Meaning of disaster operations

Perception, that much more attention has to be paid to the knowledge creation and spread in the form of the knowledge bases of best practice, have been recently set in a post disaster management field. Knowledge bases of the best practice are knowledge-obtaining tools, which allow to save a lot of time, provide information on the best post-disaster management practice in different forms (regulations, e-books, slide presentations, structural schemes, text, video and audio material, etc.).

Tacit knowledge base of best practice consists of informal and unrecorded procedures, practices, and skills. Knowledge management systems are of value to the extent that it can codify “best practices” in a post-disaster management, store them, and disseminate them as needed. Tacit knowledge is highly personal, context-specific, and therefore hard to formalize and communicate. Tacit knowledge is extremely important to the post-disaster management because, once a tsunami subsequences are eliminate, professionals tend to forget it and start something new. Therefore, knowledge utilization is a key factor in effectively executing a post-disaster management.

Education involves the enhancement and use of indigenous knowledge for protecting people, habitat, livelihoods, and cultural heritage from natural hazards. Educational practices can be conducted through direct learning, information technology, staff training, electronic and print media and other innovative actions to facilitate the management and transfer of knowledge and information to citizens, professionals, organizations, community stakeholders and policymakers. History teaches that inadequate disaster reduction awareness and preparation repeatedly leads to preventable loss of life and damage in all major natural disasters. Preparation through education is less costly than learning through tragedy. There is strong need for experience and knowledge sharing at different levels as well as need for knowledge networking and partnership building to support policy making and recovery planning.

Knowledge is at its most effective when linked to community needs. Knowledge for implementing risk reduction activities at the individual, household, community and policy levels should be the ultimate target, keeping in mind that building a culture of safety and resilience requires time, effort, resources and continued cooperation and understanding amongst all actors. This calls for the application of knowledge and behavioral change on disaster risk promotion and information strengthening and dissemination on disaster risk and safety actions. This focuses on four themes:

  • Education: formal, informal education;
  • Increased Knowledge base: information management, multi-discipline, and cross sectoral cooperation, research and development;
  • Information and public awareness: media, civil society involvement for dissemination and implementation;
  • Community empowerment: capacity building, and community resilience by building knowledge bases.
  • Tsunami recovery by public and private sector partnerships can benefit to (IBM Crisis Response Team, 2005):
  • Identify Gaps: lack of service, support, and resources compared against victim, community, and government needs;
  • Examine local available skill base – keep as much work local as possible;
  • Identify minimal standards and best practices;
  • Examine rebuilding issues including priorities, cost, resources, and labor;
  • Understand the social, political, and environmental impact;
  • Learn from prior disasters and mistakes to reduce exposures;
  • Communicate and share information with partners on a regular basis.

Knowledge sharing has to be developed in regional and national levels in disaster recovery phases. As Sri Lanka reviews its coastal zone management and development plans in the light of lessons learned from the tsunami, it would be wise as well to find out as much as possible about the manner in which other tsunami-prone and typhoon-prone countries in the Asia-Pacific region undertake coastal zone planning. Various governments have been working for some time on ecological restoration in their coastal zones. Practical knowledge on what works can be made accessible to Sri Lanka through exchange visits and study tours with these countries. Since other countries affected by the tsunami may also conclude that they need to take similar measures in their own coastal zones, sharing of relevant knowledge would increase the effectiveness of the whole regional process, with benefits for each country (UNEP, 2005).

In Sri Lanka, regional knowledge sharing of development planning would be enhanced through exchange among experts and institutions that have experience of ecological reconstruction, planning and construction of sustainable urban environments, use of digital terrain mapping to guide investment in coastline defence, and in waste management. Environmental education and awareness is needed to increase public understanding of the environments where communities live, so that they can be encouraged and enabled to participate in their own development.

The sharing of experience during reconstruction, which is considered as an educational process play an important role. Awareness rising on people’s participation to respond to early warning system is also of utmost importance. Therefore, the combination of high-tech knowledge with low or no-tech disaster education will be required in most cases. A world list on disaster reduction technologies (with specific relevance to implementation) might be a good database for field practitioners. Therefore the primary issues on knowledge are to identify, recognize the importance of traditional and indigenous knowledge bases, and utilize these bases effectively.

