The IDRN, on a trial run since July this year and formally launched last month, is an online database containing a comprehensive inventory of the country's disaster relief equipment. Given the frequency of India's natural disasters, whether they are floods, cyclones or earthquakes, it was an idea born out of necessity. The equipment that would be required in the event of man-made disasters, including nuclear explosions and biological or chemical warfare, too is listed. Explains S.K. Swamy, director of the home ministry's National Disaster Management division, "There was plenty of disaster equipment in the country, but no way of knowing where any of it is located or how best to transfer it to the scene of a disaster."
Supposed to be the world's first disaster management database on such a scale, the IDRN has been created and developed inexpensively by a team of in-house IT professionals at UNDP. The IDRN works under the UNDP-GoI Disaster Risk Management Programme which was set up two years ago with a corpus of $34 million.