Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) has been organizing various different activities as part of the “Disaster Preparedness Week” on the anniversary of August 17 Earthquake every year. Minister of Interior Affairs Mr. Süleyman Soylu and the Minister of Environment and Urbanization Mr. Murat Kurum inaugurated this special week that begins on 17th of August and ends on 21st of August. In addition to the opening of the AFAD Disaster Training Center in İstanbul, AFAD accreditation documents were presented to the NGOs and police officers who attended the search and rescue training programs received their certificates during the opening ceremony.
“Disaster Preparedness Week” is organized on the anniversary of the vAugust 17, 1999 Earthquake which was a milestone in Turkey’s struggle against disasters. Activities in order to raise awareness about earthquakes are held all over the country as a part of this week. In addition to Ministers Soylu and Kurum, Head of AFAD Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu and İstanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya attended the opening ceremony organized in İstanbul.
Following the speeches, AFAD accreditation documents were presented to AKUT, IHH and JAK for achieving standardization in search and rescue activities. Moreover, Ministers Soylu and Kurum visited the earthquake simulator at the AFAD Disaster Training Center.
Turkey Disaster Risk Reduction Plan is on the Way
Minister of Interior Affairs Süleyman Soylu pointed out during his speech at the inauguration ceremony that Turkey continues to work on the Disaster Risk Reduction Plan. “We are completing this plan on a city basis and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Plan for Kahramanmaraş will be activated next Wednesday. In addition to provincial plans, we also founded the “Disaster Risk Reduction Plan” of our country according to thevinternational plan known as Sendai Framework which was approved in 2015 in Sendai city in Japan. We will hold the first meeting of this platform within this week,” stated Minister Soylu.
Mentioning accreditation of NGOs during search and rescue activities, Soylu said, “AFAD is authorized to carry out the accreditation procedures of agencies which will participate in search and rescue activities. Search and rescue requires coordination, mutual understanding and communication. I believe that we achieved this”.
“Detect Risks At Home”
Meanwhile, Minister of Environment and Urbanization Murat Kurum made an important speech during the ceremony. Calling on citizens to apply for urban transformation, Minister Kurum said, “Apply to Ministries for the risk assessment of your homes. Let’s achieve transformation in cooperation with the state. Let us not experience such pains. We must achieve urban transformation in order to protect the future of our children”.
“Turkey Can Become Prepared Only If We Work Together”
Speaking at the beginning of this special week, Head of AFAD Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu recalled the devastating earthquake that took place 21 years ago adding that, “Since that day, Turkey has come a long way and it continues to make developments. There are still many miles ahead. Turkey can become prepared against disasters only if we work together. We will continue to prepare our country against disasters by establishing training centers, training search and rescue teams and providing tents from our warehouses.
District Disaster and Emergency Centers will be established in İstanbul
Making a speech during the opening program, Governor Yerlikaya said, “We are planning to establish District Disaster and Emergency Centers that will integrate municipalities into the Disaster Response Plan and will allow us to use local means in the most effective and productive way. Zeytinburnu District Disaster and Emergency Management Center is already opened and 25 more centers will be opened in the coming months in İstanbul.