IOM trains over 240 for improved emergency preparedness of communities

IOM-facilitated training in fire fighting

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is playing a major role in building capacity and improving the preparedness of communities across Dominica to deal with emergencies.   In January 2019, the IOM launched a 6-week training programme for 31 people in Ham radio operation and emergency communications.  Since then, at least 200 more community members have received training as capacity building continues in topics ranging from First Aid, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Fire Safety, Community Emergency Response Training (CERT), Gender-Based Violence, Psychosocial Support and Emergency Shelter Management.

“The objective of the training activities is to ensure that disaster coordinators from the Department of Local Government, Public Health, the Police, Fire Service, Youth Division, and other areas of the public service, active community and grassroots leaders and responders in general apply best practices in responding to community needs before, during and after an emergency.  In addition, because emergency shelter is such an important part of disaster response, there is a specific focus on training shelter managers.” – Maxine Alleyne-Esprit, Community Engagement Officer, IOM.

Training in shelter management

Shelter Managers are key humanitarian volunteers who carry tremendous responsibilities in the disaster management system.  The training being offered by IOM with funds from the American people through USAID, builds on previous activities undertaken by the UN migration agency since Hurricane Maria, to assist in meeting the needs of people who are displaced from their homes by natural disasters.

In March of 2018, IOM trained 84 shelter managers, local authorities and government officials on Emergency Shelter guidelines, improved conditions and protection measures.  This year, under this Emergency Preparedness project, close to 50 more long-serving and newly recruited shelter managers have received training, building their capacity to support people by emergencies, in line with international principles and standards.

Shelter Managers and Assistant Managers were invited by the Local Government Department through its District Development Officers, from all regions of the island to take part in the Emergency Shelter Management training.  The training introduced participatory strategies for managing shelters, the humanitarian principles that should underpin shelter management, and the “emergency Shelter manual” which contains the recently standardised guidelines and tools for Emergency Shelters in Dominica. This manual has been developed by IOM in close collaboration with the Office of Disaster Management (ODM), the Emergency Shelter Subcommittee of the National Emergency Planning Organization (NEPO), the Local Government Department, experienced shelter managers and other key stakeholders.

In this USAID – OFDA funded US$1.25m Emergency Preparedness project, IOM also repaired 16 emergency shelters and is pre-positioning non-food items, household equipment including cots and wheelchairs, safety supplies including first aid kits and fire extinguishers in those emergency shelters.

As the 2019 hurricane season approaches, IOM joins the ODM in urging all residents to be prepared at all times.  Dominica is threatened by several natural hazards, including earthquakes and volcanos, floods and tsunamis, which can affect communities much more suddenly as they are characterized by much shorter warning periods than hurricanes.  Preparedness is key to saving lives.  Visit for information on hazards that affect Dominica, and the recommended actions before, during and after these events.

IOM first response and CPR training


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  1. Jupe
    May 25, 2019

    Alas your ignorance and lack of education/knowledge shows. They are about to demonstrate the heimlich maneuver or abdominal thrust, to be used when someone is choking.

  2. Eye-of-the-Needle
    May 25, 2019

    Folks, the controversial image portrayed in the image is a clear case of a conundrum. The opinion of the viewer depends on what lens he or she is wearing when interpreting the photo.

    One who has a propensity to see sexual connotation in everything will definitely raise the alarm here while others with a zero tolerance mindset will swear this image is rife with sexual harassment overtones.

    A fair minded observer; however; would caution everyone, including the man in the picture, to respect another’s personal space at all times, lest their actions be flagged as a violation.

  3. Vex I vex
    May 23, 2019

    But what I seeing there nou. A man have his hand around the woman waist almost touching the thing and you all call that IOM training. If it was my woman you would have it with me gason

    • mags
      May 23, 2019

      See how ignorant and foolish thinking clouds the mind. The person is not seeing the training that is about saving lives. Hope your woman life will not be in danger as you will see others embracing her and not saving her. :roll:

    • John hope
      May 23, 2019

      It’s called abnormal thrust.

      • John hope
        May 24, 2019

        It’s called Abdominal thrust.

    • IOM Dominica
      May 24, 2019

      The activity and photo were never meant to be offensive. The trainer is a professional, and was demonstrating the HEIMLICH maneouvre to assist someone who is CHOKING. To do that, you first have to locate the person´s belly button. You can find out more by following this link:

      This could be a life-saving measure. Hopefully after the training given, more community members would be available to assist if this were to happen to anyone in their household or community.

    • carlty
      May 24, 2019

      My dear, quit the ignorance. It is not unless your woman is in an emergency you would see the benefits of another man lips on her mouth, a position like this or any other position that would, on a normal day, make you feel uncomfortable. Do not knock down something, simply because you do not understand the procedures.
      These types of training are important even for children. We never know where we may be where a situation occurs requiring such skills.

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