In the countries affected by Asian tsunami the lack of knowledge management is apparent. Food is not reaching the affected victims, logistics is a nightmare and coordination is needed among the nations offering aid. It would be timely to proactively design such a knowledge system that could be used in any kind of disaster – natural or manmade. A sound knowledge management system would help tremendously. This knowledge system would be a coordination framework that could be put up immediately no matter where disaster strikes. Affected countries can immediately plug in local information – maps, population demographics, hospital locations and so on – into this coordination framework. The resources of countries offering aid can also be plugged into the system, and the logistics mapped out by the system, aided by observation satellites that can give visuals of altered coastlines and the extent of the damage.

In the countries suffering from various natural disasters there is a conscious effort for Disaster Risk Reduction at national, provincial and sub-provincial level. Thousands of organizations are supporting the effort from last few decades. However there is a felt gap in information coordination and sharing. The knowledge and experiences of disaster practitioners are remaining in individual or institutional domain. There is an urgent need of an organized common platform to capture, organize and share this knowledge and to create a versatile interface among policy-makers in the Government and disaster managers’ at all administrative level (National/State/District/Sub-District/ Community). Acknowledging the need for a disaster knowledge networking platform to facilitate interaction and have simultaneous dialogue with all related expertise dealing with disaster management, the knowledge management initiative should be thoughtfully envisaged as a tool to store, retrieve, disseminate and manage information related to disaster management.

In order to enhance the information sharing and management of the knowledge generated in these institutions, it is highly essential to closely knit the organizations/ institutions and moreover people. The network of these institutions would create a common platform and enable its stakeholders and people to capture, organize, share and reuse the knowledge generated in the area of disaster management. The network would use various tools to connect the Government, Institutions and people.

Some trends of the best practice for post disaster management as based on the actual conditions are following:

Integrate disaster risk reduction into education at all levels. Disaster risk reduction should be integrated into education at all levels and public awareness initiative and including school curricula, dissemination of knowledge, especially local knowledge.

Provide easily understandable information on disaster risks and protection options, especially to citizens in high-risk areas, to encourage and enable people to take action to reduce risks and build resilience. The information should incorporate relevant traditional and indigenous knowledge and culture heritage and be tailored to different target audiences, taking into account cultural and social factors.

Improve land use planning. Governments bare prime responsibilities for enforcing and improving land use planning through risk mapping. Practices to include participatory approaches, risk mapping and conflict resolution at all levels.

Strengthen networks among disaster experts, managers and planners across sectors and between regions, and create or strengthen procedures for using available expertise when agencies and other important actors develop local risk reduction plans.

Appropriate warning systems for communities. National government bodies to cooperate with local government and community organizations to promote timely dissemination to communities establish and maintain monitoring systems and provide appropriate shelters and escape routes.

Promote and improve dialogue and cooperation among scientific communities and practitioners working on disaster risk reduction, and encourage partnerships among stakeholders, including those working on the socioeconomic dimensions of disaster risk.

Integrated explicit and tacit analysis provides the exhaustive knowledge about various aspects of a post-disaster management:

  • economical,
  • legislative,
  • social,
  • management,
  • ethical,
  • technical,
  • technological,
  • infrastructural,
  • Qualitative (architectural, aesthetic, comfortability, etc.).

By using of Knowledge Base of Experts it is possible to search for experts and facilitates communication with those experts by using internet technology. Logging into Knowledge Base of Experts, stakeholders can search for an expert with the relevant knowledge, and will connect with him in real time by using instant messaging, e-mail, telephone, or Internet conferencing. As a result, stakeholder could receive direct tacit help from an expert who had recently experienced a similar problem. At the time of communication, experts’ tacit knowledge will be transferred in the most appropriate forms and applied in business processes. Their dialogue would be audited and stored in enterprise database systems to be searched by others. In this way, the stakeholder extracts valuable tacit knowledge from employees’ human brains and applies those assets to the work process. In this way, higher performance levels theoretically can be achieved by accelerating the knowledge transfer processes.



The Disaster Management Bill 21 of 2002 was promulgated as the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002, published in Government Gazette 24252 of 15 January 2003, and will come into operation on a date to be proclaimed. The Bill has important implications for all organizations in both the public and the private sector and for non-governmental organizations.

Significantly, the Bill calls for a countrywide, integrated system of public and private sector disaster management through the development of disaster management centres at the municipal, provincial and national government levels.

