An overview of the Disaster Management Act


This act constitutes, The National Disaster Management Authority, State Disaster Management Authority, and District Disaster Management Authority3. These authorities make policies, plans and guidelines for disaster management for ensuring timely and effective response to disaster. Examples of powers and function of NDMA are:

  1. Lay down guidelines to be followed by the different Ministries or Departments of the Government of India for the purpose of integrating the measures for prevention of disaster or the mitigation of its effects in their development plans and projects;
  2. Take such other measures for the prevention of disaster, or the mitigation, or preparedness and capacity building for dealing with the threatening disaster situation or disaster as it may consider necessary;
  3. Provide such support to other countries affected by major disasters as may be determined by the Central Government;
  4. Lay down policies on disaster management; and others
    According to the act, a National Disaster Management Authority will function under the immediate authority of the prime minister. The national authority would be the nodal body and lay down all the plans and policies assisted by the secretaries of various ministries and department heads. It speaks of a holistic approach through various departments of the government to ensure a prompt response to disasters. A chain of responsibilities and duties down to the local authorities has also been established. The act also specifies that experts in the field of disaster management shall be brought on board in an advisory capacity.

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