A Two Day Virtual Workshop on the theme of “Emergency Operation Management & The Role of Emergency Operations Centre in Emergency Management” was organized by the World Bank for the capacity building of the J&K ERA/JTFRP which has recently started the execution of work on the construction of a State of Art Rs 34.88 crore (Emergency Operations Centre) at Ompura, Budgam under the World Bank funded Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project.

Er.Basharat Ahmad Kawoosa, Director Technical, JTFRP in his inaugural address said “The workshop has been organized at an opportune time as the work in U.T level EOC is in its initial stage and the learnings from the workshop can be incorporated in further fine tuning the design of EOC”. He said that the workshop will further build capacities of participants in the sphere of emergency operation management.

Peeyush Ramawatar Sekhsaria, Disaster Management Expert, World Bank while speaking about the objectives of the workshop said that World Bank as part of strengthening the technical capacity to respond effectively and timely to an impending crisis under the ongoing disaster recovery projects in J&K and Uttrakhand has funded the establishment of the EOC (Emergency Operations Centers) in the U.T and State respectively. He said the workshop is being organized for the E.A’s (Executing Agencies) UDRP & JTFRP to help them in the finalization of good design for their respective EOCs.

He also introduced the resource persons for the workshop Balaji Singh Chawhan, Senior Disaster Management Expert, Kishan Sanku , Disaster Management Expert, and Faisal Illiyas, Disaster Management Expert professional expert from the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Balaji Singh Chawhan, Sr. Disaster Management Expert having an experience of more than 30 years in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction with USAID, UNDP, UNICEF, etc in the session on the Concept and Structure of Ideal EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) said “EOC is a physical location where information & resources are coordinated to manage the emergency situations effectively”. Chawhan said that the EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) has to be structurally stable, effectively manageable and must have operational integrity”. He also delved at length on the subject of MAC – Multi Agency Coordination which is pivotal to the effective management of the emergency situations and on the ideal organizational structure of the EOC (Emergency Operations Centre)

Kishan Sanku, Disaster Management, Consultant in his session on the early warning systems, public information management, communication coordination, search & rescue, relief operations, and logistical arrangements briefed participants about the various latest tools of communication like, Satellite phones, HAM radio , VSAT, Satellite based Mobile Data Voice Terminal (SBMDVT) ,Cell Broadcasting, National Database for Emergency Management (NDEM) which have been found to be very useful in restoring the lines of communication in case of several hard hitting natural disasters like cyclones , floods etc.

Faisel Illiyas, Disaster Management professional from the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority in his session on the technological solutions to the emergency operations made a technical presentation on the latest tools used in the state of Andhra Pradesh for the effective operation of the EOC which include: One touch video system, WEBEOC, Weather warning systems, Unified Command for Action, Data storage and its retrieval for future use, Geographic Information System Lab, Integrated Operational Dashboard, Forecasting and Warning systems, Wireless Emergency Alert Broadcast,

The two-day workshop was attended virtually by Er. Shakti Sagar, Director, Kashmir, J&KERA,,Er. Amir Ali, Nodal Officer, EOC, more than 80 participants from J&KERA,JTFRP various stakeholder agencies and line departments like U.T DRF, I&FC, SMC, Fire & Emergency Depts as well as the officers and consultants of UDRP (Uttarakhand Disaster Recovery Project).

Workshop concluded with Q&A sessions in which the participants asked various questions to the resource persons about the design requirements of EOC and various operational challenges in smooth functioning of EOC.

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