National Disaster Management Authority Government of India

Press Release-NDMA to conduct national workshop on heat wave risk reduction


NDMA to conduct national workshop on heat wave risk reduction


NEW DELHI, TUESDAY: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is conducting a two-day national workshop on heat wave risk reduction through sharing of best practices on 21-22 February, 2017. The workshop, to be held at Vijaywada, has been organised in collaboration with the Andhra Pradesh Government. 

Climate change is driving temperatures higher as well as increasing the frequency and severity of heat waves. In India, heat waves typically occur between March and June, and in some rare cases even extend till July. It may result in dehydration, heat exhaustion, stress and even a fatal heat stroke. As recently as 2015, more than 2,000 people died due to heat wave in the country.

Noticing the intensity of heat wave in the country, NDMA formulated and circulated the ‘Guidelines for Preparation of Action Plan – Prevention and Management of Heat-Wave’ in 2016. Based on its observation and feedback received from stakeholders, NDMA revised the Guidelines in 2017. Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) also stepped up with expanded forecasts to over 300 cities. This significantly brought down the number of heat wave-related deaths in 2016 and 2017. 

In this backdrop, this workshop aims to further sensitise the States to the need of implementing the salient features of the Guidelines. Some of the most vulnerable States, which have done a commendable job in mitigating the impact of heat wave will share their experiences and best practices to help others prepare their Heat Wave Action Plans. 

It also aims to provide an opportunity for community capacity building and awareness generation among populations who are at risk of heat-related illnesses in places where extreme heat conditions are imminent. The workshop will also discuss the plan for managing the adverse effects of heat wave in the country this year besides discussing the creation of a database on heat wave to aid policy decision-making.

Three technical sessions - Heat Wave Action Plan and Risk Reduction, Early Warning, Forecasting and Preparedness for Heat Wave, and Experience Sharing and Lessons Learnt for Heat Wave Mitigation Measures and Emerging Issues in 2018 - will be held on the first day of the workshop. 

Two more technical sessions - Capacity building & Enhancing effective response to Heat wave and Monitoring, Review and Updation of Heat Action Plan - will be held on the concluding day of the workshop.

The workshop will be attended by experts on heat wave as well as other stakeholders such as early warning and forecasting agencies, State governments and research institutions apart from senior officials from NDMA.