It sets out the establishment of a National Disaster Management Centre falling under the Minister for Provincial and Local Government, Mr. Sydney Mufumadi, “to promote an integrated and coordinated system of disaster management, with special emphasis on prevention and mitigation, by national, provincial and municipal organs of state, statutory functionaries, other role players involved in disaster management and communities”.

The newly created National Centre will specialize in issues concerning disasters and disaster management, will monitor whether the organs of state and statutory functionaries comply with this Bill as well as whether any progress with post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation has been made, and will act as a repository of, and conduit for, information concerning disasters, impending disasters and disaster management.

It may also act as an advisory and consultative body on issues concerning disasters and disaster management to:


  • Organs of state and statutory functionaries;


  • The private sector and non-governmental organizations;


  • Communities and individuals; and


  • Other governments and institutions in southern Africa.


Another key responsibility will be to make recommendations regarding the funding of disaster management and initiating and facilitating efforts to make sure such funding is available.

From a human resources context the National Centre will also be charged with promoting the recruitment, training and participation of volunteers in disaster management, including capacity building and training programmes in schools and tertiary institutions and promoting research into all aspects of disaster management.

As one of its first tasks, the National Centre will be developing and monitoring a directory of institutional role-players that are or should be involved in disaster management in southern Africa, while at the same time establishing communication links with foreign management agencies performing similar functions to itself.

The electronic database developed by the National Centre will contain extensive information not only on where and how disasters have occurred in southern Africa, but also on a whole host of management issues including research and training facilities for disaster management disciplines. The database will be electronically accessible to everyone free of charge.

Whilst in the past each organization has developed its own disaster management plan (and many have no plans in place to cope with a disaster), the National Centre will be tasked to assist in coordinating the implementation of these plans and strategies by the respective organs of state and other role-players. Furthermore, these will be integrated with national, provincial and municipal development plans, programmes and initiatives.

What is of particular interest is the new Bill specifically creates a disaster management framework at provincial and municipal levels, which includes setting up disaster management centres and advisory forums. Central to the work of both these bodies, however, is the preparation of a disaster management plan setting out:

  • The way in which the concept and principles of disaster management are to be applied in its functional area;


  • Its role and responsibilities in terms of the national, provincial or municipal disaster management framework;


  • Its role and responsibilities regarding emergency response and post disaster recovery and rehabilitation;


  • Its capacity to fulfill its role and responsibilities;


  • Particulars of its disaster management strategies; and


  • Contingency strategies and emergency procedures in the event of disaster, including measures to finance those strategies.


Thus each province is now charged with the responsibility of preparing a disaster management plan for the province as a whole, coordinating and aligning the implementation of its plans with those of other organizations of state and multinational role-players and regularly reviewing and updating its plan.

Likewise each metropolitan and each district municipality will be called upon to establish and implement a framework for disaster management in their municipalities aimed at ensuring an integrated and uniform approach to disaster management in their respective areas.

With regard to specially created disaster management advisory forums at both provincial and municipal levels, representatives will be drawn from a variety of sources ranging from government representation, organized business and labour, and experts in disaster management.

It is envisaged that both the municipal and provincial disaster management centres will work closely with the National Centre by identifying and establishing communication links with disaster management role players in their respective areas, developing and maintaining a national disaster management electronic data base, reviewing existing plans and strategies and integrating the concept and principles of disaster management with development plans and programmes.

Annual reports will be prepared at each level and submitted at the municipal level to municipal councils, at the provincial level to the MEC and provincial legislatures, and at national level to the Minister. He in turn will have to submit his report to Parliament within 30 days after receipt of a combined report from the National Centre.

Players in Disaster Operation

The Minister of Minerals and Energy is responsible for national policy on nuclear matters and administration of both nuclear acts namely the Nuclear Energy Act, 1999 (Act No. 46 of 1999) and the National Nuclear Regulator Act, 1999 (Act No. 47 of 1999). The Department of Minerals and Energy is responsible to service the Minister’s obligations arising from these acts related to the governance of the nuclear industry in South Africa and internationally in the specific areas of nuclear technology, nuclear safety and nuclear non-proliferation. In terms of the Disaster

Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002) the DME is therefore also the “National

Organ of State” for coordination and management of matters related to nuclear disaster management at national level.

