guruvayoor is not the only temple in India, either, and the common-sense organization that now exists for queue handling there is very recent (i.e., post-Dec. 2006). It was driven in large part by EXTREME concern about terror attacks there - they make each person go through a metal detector, and search every bag.

It is very good that the temple authorities instituted these precautions on the basis of concerns, not saying "chalta hai". Thousands of other places have not moved an inch towards common sense provisions, as evidenced by the frequent horror reports such as this latest tragedy which was completely avoidable.

Actually Guruvayoor is very close to that Reservation system that I mentioned. If you institute strict crowd control, and control how many people can be inside at one time, then what is wrong with having reservations, so that people can find out before they leave from whatever place, whether they are actually going to get to go inside? Many people are not strong enough to just stand in line for hours (as the system there now requires). So why not let them know ahead and allow them to plan their visit? Do you think S.K. would be displeased?

But like I said, and your post proves, any suggestion however gentle, that temples institute common sense provisions, IMMEDIATELY draws irrational responses.

In the latest incident (I don't call it an accident at all), when the investigation is finally done, it will probably come out that the whole thing was started as a cover for purse-snatching and pocket-picking, and ended up with 145 innocents dead. These are standard tactics of goons at every crowded gathering. In the 1980s there was an incident at some fancy cultural performance in Kolkatta (Spinster may recall). Lights went out, and by the time they came back on, many terrible things had happened.

Fire Marshall type enforcement is absolutely needed. I hear you about all the Permits, etc, which set up a nice baksheesh regime, but who actually turns away people saying: "sorry, filled to capacity" until there is actually a riot going on inside?

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby Dileep » 06 Aug 2008 10:54

N Guru, no, you didn't mention guruvayoor. Bade did. But Guruvayoor is the major place where your suggestions apply. I am sure it doesn't matter at the Vamanamoorthy Temple at Thrikkakara!

Funny you found my response irrational, though you have no problem in making irrational suggestions. I am not against changes. If we hadn't made changes, a large percentage of people wouldn't have been getting into the temple now, or even women may be required to go topless inside (like we men have to do now). But changes must be made on a needful and sensible way. And changes should be convincingly acceptable to the people who use the facility.

Rituals are important. In a way, more important than the diety itself. Do you think the sculpted arsenious rock inside that gold plated building is any important? Would you pray before an atom by atom replica of that facility somewhere else? People go there because millions of others had been doing that for a long time. You need to keep that in mind when considering modifications. Traditions do matter.

I don't like any system that makes classes in the temple. I don't like the fact that Karunakaran and other VIPs get special treatment, or the uncle of a peon in devaswom gets to go straight in. You need to take the trouble to get there, like anyone else. If you don't wanna, do what Bade does. Pray from outside. Better still, pray at home.

What is wrong with a simple queue system, with a well designed queue complex? You can sell that idea to my gandmother. OTOH, talk to her about the reservation system, and the "Bhaaa Aebhyaaa" will resound a mile away.

All I am saying is, we need to be considerate on al lot of operative issues before getting carried away by the sole focus on crowd control.

Yes, the approval process for the mela venues is a baksheesh generator, but people are aware of the requirements, and will get heads roll if the basic necessities are not met.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby RajeshA » 06 Aug 2008 13:17

Security is based on tracking and identification.

So I would always plead for
a) improved surveillance of public places and installations, using CCTV, with relative good resolution cameras which always have electricity and are constantly feeding the video database, with data kept for around a year.
b) cameras on all major roads, taking down the number plates
c) world's best face recognition software
d) comprehensive intelligence management software, integration of intelligence data from different intelligence and security agencies and good management of access policies.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 06 Aug 2008 17:55

Another example of what I meant by "irrational"
You need to take the trouble to get there, like anyone else. If you don't wanna, do what Bade does. Pray from outside. Better still, pray at home.

What Bade said he does is to stand outside, because he allows his discipline and hard-learned common sense overcome the herd mentality. A tough sell, that, in a land where people think wearing helmets while riding a motorcycle, much less a bicycle, is non-maccho.

Oh, I shouldn't just pray from across the world? Or from the air? Or from from inside a tunnel? Sorry, I do all those. As I did mention very clearly and politely, Dileepji, and perhaps you could not read or understand, I have also gone there for many years. Probably long before you learned to pee in your diapers, and still do and plan to do, with or without your advice, thank you very much.

Your advice above is the sort that one has come to expect these days from the out-of-control pandu types who contribute the least to intelligent discussion on the forum, not from intelligent postors.

