early warning system and putting in place a national
expected to be ready by year end, and the remaining
disaster preparedness plan, not only to address the
thirty eight towers by March next year.
safety and security concerns of the Thai people, but
also to establish Thailand as a safe destination for inter 
Evacuation drills have been organised in the affected
national travellers, and thus restore the confidence of
provinces to test technology and community response.
tourists and tourism revenues.
The Ministry of Education has prepared handbooks on
natural disaster response procedures for school admin 
At the 29 January 2005 Ministerial Meeting on Tsunami
istrators, teachers, fishermen and other coastal com 
Early Warning Arrangements, the RTG advocated for
the establishment of a regional tsunami early warning
arrangement and established a Voluntary Trust Fund
of USD 10 million to contribute towards the strength 
III Coordination Mechanisms
ening of national and regional capacities for early
warning.  To make the tsunami early warning system
Relief and rescue operations at this unprecedented
sustainable, the RTG has endeavoured to move towards
scale called for strong and effective coordination
the  establishment of an end to end multi hazard
mechanisms.  The RTG, led by the Prime Minister, was
early warning system.
at the helm of this operation.
The end to end warning system encompasses technical
Government Coordination Mechanisms
elements ranging from geophysical observation to
issuing of warnings, and preparedness elements that
Deputy Prime Ministers and Ministers were assigned
include building the capacities of institutions (national
to be in charge of the four most affected provinces,
down to local) to respond and undertake mitigation
Phang Nga, Krabi, Phuket, and Ranong.  A coordination
measures, with a feedback mechanism that allows
centre was immediately established in Phuket, and the
post event assessment to provide guidance to the
Interior Minister was directed to coordinate the search
managers and operators of the system.  While the
and rescue and relief operations in all affected provinces.
technical system is being developed and integrated
into operation, efforts are being undertaken to build
Even though no national preparedness plan was in
capacities of the relevant authorities and vulnerable
existence, the legal framework and resulting structural
arrangements for disaster management were relatively
clear, national disaster management being under the
The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation
direct authority of the Prime Minister, who directs various
(DDPM), the principal government agency for disaster
bodies of the administration through the Minister of
management, supported by the UNDP, is working on
Interior and the National Civil Defense Council.  This
the enhancement of emergency management, devel 
structure, replicated at provincial and district levels,
opment of community networks for community based
under the authority of the Governor and of the District
early warning systems, and public education and
Civil Defense Director, coordinated the implementation
awareness. DDPM has also initiated the development
of the national response.
of a comprehensive and integrated disaster database
system, which would be a national clearing house of
Given this clear line of control, no ad hoc structures
disaster risk management information.
were created; the Royal Thai Armed Forces and other
Ministries being brought into the response framework
One of the key steps in this initiative was the estab 
through the National Defense Council.  The Thai Red
lishment of the National Disaster Warning Centre
Cross was integrated into the response at provincial
(NDWC), which opened in May 2005 to function as a
level.  The system, well supported by resources available
 R S
centralized unit receiving, monitoring, processing and
from the national budget, generally worked effectively.
relaying critical information on impending natural
disasters and issuing public warnings in such an event.
The involvement of the Royal Thai Armed forces in the
The RTG also plans to install sixty two warning towers
relief operation during the first week provided much
fitted with signal receivers.  Twenty four towers are
needed support at the local level.  Line Ministries and

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