Humanity has throughout its history been subject to life-threatening natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, as well as self-inflicted calamities like fires and major accidents.
The Sultanate of Oman has given the management of such disasters due attention through its emphasis on strategic planning which includes not only the management of the operations during any crisis and handling its aftermaths, but also preparations before it strikes. This proactive approach involves the enactment of the appropriate legislation and the formation of work groups to assess the potential risks, envisage ways to prevent them, and draft response plans including the creation of response, training and rehabilitation teams.
Effective disaster management requires, among many other things, prior coordination between the public establishments in charge and the institutions of civil society. Disaster management operations are more often than not drafted in disaster management plans that outline the responsibilities to be undertaken by each party and the human and material resources requisite for the effective handling of the incident.
NCCD- Historical Overview
Prior to 1988, crises and emergencies in the Sultanate of Oman used to be managed by a number of government agencies, namely the Royal Oman Police (ROP), Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Health. Other government institutions used to collaborate according to their resources and the nature of the crisis. The first real test to these institutions was the rescue and relief efforts during and after the June 1977 hurricane which struck Masirah Island and some parts of Dhofar Governorate. The Committee at the time was chaired by H.E. the Minister of Social Affairs and Labour.
Emphasizing the effective management of crises and emergencies, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos graciously issued Royal Decree No. (32/88) on April 14, 1988 ordaining the establishment of the National Committee for Emergencies (NCE) chaired by H.E. the Inspector General of Police and Customs and including seven (7) members:
Undersecretary, Ministry of Transport;
Undersecretary for Environment Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources;
Secretary General, Council of Environment and Water Resources;
Delegate, Ministry of Defense;
Delegate, Royal Oman Navy;
Delegate, Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour; and