Have you considered the effect of your sort of arrogant attitude when it is applied to, say, 90-year-olds? Yes, I see them standing in the same queue. But is the level of "trouble" the same for them and their bodies, as it is to you and yours? (no comment on minds). Is it the same for young mothers with 3 brats in tow/ in arms? Don't these people have the same right to worship as you presume for yourself, or would you rather have them also "stay at home and pray" since, hey, if you're really faithful, u need to walk the walk, stand the stand, wait the wait, and feel the crush? Doesn't this have a slight tinge of immature irrationality about it? (well, you may not be able to see it, so don't worry about that)

Anyway, reinforces my point: Bringing any common sense to religious places is a very very tough proposition. Dileep is one of the most rational people here, and look at his reaction. The response of most of the locals to reasonable suggestions, is far more extreme.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby Dileep » 06 Aug 2008 18:36

narayanan wrote:Dileep is one of the most rational people here

Gee, thank you for that, really!

I KNOW you'd been going there when I was a kid (well, to be precise, I never wore a diaper in my life though). I have no contest on much of what you said either, ie the issue of old and invalid.

It is funny when you preach brual rationality when people (including you and me) worship an ancient sculpted arsenious rock. I am sure you also made offerings to that rock too. And more than once in life, really believed that rock, or something/someone represented by that, would save you from danger.

Is THAT rational? For a highly educated, intelligent and logical thinking man like you? So, where would you draw the line of rationality when it come to such matters of belief? My SHQ puts money into an array of piggybanks labeled with the name of different temple/dieties, whenever she faces some problem (like the kid getting sick, or I complain about work load). I think that is not rational. Does that make me any better than her?

I don't think so.

All I am saying is that you must be sensitive to the environment when you implement changes. There are lots of things you can demand that will seem perfectly rational to you, but the general user community see differently. Whom should someone listen to?

Let me make a list of the changes that could be proposed by an americanized rational malayalee.

1. The cooking/distribution of the paayasams/prasad should e done by FDA standard facilities. Do you have any idea how hazardous the current methods are? Would you put that thing in your mouth?
2. Sprinklers should be installed everywhere, including inside the sreekovil. Do you realize that with all those lamps and open fire, how dire is the fire hazard?
3. The sandalwood paste should be made in a sterilized nut free environment. Warnings should be posted about the hazards of applying it on your skin. Are you aware that people can die from allergies?
4. Dress code should be abolished. How can you demand certain type of clothes when it is totally inconvenient for people? You should allow cut off jeans and tank tops to cope with the hot and humid environment. All you can have is the standard "Shirts required, shoes required" sign.
5. Entry discriminations should be abolished, like need to take bath, clean clothes etc.

Rational? Yes? No?

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby ramana » 07 Aug 2008 06:48

Deccan Chronicle, 7 Aug, 2008

US to help AP manage crisis

Hyderabad, Aug 6: American experts will be arriving to train state officials on disaster management under the Incident Command System (ICS) programme. The departments of agriculture and forest services of the United States will provide technical support in the implementation of ICS pilot programme in Nellore and Khammam districts.

"Our main intention is to transform the confusion during the early stage of an emergency situation into a well managed response process," said Mrs Ratnaprabha, Commissioner of Disaster Management. "This will be done by providing answers to questions on who is in charge and what is the task." Such training is essential in the state which is highly vulnerable to floods, cyclones, droughts and earthquakes.

It also suffers substantial losses in terms of lives, livelihoods and damage to public and private properties during natural disasters. It is estimated that damage caused by natural disasters every year in the state is around Rs 100 crore. ICS was first conceptualised in the early 1970s in the US as a management system to tackle forest fire. Later on, it developed into an inter-agency task force and evolved into a system which could tackle major hazards. The Centre is already implementing the ICS pilot project in Gujarat and Assam and AP is the third state to take up the project. The expenditure involved in bringing US experts for training will be borne by the USAID and US Forest Service. The state government will bear the cost of simulation exercises or mock drills.

Training programmes in the state will be conducted through the Dr MCR HRD institute. "We have asked two districts to send 10 officials each to participate in the training," said Mrs Ratnaprabha. However, the training comes at a time Khammam and Nellore are grappling with rain damages. "Relieving 10 important officials for one month will be a big problem but somehow we need to pull it off," said the commissioner.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 08 Aug 2008 18:42

Interesting sign of the times: I wonder if the solution is to transplant large and complicated software packages from US entities into Indian local government and set up training programmes, but it's better than nothing. At least they show some intentions to develop good systems to deal with perpetual problems.

