What are Notified Disasters?

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Source: The post on Notified Disaster is based on the article “Why heatwaves have not been included as a notified disaster in the Disaster Management Act” published in Indian Express on 13 June 2024.

Why in news?

The ongoing extreme heat in many parts of the country has reignited discussions on including heatwaves as one of the notified disasters under the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005.

About Notified Disaster

1. The Disaster Management Act, 2005, defines a disaster as a “catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence” arising from natural or man-made causes.

2. Disasters result in substantial loss of life, destruction of property, or damage to the environment.

Categories of Notified Disasters

1 The Act includes 12 categories of notified disasters which are Cyclone, Drought, Earthquake, Fire, Flood, Tsunami, Hailstorm, Landslide, Avalanche, Cloudburst, Pest attack, Frost and cold waves.

2.  Notified disasters are eligible for relief assistance under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).

3. The SDRF is primarily used for immediate relief to victims of notified disasters.

4. The NDRF supplements the SDRF in cases of severe disasters where funds are insufficient.

Exclusion of Heatwaves

1. Heatwaves are not currently included as a notified disaster under the Act.

2. Despite being a significant concern in certain regions of India, the Finance Commission has not expanded the list to include heatwaves.

3. If classified as a disaster, States can use up to 10% of their SDRF allocation for local disasters, including heatwaves, which some states have done.

Role of NDMA

1. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) plays a crucial role in disaster management in India.

2.  NDMA lays down policies, plans, and guidelines for disaster management.

3. It aims to promote a national resolve to mitigate the damage and destruction caused by natural and man-made disasters through sustained and collective efforts.

UPSC Syllabus: Disaster management

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