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Response and assistance PDF Print E-mail

Provision of assistance in response to disasters

A Participating State may request assistance in responding to any type of disaster as long as the State determines that control of the situation is beyond the national capability. This includes disasters resulting from natural hazards such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions as well as \"man-made\" disasters such as oil spills, chemical accidents, aircraft crashes and industrial fires.

Upon receipt of the request for assistance, CDEMA is responsible for soliciting and coordinating assistance from governments, organizations and individuals both within and outside the region, who can provide the specific resources or expertise most urgently needed. Other Participating States including the Sub-regional Focal Point play an important role in this regard as in many cases they are well placed to provide assistance because of their similarities, close proximity and close ties.

Types of assistance provided or coordinated by CDEMA in the past include: relief supplies, emergency communications facilities, emergency management personnel and financial assistance.

Levels of regional response

The extent of CDEMA\'s involvement in disaster response operations in Participating States depends on the severity of the situation and the type of assistance required by affected States. Three levels of regional response have been defined:


Level Description Extent of Regional Involvement Examples
I Local incidents within a Participating State are dealt with in the regular operating mode of the emergency services. The local national focal point is required to submit, on a timely basis, information on the emergency event for the purposes of consolidating regional disaster records. No regional response required Jamaica Earthquake (January 1993), Barbados Floods (August, 1995)
II Disasters taking place at the national level which do not overwhelm the socio-economic structure or capacity to respond within the affected state. In such cases, the primary assistance at the regional level will be limited to providing technical expertise to National Disaster Organizations or facilitating their access to specific resources which may be required due to the particular disaster event.

The whole operation is still managed by the national disaster focal point.
Limited or specialized Hurricane Andrew (Bahamas, 1992)

Tropical Storm Debby (St Lucia, 1994)
III Disasters which overwhelm the capacity of the affected state(s) to respond. In such instances the Regional Response Mechanism is activated. This includes the activation of the Caribbean Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU) which is the operational arm of the Regional Response Mechanism. The CDRU comprises representatives from the military forces within CARICOM and its main responsibility is logistical support for the receipt and dispatch of relief supplies. Full activation Hurricane Luis (Eastern Caribbean, 1995)

Hurricane Georges (SKB 1998)



CDEMA Annual Reports