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«National Disaster Risk Management Policy March 2008 Dili, Timor-Leste FORWARD Because of its geography Timor-Leste is vulnerable to disasters caused ...»

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The CIGD is responsible for ensuring that a thorough and accurate review of the activities and procedures used during a disaster response operation is conducted to ensure that the experience gained and lessons learned can be applied towards improving future mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery procedures. The post-disaster review needs to be as comprehensive as possible and should, after a significant disaster, include the following


Status of mitigation measures, preparedness measures and response plans prior to the • disaster;


• Warning, including origin(s), transmission and receipt, processing, dissemination, • action taken (by government, the community, etc.), functioning of warning systems;

Activation of the response system and mobilisation of resources;

• Procedural aspects of the DOC including information acquisition, receipt, analysis, • display, decision making, dissemination of information;

Assigning of tasks to organisations involved;

• Operations conducted, including search and rescue, casualty handling, initial relief • measures, clearance of vital routes/areas, evacuation, restoration of services;

Arrangements for emergency feeding, health, welfare and shelter;

• International assistance arrangements;

• Assessment of public education/awareness programs, in the light of community • reactions;

Training aspects;

• Provision of information for recovery programs;

• Any special factors raised by the nature of the particular disaster; and • Research requirements revealed by the disaster.

• If circumstances are appropriate the review can include input from specialists on future trends and developments.

The outcomes of the review should be examined carefully for possible actions needed in

relation to the following:

Amendment or revision of the National Disaster Risk Management Policy, of sector • plans and procedures, and of district plans and procedures;

Amendments to mitigation, preparedness and similar measures and/or the introduction • of new measures;

Changes to organisational structure;

• Revision of, or adjustment to, major disaster management issues, such as training and • public education and awareness activities;

Adjustments to national or district development plans. Operational Debriefings

Operational debriefings should be conducted as soon as possible after the event. They are aimed at determining the views of those involved while the issues are still fresh, and learning

the more immediate lessons. Debriefing outcomes form a significant base for the postdisaster review. These debriefings should be conducted in stages:

• Within the DOC, the NDMD, and the MSS to review departmental operating procedures and to allow staff to submit their views on the operation;

• Within each affected district to review district, sub-district and village procedures and the success of the measures taken to respond to the event; and finally;

• An open debriefing attended by district representatives and all departments and agencies that actively participated in the operation.

To obtain optimal results, debriefings should be open discussions between professional staff in which the aim is to learn from mistakes, not to allocate blame. Debriefings that become exercises in self-promotion, self-justification or blaming of others by participants are of very limited value.

3.3.3 Capacity Building Needs and Tools All personnel involved in disaster risk management activities require training. Those with permanent disaster risk management roles, such as NDMD staff, NDMD focal points, and DDMC members, should be given priority for capacity building. However, training needs to extend to sub-district and community level as well as to government staff likely to become involved in disaster risk management activities.

The NDMD, in consultation with District Disaster Coordinators (DDCs), is responsible to the CIGD for the management and co-ordination of disaster risk management training activities,


• The identification of training needs at national, district, sub-district and community levels;

• Arranging for appropriate training activities to be developed;

• Preparing and conducting an annual programs of national training;

• Developing and operating a system for nomination and selection of participants in training activities,

• Identifying international training activities and opportunities that can help to develop national disaster risk management capabilities and seeking support for the attendance of selected Timor-Leste disaster risk management staff at such activities;

• Selecting appropriate and qualified persons to attend in-country, regional and international activities; and

• Maintaining a training resource register. Guiding Principles for Training

The importance of training for ensuring expeditious assistance to the affected population is widely recognised. Lives can be saved if a strong training component is built into the disaster risk management plans, particularly in the pre-disaster phase. Specific disaster training interventions involve situations both prior to the hazard impact (preparedness) and after the impact (response/emergency assistance and recovery).

Training prior to disasters should take into consideration the following:

Training should be targeted to building the capacity of both the population affected • (community members) and the disaster response teams;

Training of the population at risk should include measures of mitigation and • preparedness, usually under the responsibility of NDMD as well as other relevant agencies. These measures involve effective means of communicating pre-warning and warning messages through the media (see Awareness Raising).

Disaster risk management plans should be drawn up and rehearsed well in advance of the • onset of any disaster. (For instance, in Peru, a high-risk country for a number of natural disaster agents, national simulation exercises are conducted.) Exercises should include clear and simple messages containing the basics of risk and stress management, including control of such emotions as fear and techniques for maintaining calm at the time of impact. These issues should also be included in risk communication packages.

Training of the emergency/disaster response teams includes preparation for coping with • dangerous situations and control of stress.

