Training and Capacity Building: Caribbean Disaster Preparedness

With the hurricane season starting in June, there is a palpable urgency to be better prepared. The region is also threatened by floods, droughts, tsunamis, landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic events.

During the 2017 hurricane season, two category 5 storms, Irma and Maria, struck within two weeks of each other, affecting Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Bahamas, Cuba, Dominica, St. Barthelemy, St. Maarten/St. Martin, British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Turks and Caicos. The damage from just those two hurricanes is estimated to be over 100 billion dollars.

Emergency rescue and response activities rely on connectivity and vital information flows to emergency responders and the affected communities. Many of the Caribbean islands are remote with fragile communication and power infrastructure.

“I am Puerto Rican. We have a fighting spirit, and we have a lot of faith. We don’t know how long it will take to get through this, but we’ll get through it.”

–Emanuel Osoria, NetHope team member

NetHope and its partners are moving on five parallel fronts, including:

  • Growing the roster of skilled first responders and standby volunteers
  • Prepositioning emergency telecommunications equipment
  • Advancing data-driven decision-making capabilities
  • Further developing Information as Aid programming for affected communities
  • Extending relationships with emergency responders in the region

If we move fast, we have an opportunity to fortify the Caribbean region and minimize the future loss of life and destruction from hurricanes and other threats to the region.

NetHope has committed implementing partners, who are all-in with their investment, providing such essentials as funding, personnel, volunteers, data expertise, and technology. These partners include: Cisco, Facebook, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation, Internews, Microsoft, Rocky Mountain Institute,The Patterson Foundation, and the Clinton Foundation.

To achieve our goals and better safeguard the Caribbean region, NetHope needs more partners. Join the NetHope community. Together, we can provide hope for those who receive aid, and those who deliver it in the Caribbean.

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