Preparations are on in full swing across Haryana for the earthquake mock exercise to be held on December 21, 2017 across the State. The mock exercise, which is being conducted by the Haryana State Disaster Management Authority in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), will help participating agencies and stakeholders in evaluating the effectiveness of their disaster response plans.

This is the first State-level Mock Exercise on earthquake covering all districts of the State. The mock exercise will be conducted on the principle of Incident Response System (IRS), which clearly enumerates the immediate tasks that need to be performed once a disaster strikes. It also identifies officers and clearly attributes roles and responsibilities to all stakeholders. This helps in deconstructing a complex response mechanism thus resulting in a swift and streamlined response.

In the run-up to the exercise, NDMA has also conducted division-wise trainings for State officials on IRS from December 1-15, 2017.

The mock exercise will be part of a three-day event which will begin with a Coordination Conference on December 19, 2017, followed by a Table-top Exercise on December 20, 2017. Districts will attend these preparatory meetings through videoconferencing from Chandigarh, the State Capital. Earlier, on December 6, 2017 an orientation conference was held at the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) for working out the detailed modalities and preparations required for the Mock Exercise.

Haryana falls in the seismic zone IV, III, & II. Moreover, tremors have been felt in the State whenever there is an earthquake in the Himalayan foothills due to its proximity to the hill States. Add to that the rapid industrial-residential urbanisation across the State and the importance of being prepared to deal with any eventuality becomes evident.

The NDMA regularly conducts such mock exercises throughout the country in its efforts to improve preparedness and response mechanisms for various disasters. Last month, it conducted a mock exercise on tsunami preparedness simultaneously across the eastern coast of the country.