1. Necessity of performing an in-depth study of the disaster
1A. Understanding the nature and extent of the disaster
When assisting in a disaster, first and foremost understand its nature and extent. Example, if an earthquake has occurred then what was its intensity, how many villages have been affected in a flood etc. Such information can be obtained from various media channels and through official Government websites. If the disaster is widespread then the assistance provided at individual or group level has its limitations. In such conditions either the Government or Army can help. If the severity of disaster is mild or moderate then the group level assistance can be provided more effectively.
1B. Prioritizing tasks and doing accordingly
During severe floods that occurred in Uttarakhand, the roads got blocked due to heavy boulders making it difficult for administration and the Army to provide aid. Only after the highway was cleared of boulders, truckloads of food, Army vehicles, ambulances etc were able to reach and provide assistance.
In Nepal earthquake, debris of collapsed houses had to be cleared on priority.
1C. Assessing the geographical conditions of the site of disaster when preparing for assistance
When natural calamities occur in valleys or mountainous regions, their geographical conditions become challenging. Hence planning for adequate preparations to reach the disaster site is utmost necessary. In Uttarakhand, taking the rope climbing equipment along with us turned highly useful in rescue operations.
As Nepal was earthquake prone, tents were useful there.
2. Methods of emergency aid in a disaster
2A. One or more organisations coming together to aid.
2B. One or more organisations working in collaboration with the administration.
3. Qualities and skills required in volunteers rendering service
When selecting volunteers for rendering service, the organizations need to ensure that their physical and mental state is good. During a calamity we may even need to perform cremation of the deceased in large numbers. Therefore, the volunteers need to be mentally prepared for this. Leadership, decisiveness, alertness, ability to plan, self-confidence, emotional stability, ability to establish closeness with others and faith in God are the main qualities required to be present in the social worker. They should also possess skills to drive, cook, render first aid etc.
4. Essentials to be carried by a social worker when going to assist in a disaster
Social worker should carry shoes with PVC soles, socks, backpack, water bottle, few tear resistant clothes, camera, torch, personal medicines, a small first aid kit, bedding and blanket, dry snacks that can last for at least a week and a thick rope besides other essential personal needs.
5. Actual aid to disaster victims
5A. Setting up an office for those providing emergency aid and for storing material
5B. Shifting disaster victims to a safe destination
5C. Giving mental support to disaster victims
Motivate disaster victims so that they receive mental support. Also connect them with their relatives for providing emotional support.
5C 1. Advise disaster victims to chant the Name of their Deity of worship
5D. Distribute essential commodities to disaster victims
6. Importance of deploying emergency help collectively and its direction
One cannot predict when disasters will happen. In the upcoming period one may be entrusted with the task of giving disaster assistance at any point of time. No matter where the disaster strikes in Bharat, all organisations should strive unitedly to help their fellow brethren in the upcoming adverse times. In the forthcoming period, wherever disaster occurs the local Hindu organizations should call the Hindu organizations from all over Bharat and plan for providing emergency aid. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti will certainly assist in planning.
– A volunteer