Section 25 of the Disaster Management Act places the following obligations on DME: “(1) Each national organ of state indicated in the national disaster management framework must—

1. Prepare a disaster management plan setting out—

  • The way in which the concept and principles of disaster management are to be applied in the function area;
  • Its role and responsibilities in terms of the national disaster management framework;
  • Its role and responsibilities regarding emergency response and post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation;
  • Its capacity to fulfill its role and responsibilities;
  • Particulars of its disaster management strategies; and
  • Contingency strategies and emergency procedures in the event of a disaster, including measures to finance these strategies;

2. Co-ordinate and align the implementation of its plan with those of other organs of state and other institutional role-players; and

3. Regularly review and update its plan.

(2) The disaster management plan of a national organ of state referred to in subsection (1) must form an integral part of its planning.

(3) (a) A national organ of state must submit a copy of its disaster management plan and of any amendment to the plan to the National Centre.”

The Minister of Minerals and Energy is also responsible for making the following emergency planning related regulations under the National Nuclear Regulator Act:

  1. Establishment of a Public Safety Information Forum by the Holder of a Nuclear Installation Licence to inform the public about the arrangements for nuclear emergency planning
  2. Specifying the level of financial security to be provided by the Holder of a Nuclear Installation Licence in case of nuclear damage
  3. Safety standards related inter alia to nuclear emergency planning The NNR Act also specifically places a responsibility on the Minister of Minerals and Energy relating to claims in excess of financial security following an accident at a nuclear installation.

It should be noted that with regard to certain other radioactive materials (Group IV hazardous substances) the Department of Health will be the responsible National Organ of State in terms of the Disaster Management Act. The Department of Health (Directorate Radiation Control) regulates Group IV hazardous substances under the Hazardous Substances Act, 1973 (Act No. 15 of 1973). Group IV hazardous substances are radioactive material outside a nuclear installation and which does not form part of, or is used in, the nuclear fuel cycle and which is used or intended to be used for medical, scientific, agricultural, commercial or industrial purposes.

As a signatory to the international “Convention on early notification of a nuclear accident” South Africa will also notify the International Atomic Energy Agency in case of a nuclear accident. The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA) has been designated by DME as the National Competent Authority to service this Convention and to be the designated Contact Point using the 24 hour NECSA Emergency Control Centre.

Concepts and Principles

Application of the Disaster Management Act to nuclear emergencies

Section 2 of the Disaster Management Act determines that the Act does not apply to an occurrence falling within the definition of “disaster” to the extent that that occurrence can be dealt with effectively in terms of other national legislation.

Although most aspects of nuclear emergency planning at nuclear installations can effectively be dealt with in terms of the provisions of the NNR Act it must be noted that a nuclear emergency requiring off-site emergency management cannot be effectively dealt with in terms of that Act alone for the following reasons:

  • The nuclear emergency planning provisions of the NNR Act are limited to requirements on the holder of the nuclear authorization and as such the NNR Act has no provision obliging the three levels of government to implement offsite emergency management in the case of an off-site impact of a nuclear emergency – such obligations however arise directly from the provisions of the Disaster Management Act and only indirectly from a provision in the NNR Act, which obliges the Holder of a Nuclear Authorisation to enter into an agreement with the relevant municipal and provincial authorities to establish an emergency plan.
  • The NNR Act has no provision to ensure that resources are made available at national level to respond to a nuclear emergency affecting the public living in the vicinity of a nuclear installation. Again this is provided for in terms of the

Disaster Management Act whereby national resources & personnel can be made available following the declaration of a “national disaster” (contingency basis) or declaration of a “National State of Disaster” (legal directive) via the National Disaster Management Centre.

It should be noted that other disaster management aspects, that may be required in terms of the Disaster management Act (and its regulations) are effectively dealt with in terms of the NNR Act, for example risk analysis/assessment and risk limitation, etc.

In terms of nuclear emergency planning required under the NNR Act a declared “Site

Emergency” is limited to the nuclear site (not affecting the public) and the management of such an on-site emergency is the responsibility of the operator (holder of the nuclear authorization) as per the regulatory requirements under the NNR Act.

