Red Cross explores communities risks to disasters

Dominica Red Cross volunteers take to the streets of Laudat to carry out their mission

PRESS RELEASE: Do you feel your community is prepared to cope in the event of a disaster?  Do you know what measures can be taken to reduce the impact of disasters in your community?

These are just two of the questions posed to residents in Cochrane and Laudat during a house-to-house survey conducted by the Dominica Red Cross Society (DRC), as part of a European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) project being carried out across the region.  The objective of the survey is to determine the state of readiness of communities to respond to a disaster.

This was followed-up with Vulnerability & Capacity Assessment (VCA) training conducted by the DRC’s Director General, Kathleen Pinard-Byrne and Keston Flemming from the Caribbean Red Cross.  The exercise examined the likelihood or probability of the people, structures or systems in Laudat to be affected during a disaster and the resources, skills and abilities of the community to reduce the risk or respond and recover from a disaster.

Twelve individuals participated in the programme including two persons from St. Kitts & Nevis.  The training, designed to reduce vulnerability and increase capacity, adopted a very hands-on approach and followed the principle of learning by doing.  Essentially, the course involved mapping the housing and human stock as well as risks and hazards, capacity & resource mapping – documenting the physical and human resources available to Laudat, drawing up a Seasonal Calendar which highlights trends and events, a Historical Visualization which shows how the community has evolved over time and, later on, will involve focus groups with various sectors of the community.

Mrs. Pinard-Byrne said, “It is so important that the residents are involved; that we engage them every step of the way because coming out of this exercise will be a Community Disaster Plan, which they would have to embrace and take ownership of.  We facilitate and they execute.  It’s all about empowering communities so that they can respond to and recover from a disaster in the shortest possible time.”

A major component of the programme is capacity building, which allows persons participating in the training programme to use their talents and skills gained to conduct training within their own communities.

– Dominica Red Cross:

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  1. Out of South City
    March 19, 2010

    1. This was conducted by the European Commissions Humanitarian Aid Department.
    Do we always have to leave such things up to the European Union and company to decide for us?
    When are we going to govern ourselves free from the Europeans who have left us confused?
    They always use AID to control our destiny.

    2. Objective: to determine the state of readiness of community to respond to disaster
    It seems like we can’t determimne our own state of affairs; that some foreigners always have to think for us.
    I guess we will continually be waiting on handouts in order to guide our own course.
    Aren’t we supposed to be an independent nation? When are we going to dispose the colonial rule?

    3. Essentially, the course involved mapping the housing and HUMAN STOCK?????????????????????
    Would someone please explain what this means? My understanding must be different from what I am truly thinknig. Does this foretell another castrophe like Haiti?

    I really do not trust these foreigners. It seems like we are so prone to be like sheep going to the slaughter.

    That’s just my foresight.

    • krishner j
      April 7, 2010

      good work but more can be done by setting up a stall or walking round in the town on odd dayz by most of all first aid training to locals
      life saving technics in first aid can be passed on in 5-10 minutes if it is taugt the rite way.

  2. only
    March 19, 2010

    All these people need to do is pass out a detailed flyer. It would be cheaper. They could even put it in the newspapers. The point of all this survey stuff is what?
    We all know that people are fractionated and not coming together as a community as they used to do over 20 yrs. ago. So the question is why did this happen?
    I would say that many people in Laudat and Cockrane have already experienced inconveniences and have addressed them in one way or another in terms of survival.

    • J
      March 19, 2010

      how many ppl respond to flyers? house to house may be more expensive but it is more effective especially in a small sample area

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