Increasing vehicular traffic especially within urban areas, and the resulting congestion of available road space, is leading to an ever increasing number of serious traffic accidents. Homes are also increasingly becoming scenes of accidents due to ever more appliances & chemical detergents & pesticides & medicines etc. All this requires us to work for the prevention and mitigation of accidents, management of traffic, using taxation and other policies to decongest roads, and management and mitigation of disasters, and providing immediate and effective First Aid and Trauma Care to the Victims in order to save lives and limbs and prevent greater damage to property.
First – a few words about the difference between disasters and accidents.
Most disasters are self evident – eg: Natural disasters like Earthquakes, Tsunami, extensive Landslides or Avalanches, Volcanic eruptions, Cyclones etc.
Some are caused by man’s actions or inactions like Dam Bursts, major forest fires etc.
Disasters may call for a response beyond what the normal Police, Civil Defence, Fire Department etc, can effectively offer and hence require the involvement of a specialized Disaster Management & Mitigation Force (NDMF). (See “Disaster Management & Mitigation”)
Many of what we casually term as disasters are but accidents which involve loss of life and limb and which mostly result from a chain of human errors, eg: Train & Aircraft crashes, Building collapses, major fire events, Nuclear mishaps, etc, and a few from deliberate & malicious human action, eg: Terror events. And then there are the more common accidents such as Traffic & home accidents and it is to such common accidents that we limit ourselves to here, and not to real disasters or other major accidents.
Most common accidents occur on roads and within homes. But the response to even such accidents have things in common with the relatively rarer and larger disasters. They, all need prior planning, preparation and an established capacity to respond immediately and effectively to reduce the loss of life, not only at the site (First Aid), but also in Transit (EMRI) and at the Hospitals (TRAUMA CARE). At all these stages we should consider what we need to do as individuals and as members of the Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to educate the general public in order to prevent such accidents and be able to mitigate their effects when they do occur. We also need to look at prevention vide education, ensuring strict compliance with effective penalties for non-compliance of rules and, even using taxation and other policies as a means to decongest the roads etc.