Indonesia is known as a country prone to natural disasters. Unfortunately, there is still a gap between the magnitude of the disaster threat and human resources to participate in risk reduction and disaster management. This is where the role of universities as centers of excellence is required.
One role that can be played by universities is education-based research. "Studies about disaster issues are very openly conducted by universities. The research results will be very beneficial for the management and handling of natural disasters," said Head of Disaster Management Master Program Study of UGM Graduate School, Prof. Dr.Sudibyakto, M.S, in the National Seminar on Increasing Role of Higher Education in Disaster Management on Thursday (22/12) at the Graduate School.
Sudibyakto added that universities as an academic community that has a variety of skills are needed in the Disaster Risk Reduction program (DRR). It is obvious that the role of universities which are included in the research, education, and community development working groups also respond well to the period before the disaster, emergency response period, and period of rehabilitation, and reconstruction.
In this case, UGM cannot act alone, requiring support from other universities. For this reason, in the event the formation of Disaster Care Student Association was initiated, which consists of UGM, UPN, UII, UNY, UMY, State University of Malang, and the University of Bengkulu. "UGM cannot work alone, and so Disaster Care Students Association is established by several existing universities," added Sudibyakto, who is also a steering committee of the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB).
In the same place, Ir. Budi Atmadi Adiputro, Secretary General of Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) recounted his experiences in dealing with the earthquake and tsunami in Aceh, December 26, 2004. Budi who served as Chief of Staff of Operations for Aceh Disaster Management presents the keywords in disaster management, which are fast, responsive, and coordinated. "From our experience in disaster management so far, the three key words are fast, responsive and coordinated," said Budi.
Other things in disaster management are to keep promoting humanity above all spirit. The role of universities is very important in responding to disasters in the homeland. Various research and development of science and technology generated by universities are expected to contribute in risk reduction and disaster management. "All things must be considered, ranging from planning, implementation, to preventive efforts in disaster management in the homeland," said Budi Atmadi.