However, the managing of the off-site emergency (affecting the public) is the responsibility of the government authorities under the Disaster Management Act. The declaration of a “General Emergency” (in terms of the nuclear licence under the NNR Act) implies a threat to the off-site public which requires the implementation of offsite protective actions. Although a Local Municipality is primarily responsible to manage a local disaster (irrespective of whether a local state of disaster has been declared), it must be realized that, due to the nature of a nuclear disaster, it is known that it cannot be effectively dealt with by the local/provincial authorities alone and therefore it will require the declaration of a “National Disaster” to ensure that national resources are made available. It is therefore important that a “General Emergency” must equate to a “National Disaster”. For purposes of this Disaster Management Plan it is essential that the declaration of a General Emergency at a nuclear installation (e.g. Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, Safari Reactor) must result in the declaration of a “National Disaster” under the Disaster Management Act, and subsequently consideration for a “National State of Disaster”. In the case of such a National Disaster it would be essential that there be Joint Coordination, Decision-making and Management as soon as possible by all three levels of Government at the relevant Joint Coordinating Centre. (Note: For the meaning of terms, reference should be made to the relevant legislation). It is recognized that in the case where there is a need for urgent protective actions in the public domain, and where the local authority is not yet in a position to order such protective actions, the holder of the nuclear authorisation should as a priority act in the interest of the public by advising/recommending such urgent protective actions. If time permits this should be done in consultation with the standby Disaster Manager of the relevant local government authority.

Scope of the plan

The scope of this Plan focuses on nuclear disaster management at national government level and relates to oversight in the following areas:

  1. Nuclear Reactors and other Nuclear Fuel Cycle facilities requiring nuclear emergency plans
  2. Nuclear powered vessels
  3. Transport of radioactive material within the nuclear fuel cycle (air, land & sea)
  4. Radioactive contamination from nuclear powered satellites
  5. Radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons



Objectives and Principles of nuclear emergency response

The primary objectives for protection are as follows:

  •  All possible efforts should be made to prevent serious early health effects (deterministic effects). Examples are vomiting, cataract, sterility, hypothyroidism, deformity of the foetus and death. For these early health effects the severity increases with increasing dose whilst an initiating threshold exists for each effect.
  • All possible effort should be made to reduce the incidence of late health effects (stochastic effects). Examples are cancer and hereditary defects. For late health effects there is no demonstrable initiating threshold and the probability of the effect occurring increases with dose. Achieving these objectives is based on the following principles:
  • Any protective action (intervention) must be justified and optimized, that is, it should do more good than harm and it should produce the maximum net benefit.

In order to comply with these objectives it follows that the threshold dose levels, which would cause early health effects, must be avoided and the dose accrued below the threshold must be kept as low as possible. This requires that protective actions must be implemented before the threshold dose levels (for early health effects) have been accrued by members of the public. Protective actions based on prescribed protective action levels are therefore particularly urgent during the early phase when there is a threat of release of radioactivity or when a radioactive plume is approaching a residential area.

The typical Protective Actions that may be employed are

  1. Notification (Authorities & Affected Public)
  2. Isolation of Affected Area
  3. Sheltering
  4. Evacuation
  5. Use of Thyroid Prophylaxis
  6. Relocation
  7. Control of foodstuff & water

Objectives of nuclear emergency preparedness

The objectives of emergency response are most likely to be achieved by ensuring a sound programme for nuclear emergency preparedness. The objective of nuclear emergency preparedness is to ensure that arrangements are in place for a timely, managed, controlled, coordinated and effective response at the scene, and at the local, regional, national and international level.



National Executive

The National Executive is primarily responsible for the coordination and management of any national disaster and must deal with such a disaster in terms of existing legislation and contingency arrangements. These obligations of the National Executive will be serviced by the relevant officials and infrastructure of the three levels of government.

National Disaster Management Centre

The Centre is responsible to declare a National Disaster on the recommendation of the affected municipality or province (DM Act S23). The Centre will execute its powers and duties as per the DM Act.

Minister of Provincial and Local Government (PLG)

The Minister may declare a National State of Disaster if existing legislation and contingency arrangements is inadequate to effectively deal with a National Disaster. The Minister (PLG) may then make regulations or issue directives after consultation with the responsible Cabinet member in connection with the release of national resources and personnel, etc.

Minister of Minerals and Energy

The Minister makes regulations related to nuclear emergency planning and will assume a leading role in the National Executive’s oversight during a nuclear disaster. The Minister is responsible to address claims in excess of the financial security provided by the holder of the nuclear authorization.

 Department of Minerals and Energy

The Chief Directorate Nuclear is specifically responsible to service the following DME obligations with regard to nuclear disaster management and response.

