Topic of the Day – India Disaster Response Summit

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – India Disaster Response Summit

India Disaster Response summit was  organised jointly by Facebook and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). It laid emphasis on leveraging of social media platform to ‘prepare, respond and recover’ for, during and after a disaster.  This topic is related to Disaster Management, which is a very important part of the UPSC syllabus.

Disaster Information Volunteers (DIV)

  • It is a Programme, wherein a network of trained volunteers will be providing supplementary information on disasters in their local communities to assist Government relief effortsthrough the Facebook Workplace platform. The Programme will be piloted in two disaster prone states – Assam and Uttarakhand.
  • Facebook will now share its disaster maps, developed using aggregated, de-identified data, with NDMA. These maps can aid swift disaster response by providing real-time, actionable information.
  • Facebook has partnered with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and a non-profit body, SEEDS in India, to offer tools to these agencies to help them respond more effectively to natural disasters.
  • It will offer ‘disaster maps data’ that illustrate aspects like people’s movement and concentration of Facebook users in the given area before and after a calamity.

To know more about how to prepare for Internal Security and Disaster Management for GS III of the UPSC Mains, click here.

Disaster maps

  • Disaster Maps were introduced globally in June and uses aggregated location information that users have chosen to share with Facebook.
  • These tools have been deployed in Peru and the US.
  • Disaster mapping is the mapping of areas that have been disturbed through extreme natural or human caused disruptions to the normal environment such that there is a loss of life or value to the area. It is normally possible to delineate the area affected by the disruption.

Facebook researchers have built three kinds of maps:

  • Location density maps: These point out the location where people are before, during and after a disaster. We can compare this information to historical records, like population estimates based on satellite images. Comparing these data sets can help response organizations understand areas impacted by a natural disaster.
  • Movement maps: These demonstrate patterns of movement between different neighborhoods or cities over a period of several hours. By studying and understanding these patterns, response organizations can better tell where resources will be needed, gain insight into patterns of evacuation, or predict where traffic will be most congested.
  • Safety Check: These maps are based on locations where our community uses Safety Check to notify their friends and family that they are safe during a disaster.

Partnership

  • While globally Facebook has partnered with organizations like the Red Cross, in India, initially it will join hands with two organizations: the NDMA and SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society) and will share data about Facebook users with them in times of disasters. Over time, they will add more such partners.

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