India , with a Risk Index of “High” according to the 2011 World Risk Report published by the United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security. (UNU-EHS), is particularly prone to flood and earthquake.
In 2007 there was severe flooding in Northern India with over 20 million people affected. At that time there was no First Response Radio team in the area and seeing the need mobilised local Broadcast and NGO communities to launch their initial First Response Radio team in 2008, following training in the tsunami affected area of Tamil Nadu. A few few months later this team was able to deploy to flooding in Bihar in 2008, and later, to flooding in South India in 2009.
In 2011 more team members were trained this time in the Bihar flood area,and the team deployed most recently to flooding in July 2012 in Assam. Indian team members are drawn from a number of broadcast and NGO groups and liaise with SPHERE (India)
Here is the transcript of phone call to the First Response Radio station from a flood survivor. First Response were able to pass this information on to the relevant NGO and Government organisations:
“Please do something for us. There are more than one thousand people here. We are not getting safe drinking water. Children are suffering from fever and there is no medical help. I do not know what will happen tomorrow.”
First Response Radio (FRR) is a network of radio broadcasters, NGOs and Government partners.
Our members have been working in disaster areas since the Tsunami of 2004, providing critical information via radio, as aid. Our goal is to set up a radio station for the affected community within 72 hours of a disaster. The best way we have discovered to build this capacity is to equip and train teams before disaster strikes.