  1. Service the Minister’s (M&E) obligations regarding nuclear emergency planning matters under the NNR Act (Issue regulations on Financial Security, Public Safety Information Forum and Safety Standards).
  2. Ensure compliance with section 25 of the DM Act regarding the obligations of the National Organ of State to prepare and maintain a National Nuclear Disaster Management Plan and coordinate its implementation.
  3. Ensure establishment and Chair Nuclear Emergency Planning Steering and Oversight Committees (EPSOC) for relevant nuclear installations as per a formal Terms of Reference.
  4. Represent DME at meetings of the Intergovernmental Committee on Disaster Management established in terms of the DM Act.
  5. In case of a National Disaster declared as a result of a nuclear emergency, deploy a DME representative to the Joint Operations Centre (JOC) of the relevant local government authority (or other appropriate centre) and deploy a DME representative to the National Disaster Management Centre. At these centers DME will participate in Joint decision making and management of the emergency in accordance with the procedures at these facilities.
  6. Responsible for Joint Coordination of post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation with other two levels of government and with the necessary input from the holder of the nuclear authorisation and the nuclear regulator .
  7. Responsible for notifying, through official channels, South Africa’s bordering States about a nuclear emergency.
  8. Responsible for establishing any procedures required in terms of this plan.

Provincial Government

Establish and implement a Provincial Disaster Management Plan and establish a Provincial Disaster Management Centre. Execute powers and duties as per the DM Act. In terms of the DM Act the responsible Provincial Government for the Koeberg NPS is the Western Cape Province and for the Safari Reactor and other facilities at the NECSA (Pelindaba) site it is the North West Province (this may change to Gauteng).

Municipal Government

Establish and implement a Municipal Disaster Management Plan and establish a Municipal Disaster Management Center. Execute powers and duties as per the DM Act and formal procedures. In terms of the DM Act the responsible Municipality for the Koeberg NPS is the City of Cape Town and for the Safari Reactor and other facilities at the NECSA (Pelindaba) site it is Madibeng (this may change to Tshwane).

Holder of the Nuclear Authorisation

Where the possibility exists that a nuclear accident affecting the public may occur the holder of a nuclear authorization must enter into an agreement with relevant municipalities and provincial authorities to establish a nuclear emergency plan and submit such plan for approval by the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR Act S38).

The holder is responsible for technical and radiological assessment during all phases of the emergency and based on such assessment the holder is responsible for implementing on-site protective actions and recommending off-site public protective actions to the relevant government authority (ies) based on formal procedures. The holder is responsible for providing financial security as per regulations in case of nuclear damage.

It should be noted that the obligation of “prevention” under the Disaster Management

Act is addressed by the operator (holder of the nuclear authorisation) through the implementation of the regulatory requirements under the NNR Act.

National Nuclear Regulator

In terms of the NNR Act the regulator must ensure that the nuclear emergency plan, of the holder of a nuclear autorisation, is effective for the protection of persons should a nuclear accident occur. The regulator must recommend standards for the protection of the worker and the off-site public to be published as regulations by the Minister of Minerals and Energy. The NNR Act provides for certain duties of the regulator regarding nuclear accidents (section 37) and the keeping of records of nuclear accidents.

SA Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa)

Necsa acts as the National Competent Authority and Contact Point (24 hours Emergency Control Centre) for the following International Atomic Energy Agency Conventions:

  • Convention on early notification of a nuclear accident
  • Convention on assistance in the case of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency Necsa must establish a formal procedure to implement these obligations.

Other National Departments & Institutions

Other National Departments and Institutions will be involved as appropriate in terms of their legislation, functions and as directed in terms of a National State of Disaster.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

In terms of the international Conventions referred to in 3.10 the IAEA will inform and provide information to any State party to the Conventions. On request from South Africa the IAEA will also provide assistance in case of a nuclear emergency or the IAEA may request assistance from South Africa in case of a nuclear emergency elsewhere.

Nuclear disaster management strategies

  1. Ensuring integrated nuclear disaster management planning and, following the declaration of a “National Disaster”, ensuring Joint Coordination, Decision making and Management by all three levels of Government. In practical terms it must be recognized that the relevant local government authority will be the first responder. However, the other two levels of government must report at the Joint Operations Centre of the local authority as soon as possible.
  2. Ensuring oversight at national level of institutional nuclear emergency preparedness in accordance with state of the art international principles. The nature and extent of emergency arrangements shall be commensurate with the potential magnitude and nature of the potential threat associated with the facility or activity.
  3. Ensuring ongoing human resource capacity in DME to serve obligations
  4. Ensuring training of DME staff with responsibilities in emergency response
  5. Conduct nuclear emergency exercises and participate in institutional exercises at frequencies agreed with stakeholders
  6. Keep line management & ministry informed about nuclear disaster management plan
  7. Ensuring that procedures are in place to request resources at national and international level.
  8. Ensuring that procedures are in place to deal with radioactive waste arising from decontamination

