Case Study 1:
I am Senthamarai from Veerananalloor village in Kattumannarkoil Block of Cuddalore district. Veerananalloor is one of the villages frequently affected by intermittent rain, flood, overflow of water from the Veeranam Lake. Every year the entire community suffers due to the floods. I am extremely glad to say that I am one of the 9 members in the Disaster Emergency Response Team in our village. All our members had no idea about disaster management, preparedness or disaster risk reduction measures before the REAL – HFH India DRR Team had a meeting in our village community during September 2011. It was truly an eye opener. All the members in the Emergency Response Team, women SHG members, men, youth and adolescents, vulnerable members like the aged, disabled and the school children from our village have been imparted with training on early warning systems, search and rescue, evacuation, first aid, relief, shelter management and vigilance by resource persons under the REAL – HFH India DRR program. We have learnt the ways and means of using communication gadgets like phones etc at the time of any hazard/emergency to contact the appropriate authorities for help, and the Fire and Rescue Services Department Personnel has demonstrated through mock drills on the ways of controlling fires in the houses and the society, the means to avoid fires when cooking etc. They also demonstrated simple rescue techniques. The importance of using the local resources like coconut husk, plastic water bottles at the time of floods, sand against fires, bed sheets, gunny bags to control flames etc. I am very proud to say that the trainings and mock drills have helped us in saving our neighbours whose houses were under fire due to electrical short circuit. All the members in our village whole heartedly thank the facilitators from REAL and HFH India.
Case Study 2
I am Thillai Nayagi from Nattarmangalam village in Kattumannarkoil Block in Cuddalore district. It is one of the villages frequently affected by intermittent rain, flood and overflow of water from the Veeranam Lake. I had studied up to the 10th Standard and am a leading member of the Women Self Help Group, facilitated by REAL, in our village. Our village, Nattarmangalam has a population of around 2,000 people. Most of the dwellings in our village are made up of mud walls with thatched roofs made of coconut leaves. Since our village is situated in low lying area, it is highly prone to flooding during the rainy season and also to fire during the summer season. Every year, water overflowing from the Veeranam Lake and Vadalar River used to flood our village. We used to struggle wading through knee deep water and suffer from colds and all sorts of infections. We were unable to do anything and used to wait for the water to recede since we did not have any knowledge on flood management, preparedness, flood risk reduction measures etc. During the flood and recent Thane Cyclone, REAL issued relief materials like mats, provisions, rice, utensils etc. During the month of June 2011, REAL & HFH India embarked upon the training on DRR to all the community members in our village since our village is highly vulnerable to flood and fire hazards. The formation of Emergency Response Teams and the trainings to school children and others have helped us a lot in facing the Cyclone Thane disaster in December 2011. We have gained confidence and are ready to employ the risk reduction measures taught to us by REAL –HFH India, We thank REAL – HFH India for the DRR Training program.