IsraAID facilitates earthquake tabletop simulation exercise with communities of the South District

Participants during the tabletop simulation excercise

Representatives of the communities of Grand Bay, Bagatelle, Fond St Jean and Pichelin have increased their understanding of how to respond to an earthquake. On Friday 8th December, various stakeholders from these communities participated in a tabletop simulation exercise. A tabletop exercise is a discussion-based session where team members meet in an informal, classroom setting to discuss their roles during an emergency and their responses to a particular situation, in this case a magnitude 6.3 earthquake.

Members of the various village councils, disaster committees, and emergency services worked together to craft how they would respond to this particular emergency. Considerations included securing the sick, elderly, children and persons with disabilities, securing evacuation routes, and maintaining order. Other participating stakeholders included
the DAPD, Youth Emergency Action Committee (YEAC), Youth Officers, and the Dominica Red Cross who served as observers.

This activity falls under the Dynamic Resilient Communities project currently being implemented by IsraAID in these respective communities. The aim of the Dynamic Resilient Communities project is to enhance the capacity of vulnerable communities to prepare for, respond to, and cope with emergencies. This project also included training in First Aid & CPR, Basic Land Search & Rescue and Self Care & Psychological First Aid for members of the village councils and disaster committees, as well as donations of various items.

IsraAID Senior Programme Officer, Mrs. Wynela Francis commented:

“Exercises like this help people consider the ‘what if’ which, in turn, allows for gaps in preparedness and response mechanisms to be identified.”

Parliamentary Representative for the Petite Savanne Constituency, Hon. Jullan Defoe noted that the exercise was very fruitful for him, particularly in his new role as parliamentary representative. He mentioned two key areas that the drill was able to highlight which were communications and logistics and how gaps can be bridged.

“The cooperation between the various disaster committees is essential and while we may be from different communities, but it’s one geographic space.”

Dr. Adis King, Coordinator of UN Agencies & International NGOs who was also an observer of the activity noted:

“It is very apparent that this training was very essential. We need to be prepared and not only to say we are prepared by having these exercises we can see where you might be falling short and then you are able to pick up on it.”

IsraAID launched its initial Humanitarian Mission to Dominica following Hurricane Maria in September 2017. IsraAID Dominica, which celebrated its fifth anniversary last year, has worked in the areas of disaster preparedness, education, livelihood, and more in communities across the country. IsraAID remains committed to supporting Dominica’s effort to become the first climate-resilient nation.

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