The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) website within the past eight months has undergone a radical makeover. On March 21, 2022 in partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and the Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD), the ODM unveiled their redesigned innovative, modern, informative and responsive website.
In time for the 2022 Hurricane Season, the overhauled ODM website will now serve as a locally hosted open source content management platform and a one-stop shop for all information related to emergency readiness and disaster preparedness.
The revamped website includes the redesign of the corporate logo to reflect a more contemporary and graphic expression of what the ODM represents, paving the way for a revived and refreshed overall image.
Designer of the revitalized logo and website Christopher Labassiere pointed out that branding, content, interaction and security were the four key elements that were a priority with the design on the new site.
“It was indeed a positive process to not only develop the website, but to also develop a brand identity for the ODM, a much-needed visual presence in modern marketing,” Labassiere stated.
National Disaster Coordinator (ag) Mandela Christian noted that with the advancement in communication offered by technology, in keeping with the principles of comprehensive disaster management, the ODM continues to incorporate new, innovative and wide-reaching information, communication technologies in their programming through the use of social media. Hence, the reason for the upgrade of the website.
“We live in an internet world where the public has quick and easy access to information. If we want to remain effective in our resilience building, counter disaster efforts have to keep up with the times,” he said.
Christain is hoping that the new site which is keeping with the Minister of National Security and Home Affairs’ strategic plan for 2020 2025, will simplify the public’s pursuit and access to hazard and disaster management information.
CEO of CREAD, Francine Baron, spoke about the partnership between COL and CREAD and revealed that in 2020, the two agencies entered into an agreement to support increased awareness and knowledge among citizens about disaster preparedness and emergency readiness, greater involvement among citizens in emergency readiness initiatives at a community level and strengthened capacity among communities to mitigate against and prepare for disasters and emergencies.
According to Baron, one of the main areas of this partnership was working to strengthen capacity to leverage technology so that Dominica would have greater access to knowledge and information during both normal times and after the impact of major events as well as to take emergency readiness more seriously at the individual, the household and the community levels.
“So this holistic approach included the selection and modification of materials suitable for uploading to a one-stop digital platform where citizens can access information, news updates, and other relevant content regarding emergency readiness, disaster preparedness and response,” she said.
“As the organization tasked with responding to and taking measures to minimize the impact of disasters in Dominica, the Office of Disaster Management was identified as the ideal home for this one-stop digital platform. This required a major overhaul of ODM’s website to customize it as the repository for all information related to hazards,” CREAD’s CEO added.
Education Specialist at the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC) Dr Mairette Newman, said COL believes that resilience to climate change requires a climate-literate citizenry and that education is a critical agent in propelling climate action.
“With COL’s support and in partnership with CREAD, the ODM website now provides up-to-date information and resources to help citizens understand climate change, learn about disaster preparedness, and ultimately become more resilient,” she stated. “This is another important step in Dominica’s journey to becoming a fully climate-resilient nation by 2030 and COL is happy to have had a role in building public awareness and increasing resilience.”
Some of the many new interactive features include a hurricane shelter map, easier access to electronic media, improved search engine optimization, a dedicated section designed to teach youth about hazards and preparedness and a comprehensive hazards segment.
ODM can be found at www.odm.gov.dm.