Evacuation Planning Partners

  • Emergency Management Agency
  • Law Enforcement
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Fire Department
  • Transportation
  • Public Works
  • Traffic Engineering
  • Transit Agency
  • Health Department
  • Human Service Agencies
  • Agriculture Department
  • Environmental Department
  • National Guard
  • Department of Defense
  • Public School Districts
  • City Planning Authorities
  • People from Vulnerable Areas
  • Red Cross
  • Salvation Army
  • Citizen Corps
  • Power Companies
  • Humane Society/American
  • Society to Prevent Cruelty to
  • Animals
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Hotel/Motel Association

Evacuations occur to safeguard lives and property and reduce personal suffering. A successful evacuation relies on human, material, financial, technological, and equipment resources being available at the right time, at the right place, and in the right quantity. Success also depends upon information, communication, coordination, and knowledge to make the process work. The personnel involved must know what to do and when to do it, and must have the information, materials, and equipment available to execute their responsibilities. These resources may vary depending upon the role that the individuals play in the evacuation response.

Effective evacuation planning requires a partnership among all stakeholders. Evacuees are the most important stakeholders in any evacuation operation. In addition, many government and non-government personnel may be involved in the planning process and eventual execution of an evacuation operation. Evacuation planning at the local, regional, and State levels should involve representatives of all departments and organizations that have a role in an evacuation. This includes the potential evacuees (people from high-risk areas) as well as non-traditional partners, such as transportation and transit organizations, public schools, city planners, the Chamber of Commerce, and adjacent communities who may be impacted by an evacuation.

The State or local emergency management agency usually leads the evacuation planning process. Emergency managers must include transportation agencies—particularly the right mix of subject matter experts and those with appropriate authorities—in the evacuation planning process as key stakeholders since most people use the highways to evacuate whether they are traveling in their own vehicle, or on a bus, or using the roadway to access a train or plane. Transportation professionals can provide a wealth of information to support evacuation planning such as traffic counts, roadway capacity, planned highway construction, maps, and other such data necessary to develop a good plan and can access a wide variety of tools to facilitate the evacuations along roadways. Transportation officials should work with traditional disaster planners or operations staff, including those that:

  • Make decisions
  • Generate, collect, and/or analyze information
  • Design strategic, operational, and contingency plans
  • Manage operations and resources for the response
  • Execute emergency (including evacuation) orders and response operations.

Disaster operation skills

In-depth knowledge of complex Disaster Management operations coordination which includes;

  1. Problem solving skills
  2. Strong project coordination skills
  3. In-depth understanding of Federation financial processes and budgeting
  4. Ability to work in a cross-cultural and cross-functional environment
  5. Strong interpersonal skills and good understanding of the global organization
  6. Excellent communications skills and public diplomacy
  7. Ability to work to tight deadlines and handle multiple tasks
  8. Drive for change and improvements and ability to deliver strategies in a challenging environment


Disasters have resulted in significant morbidity, mortality and economic loss. Public health is concerned with two objectives in disaster management;

  • The elimination of the preventable consequences of the disaster
  • The prevention of losses due to disaster mismanagement

Appropriate disaster relief follows a specific pattern;

  • Gathering information on the situation
  • Analysis of this information
  • Developing and implementing an appropriate response
  • This pattern occurs at various levels;
  • immediate assessment,
  • short-term assessment
  • ongoing assessment,

Through study of the past disasters, their effects and their relief efforts [what has been effective and what have been mismanaged] better plans are now available for effective disaster management as well as for the reduction of preventable losses.

  • The disaster proneness varies widely from State to State.
  • The country will have to pay more attention towards creating public awareness and preparedness in respect of people living in known disaster prone areas.
  • Special training is required to the medical, paramedical, voluntary workers in the relief and rescue work.
  • Any Disaster is an emergency situation and the health sector alone cannot tackle it in isolation.
  • It must have Coordination with the local community, civil defense, army, police, fire brigade and with various governmental and non-governmental bodies including voluntary organizations like Red Cross.
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