Actually, ramana, it would be interesting to store this and see where they are next year, or after the foreign aid money is gone.

Here is another way of getting action: citizens taking their duties seriously.

From IBN:
In line of fire: CJs probe building safety standards
Harmanpreet Kaur
FIGHTING AGAINST FIRE: CJs probe the fire safety standards in some of the old buildings of Delhi.

New Delhi: Shekhar and Neelam Krishnamoorthy lost both their children in the Uphaar cinema fire in 1997. Since then it has been their mission to make sure that the public buildings are safe. They have become CNN-IBN Citizen Journalists to probe the fire safety standards in the old buildings of Delhi.

“I and my wife Neelam had become CJs, some months ago. We had probed the fire safety standards in some buildings in the busy Nehru Place area of the Capital. At that time the Chief Fire Officer had claimed that these buildings were safe but we found fire alarms were missing and all emergency exits were blocked,” says Shekhar

“Now nearly a year later, I want to see if anything is different. I have decided to go to the same place, Vishal Bhavan in Nehru Place. It is a building which has shops and offices in all four floors,” he added.

While walking through the building, Shekhar comes across a fire exit which is blocked with cardboard boxes and other materials like before. The other exit is also locked. The fire alarm is still broken like before and there are cold drink bottles lying inside.

Shekhar tells that last year his wife, Neelam, questioned the Chief fire officer, R C Sharma, and will meet him again now.

When Neelam asks Sharma that why there has not been any improvement in the condition of the building in last one year he refuses to comment.

“We have inspected during this year at least 700 buildings and we have issued this connection order for at least 300 buildings,” says the fire officer.

But, Neelam is not convinced by his answer and says, “You have to make sure that these kind of buildings are ceased. This is the only way people are going to learn.”

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 11 Aug 2008 18:35

Another avoidable tragedy

Jaipur: A pilgrim was killed and nearly 250 others were trapped inside a cave temple in Rajasthan's Kota district after a ladder leading to the ancient shrine collapsed.

It was a cantilever type of ladder (supported from one end) that collapsed due to heavy rush of pilgrims, said Principal Home Secretary S N Thanvi.

Close to 250 worshippers were trapped inside the temple of Lord Shiva located on the foothills of Chambal ravines, some 20 kms from Kota.

Army had been requisitioned to assist the district administration in rescue operations and a helicopters had also been kept ready in case of any exigency, Thanvi added.

Some pilgrims, who were eye-witnesses to the tragedy, said nearly 70 devotees were inside the temple when the ladder collapsed.

So they had ONE cantilever ladder to a place where hundreds could be inside, way below ambient ground level....

No emergency exit ladders, no staircase, no emergency lifts.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 11 Aug 2008 18:41

Rescued from an ancient cave shrine
August 11, 2008
One person has been admitted to the MBS hospital in critical condition after the cantilever type of ladder, supported from one end, collapsed due to heavy rush of pilgrims, official sources said on Monday.

Three cranes of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Project and five fire tenders were pressed into rescue operation to evacuate the stranded people, most of them women and children.

...Rescued from an ancient cave shrine
August 11, 2008
The information about the mishap was conveyed to the police by a stranded person through his mobile and police immediately swung into action.

The administration has provided food packets to stranded people who included 33 women and 17 children.

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby enqyoob » 11 Aug 2008 18:46

Meanwhile, an update about the Naino Devi shrine.

1. They too have the sort of Maze-type queue system that was cited here as a sign of ultra-modern safety arrangements - see the right side of the image here.

2. The trigger for the event was probably like what I cited - pickpockets shoving people.
But 18-year-old Gurminder Singh is convinced he knows how it happened. Loitering around the place where the stampede happened, searching for his lost bag, Singh claimed he saw how the stampede was triggered.

"I was here yesterday too. Some five youngsters, who were in the same group, started arguing amongst themselves and this led to a brawl among them. As the fighting intensified they started pushing other pilgrims too and in the rush, people were pushed into an oncoming group, triggering a stampede to get clear.

"I was close to a shed and I climbed on top of the shed, but lost my bag in the melee. All my friends have gone back home. I had my only other pair of clothes in that bag. I will go back only after I get it," said Singh, who came to the temple to pray after he was fired from his job as a cleaner, as the owner of the eatery was incurring losses.

