To the National Security Council:
Under their competence, organize and coordinate the following:
- The process of developing and updating the conceptual document of the national level, in particular the Georgian hazard Assessment document, taking into account the threats and challenges caused by the newly identified natural and human factors;
- For the purpose of ensuring efficiency, it is important to update the strategy and its action plan, including all significant flood causing factor response mechanisms and all efforts planned in this direction, responsible entities identified and relevant funding allocated. It is important that action plans had the program budgeting content and ensure the interrela¬tion of goals, actions and funding.
- Consider the possibility of improving and refining the current legislative framework in terms of accurate separation of the functions of the Office of the National Security Council and the Emergency Management Service and monitoring the implementation of measures taken by the National Strategy Action Plan.
- To establish the homogenous approaches and uniform standards, it is important that the national security council and its staff coordinate the following: Development of the statistical information recording methodology and facilitate intro¬duction of the uniform electronic program of registering natural disasters, which will cov¬er all information related to the elements (information databank).
- For the assessment of the volume of damage, planning the relevant measures needed for the restoration, it is important to develop and introduce loss accounting methodology.
To the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia:
- For the purpose to prevent floods, reinforce monitoring of forest felling at the riparian zones;
- For ensuring flood preventive measures, it is important that the strategic documents in¬clude measures of restoring forests at the river gorges and special significance should be given to this issue taking into consideration existing risks.
- For the purpose of preventing floods, the Ministry should revise the criteria of acknowledg¬ing 300 m forest areas located along the rivers as SFPs and bring into compliance with the river parameters.
Coordination and Management of Natural Disaster
Lack of communication between the establishments
- According Sendai framework program28 for strengthening disaster risk management it is import¬ant to establish coordinated and organized structure. Management of the natural disaster risk is complex process as various establishments are involved:
- unicipalities – within their territories they should evaluate flood risks, identify vulnerable territories, plan risk reduction and response-restoration measures for the state of emergency. For this purpose, it is necessary to develop risk management plan and emergency situation management plans.
- National Agency of Environment – is specialized in the process going on in the environ¬ment and can estimate anticipated threats scientifically. Accordingly, all researches held by the Agency and recommendations should be used by the municipalities as well as the auto¬mobile roads department to reveal risky (emergency) sections and plan works.
- Automobile Roads Department – in the process of monitoring should rely on risks evalu¬ated by the National Agency of Environment and Municipalities, on the basis of which bank protection measures should be planned. Furthermore, the body issuing construction permit within the riparian zone must apply to the Automobile Roads Department for obtaining man¬datory conclusion.
- Emergency Management Service – is the coordinating entity, which is tasked to ensure communication with all services, exchange information and develop uniform approaches what in the end will ensure efficient functioning of entities engaged in the system towards the general goal – reduction of the risk of disaster.
- According to the existing situation, entities engaged in the system operate without mutual agreement and sufficient communication, what does not correspond to the international prac¬tice and the approaches determined by Georgian legislation in this respect.
- As a result of the audit it was revealed that the communication is insufficient between the co¬ordinating establishment – emergency management service with the other establishments, as well as between the other members of the system (automobile roads department and national agency of environment). In terms of managing the natural disaster, organizational functions of the establishments are not segregated, there is no adopted standard and periodicity of infor¬mation exchange between the establishments. This is reflected on the lack of efficiency of the implemented measures.
- The audit revealed particular facts, when the monitoring implemented by one entity revealed the problem, however due to the lack of respective standard of information exchange, other organizations failed to provide timely feedback.
- utomobile roads department conducts periodic monitoring as a result of which assigns catego¬ries to the particular locations
Early Warning System Shortcomings
- Among the flood preparedness measures, early notification systems are of crucial importance, correct planning and development of its network is directly linked to the flood hazards and vul¬nerability map creation.
- As of today, geological-scientific technologies are widely practiced in disaster risk reduction ef¬forts. In the developed countries, GIS –digital maps (hereafter GIS maps) digital maps are used. This is the information system, in which all state establishments within their scope of compe¬tence depict their relevant information. For example: Department of Geology depicts landslide hazardous zones at respective locations, Hydrology Department – flood zones, Energy Depart¬ment – strategic location where important power lines are passing etc.
- Some progress has been achieved in terms of creating such maps (spatial maps are prepared, where all objects will be reflected) however marking vulnerable locations by the responsible en¬tities on the map has not been done and no works are even planned in this direction.
- According to the existing practice of early notification system, national environment agency provides information on weather worsening promptly to the emergency management service. Also, sends emails to relevant state establishments, among them 112. The agency posts relevant information at the web-portal, TV and radio. However, at this stage there is no SMS notifica-tion service provided to the population, which is highly efficient and is practiced in devel¬oped and developing countries 31.
Shortcomings of the Public Awareness Measures
- On both stages of emergency situation management (prevention, readiness) special importance is given to working with the population for the purpose of informing and raising their awareness as their life and health protection is the priority of the civil security system.
- According to the manuals of the international organizations,32 first of all it is necessary to dis¬tinguish vulnerable groups of population (children, elderly people, disabled persons, business sector representatives etc.) and use of various instruments adapted to respective groups. Audit revealed that Emergency Management Service has planned certain awareness raising campaign, however there is the potential of significant improvement in this direction. Namely, development of the relevant strategy would allow the entity to manage awareness raising measures more ef¬fectively.
- Audit revealed that EMS actively cooperates with the international organizations and NGOs, var¬ious products are created – video lessons, mobile application- however they are not popular and fail to reach the ultimate goal. Also, groups vulnerable to floods are not identified and only stu¬dents represent the target audience. Correspondingly, there are no sufficient information means to reach out population and the public awareness is low in this direction. In particular:
- EMS together with the organization “Save the Children” has created video lessons on reduc¬tion of the disaster risk which were posted at the web portal of the company Silknet “domes¬tic school”. This video can be seen at the popular web page Youtube, however video-lesson which regards floods – has been seen only for 1013 times33, meaning that this video is not popular and does not achieve set goal34.
- Also mobile application has been created where the rules of conduct during each catastro¬phe are well described. However, this application has not been released yet for all software35 and is hot used in fact.