Helpers and emergency responders may be involved in many different aspects of assistance • at the disaster site. Typically they are: disaster control and rescue operations; medical tasks (triage and treatment of dead and injured); information and communication; and support services for the injured and relatives. Persons who undertake such helping roles at the time of disaster may be either specifically trained for their tasks – professionals such as police, ambulance or rescue squads – or may be spontaneously formed – non-professional helpers such as the voluntary workers and community members who offer their services in response to the crisis;

Training can be conducted at national level using the network of schools. This type of • training is programs oriented in that it is necessary to design and implement emergency norms in conjunction with the preparedness needs of the country. For instance, because of the high risk of earthquakes in Timor-Leste, it is essential to prepare the population, particularly children, in how to protect themselves in the event of an earthquake. Such a

programs is designed to accommodate three levels of target groups:

Level one training targets national capacity building by training a core of specialists in the country, who will in turn provide monitoring and supervision to the other levels to be trained. The core of specialists will ensure long-term sustainability of the training programs;

–  –  – Capacity Building Tools In addition to formal training, exercises are a valuable means of capacity building as well as a useful way of testing plans and procedures. The following types of exercises can be

conducted with simple preparation:

⇒ Participatory capacity and vulnerability assessments. It is necessary to first deepen the understanding of local realities.

⇒ Developing indicative risk maps. An indicative risk map is a graphic and written representation of risk conditions in a community as determined by existing threats (drought zones, seismic faults, epidemics, etc.) and vulnerabilities (such as physical, environmental and financial vulnerabilities).

⇒ Hazard assessments. A series of simple skills can be taught to district and subdistrict leaders that will allow them to read a map, interpret plot indicators of ongoing hazards (e.g. earthquake aftershocks, landslides, etc.) and convey to NDMD the proper records. Aspects of risk communication should be included in this basic training.

⇒ Tabletop or discussion exercises. A disaster scenario is prepared and presented to representatives of agencies likely to have a role in disaster response. Discussing a disaster scenario involves imagining the impact of an event or danger and taking its consequences into account. The participants discuss how they would coordinate their activities to meet the expected needs, identifying organisational and logistical factors and the ways of dealing with changing requirements.

⇒ Hypothetical exercises. A ‘hypothetical’ exercise is a variant of the table-top exercise. An experienced facilitator presents a scenario (it can be compared to the preparation of the various scenarios to draw a contingency plan for the current unstable security situation in Dili), then as participants develop ways of responding, identifies possible consequences of their actions and presents these as new problems to be dealt with by an individual agency or in a coordinated manner.

⇒ Procedural exercises. A procedural exercise is a simple exercise in which the messages that would be expected from a pre-determined scenario are passed in ‘real’ time to participants who practice the operational procedures for receiving, organising and presenting the information. This type of exercise requires detailed preparation of the messages but may not need to cover more than a limited period or aspect of the scenario. These exercises are valuable for training DOC staff and equivalent district staff.

⇒ ‘Live’ exercises and simulations. These are exercises in which skilled personnel are given the opportunity to practice their skills in circumstances as near as possible to reality. For example, in April 2005, the F-FDTL, PNTL, NDMD and Bombeiros cooperated in a disaster simulation exercise, which took place on Atauro Island. Some

lessons learned through this simulation exercise were as follows:

Further disaster simulation exercises should be done on a medium scale by involving • a few additional stakeholders who will play an important role in emergencies;

The F-FDTL needs to develop an immediate action plan considering its critical role in • the early stages of an emergency, such as the deployment of search and rescue teams;

A liaison officer responsible for international humanitarian assistance. On the other • hand NDMD should provide a person responsible to liaise with international humanitarian assistance agencies and the necessities to operate on disaster scenarios in Timor-Leste.

–  –  –

4.1 Organizational Structure The organisational structure for Disaster Risk Management in Timor-Leste is shown below in Figure 2. The Minister of Social Solidarity has the mandate to coordinate preparation and response in relation to any emergency that may occur. Under this Minister’s authority is the National Disaster Management Directorate (NDMD), which includes the Disaster Operation Centre (DOC), the Departments of Preparedness and Formation, Prevention and Mitigation, Response and Recovery, and disaster management committees at Districts, Sub-district and Village levels.

4.1.1. Inter-Ministerial Commission for Disaster Management (CIGD)

An Inter-Ministerial Commission for Prevention of Natural Disasters (Comissao de Prevencao das Calamidades Naturais), was established by Prime Minister’s Office as a government response to the public fear of earthquakes/tsunamis after the Asian tsunamis of 26 December 2004 (Despacho 01/PM/2005). As this policy uses the all-hazards approach, it is necessary to expand the Commission and elevate into an Inter-Ministerial Commission for

Disaster Risk Management (CIGD) comprised of the following Ministries and Agencies:

–  –  –

The Minister or Secretary of State responsible for disaster risk management may appoint representatives of other organisations to the CIGD, either for specific issues for a specific time, or for an indefinite period, or in the role of observers.

The CIGD will convene twice a year in non-disaster/emergency times. It will also be activated at Stage 2 of an impending emergency (see Annex 6 on the National Activation System).

The functions of the CIGD are as follows:

Conduct an annual review of national disaster risk reduction policy and strategic • development by the last sitting of parliament each calendar year;

Provide an annual report to the Prime Minister on national disaster risk reduction by • the 31 December each year; this report will include recommendations on priorities for the next reporting year;

Provide technical and policy advice and resource support to the National Disaster • Coordinator (NDC) and the Joint National Disaster Operations Centre (DOC) during response operations, if required;

Assign responsibilities related to disaster risk management to relevant departments • and other bodies; and Carry out any other disaster risk reduction related tasks as allocated by the Minister or • Secretary of State responsible for disaster risk management.

4.1.2. National Disaster Management Directorate (NDMD)

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