Disaster Management – Overview

The objective of the disaster management programme of SLRCS is to improve community resilience to cope with and manage disasters while continuing to maintain organizational readiness to respond to natural and manmade disasters.  Overall DM programme focuses on two thematic areas i.e. institutional preparedness for disaster management and Community preparedness for disaster risk reduction. There are 5 types (components) of programmes are implemented under these 2 thematic areas namely institutional preparedness for response, community Based Disaster Risk Management, Early Warning systems, recovery, livelihood and development and development of skilled human resources and SLRCS has established training infrastructure.

The SLRCS has had considerable experiences in relief and response work for both natural and manmade disasters. Its strength lies in its long history of relief and other humanitarian work in Sri Lanka. While developing its capacity in responding to the disasters effectively, SLRCS is also engaged in disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities to reduce the impact on the future disasters by improving the resilience of the vulnerable people and strengthening early warning systems. Especial attention is given to the protection of students and schools by implementing school disaster management programmes.  SLRCS has an established mechanism for implementing DRR measures and also for the disaster response. SLRCS mobilizes its organization and volunteers at appropriate levels to carry out disaster response. In order to make its disaster response further effective, SLRCS putting constant efforts to decentralize the disaster response activities and has been expanding its DRR initiatives up to the community level.

SLRCS DM programmes has established strong collaboration with the other stakeholders involved in DM especially with government DMC and is a member of National Disaster Management Committee (NDMCC) and its role is clearly specified in the “Towards a Safer Sri Lanka” – The Road Map for Disaster Risk Management.  While providing its support to the national level initiatives the programme has also been involved in regional and global level initiatives.

Recognition received from the other stakeholders for its role in the government DM plan, representation at national level DM forums, establishment of Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) at national level, setting up regional warehouses and maintaining standard buffer stocks, implementation of CBDRM projects in 14 districts reaching 285 communities and 289 schools covering 161,869 families and EW programme in 3 districts with the support from movement partners, creation of pool of trainers (more than 100) island wide, formation of disaster response teams at all levels (NDRT, BDRT, DDRT and CDRT) and setting up of emergency control room at national level are the major achievement of the SLRCS DM programme during last few years after tsunami 2004.