3. The place gets 20,000 to 40,000 visitors a DAY, but they haven't been able in all these years to set up any sort of decent facilities.

No lessons learnt
August 06, 2008
On Monday, there was no sign of a stampede as deadly as Sunday's. The pilgrims were back. They never went away, actually, as one official put it, "Twenty minutes after the bodies were cleared, and the next batch had started going up. It was as though they were not even aware, or worse, did not care about what had happened less than half an hour ago."

At first sight, nothing indicates that the administration has learnt its lessons. The narrow approach to the temple is choc-a-bloc with groups of pilgrims jostling and raising slogans.

The two approach roads from two sides of the foothills -- Anantpur Sahib and the Bakra -- have no lamps or signboards. This is a hassle for pilgrims from others states. The roads are also extremely narrow and poorly paved.

From the place the staircase starts till it reaches the temple, there is no toilet in sight. Nor is there any facility for water. Most pilgrims said the absence of toilets and water was the biggest problem they faced. The municipality that looks after the temple and the surrounding areas, however, says there are enough toilets. How many?

"There are 15 toilets along the way up to the temple," Naina Devi Municipality Executive Officer R K Thakur said.

And how many people visit the temple during the Navratra?

"Today (Monday) it will be close to 30,000. It was much more than that on Sunday."

There are only 15 toilets at place visited by over 40,000 people. Thakur also said the sub-divisional magistrate, who is entrusted with the temple affairs, called a meeting of officials. "He divided the entire area into nine sectors and assigned a senior administrative officer and a police officer for each sector," Thakur said.

But the locals swear none of those assigned reached the spot till after an hour. "They had assigned two senior officials, 4 head constables and 20 constables to each sector. If they were there as they claimed, answer one question for me. I am not asking this with any ill will. But how come not one single policeman was killed in a stampede that occurred in one of the points where there is supposedly a barricade manned by these 26 people?" Chand asked.
Image: The old route that has now been closed to the public after the incident. When the stampede broke out, people who were coming down this route jumped over to the adjacent path and ran into the oncoming pilgrims, increasing the casualty.

If this isn't criminal greed and sloth, what is?

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Re: Emergency Response

Postby ramana » 12 Aug 2008 03:01

From Deccan Chronicle, 12 Aug., 2008

Tackling trauma in a jiffy

Hyderabad, Aug. 11: The Emergency Management Research Institute has initiated a new orientation programme in trauma care for doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff of government hospitals under the Andhra Pradesh Vaidhya Vidhana Parishad. The EMRI and its sister organisation, the Health Management & Research Institute, had been launched to provide 24-hour emergency medical care to people through 450 ambulances and advice-on-phone service.

Initiated two months back, the new orientation programme is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of doctors and paramedics to help them handle emergency and trauma cases. "This programme is the first of its kind in India and will enable medical professionals to identify emergencies and perform the required interventions," says Dr Ramana Rao, learning programme trainer of EMRI.

Training will be given by certified instructors from EMRI as well as those from the American Heart Association and the American College of Emergency Physicians. There will be separate modules for doctors, nurses and paramedical staff. Besides basic life support, advanced life support and advanced airway management, doctors will also be trained in the general approach towards a patient and clinical care protocols.

Further, doctors will be given training on management of head, neck and spinal trauma, and abdominal and extremities trauma. Nurses will also be given similar training. "The only objective of EMRI is to provide an organised, integrated, accessible ‘108 Emergency Response Service’ to an individual at the time of emergency," said Dr Ramana Rao.

"At the same time, we do not want any delays at the hospital’s emergency room and that is why we are even training class IV employees on lifting the patient," said Dr P.V. Rao, Commissioner of APVVP. The ‘108 Emergency Response Service’ of the EMRI was launched in Hyderabad on August 15, 2005, and it now provides services to many states including Gujarat and Uttarakhand with over 650 ambulances and over 4,500 employees.

It is estimated that EMRI is currently saving over 4,500 lives per month and has so far saved over 30,000 lives. It plans to extend the 108 Emergency Response Service throughout India by 2010 and save a million lives per annum. EMRI deals with critical cases of which accidents constitute 8 per cent, maternal complications 22 per cent, suicide attempts six per cent and cardiac complications four per cent.

Already, EMRI has also signed deals with Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan to launch its service in these states. The ‘104 service’ of HMRI is also popular. The service caters to the needs of pregnant women, infants and victims of chronic illnesses.

This is similar to 911 service in US and trauma response centers in ER rooms in US.

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