Office of Disaster Management Prepares Country for Potential Hazards

Dominicans have been assured that regular drills to test the effectiveness of disaster management procedures and the safety of residents are on the agenda for the office of disaster management.

Disaster Coordinator, Don Coriette, along with his department sees the importance of being prepared in case of a disaster.

Coriette was speaking to GIS News following a recent tsunami simulation exercise which took place in Portsmouth.

According to the Coordinator, there are a few more simulation exercises scheduled for the next few months.

“We [recently] did an exercise with the Ministry of Health and Fire Services.  Exercises are going to be ongoing but not necessarily in Tsunami preparedness only, but in flooding, earthquakes and other hazards, so this exercise is just one of many to come.  We are [also] planning a Hazard Week sometime in May.”

According to the ODM Manager, these measures are part of a comprehensive disaster management plan to combine the strategies of various sectors into a community-based plan.

Acting Programme Officer, Steve Joseph explained further.

“Importantly this is part of a bigger process of preparing Dominica to be Tsunami ready and you know we concentrate heavily on being prepared for hurricanes but Tsunami is an important matter for Dominica.  Let’s make it clear Dominica has been in the past affected by Tsunami’s.  We are in the process of focusing on Portsmouth to put some concrete targets in place to further establish the community disaster committee, establishing a plan that we can fully simulate and to make preparations for a bigger project that we hope to undertake under a UNDP funded initiative.”

The office of disaster management, by adopting this plan, aims to enhance and strengthen all disaster management concepts with the collaboration of the public and private sectors, nongovernmental organisations and civil society.