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Structure PDF Print E-mail


CDEMA is governed through the Council, a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and the Coordinating Unit.

As a specialized regional Agency of CARICOM the Heads of Government of the Participating States determine the policies. This is the highest level of governance of CDEMA and major decisions on its operations are also made as required by this body. The Council meets annually during the month of June. The Heads of Government or their designated representatives attend the annual Meetings.

The Management Committee of Council (MCC) - The MCC is a sub-committee of the CDEMA Council charged with making recommendations to Council to enhance the management and functioning of the CDEMA policy identification and organization performance review. This Committee is comprised of top level officials who are selected through a consultative process at the sub-regional levels of the CDEMA system.

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is the technical and programmatic advisory arm of the CDEMA. This organ of CDEMA recognizes the integrated approach to disaster management and the pivotal role of stakeholder contribution to the programming process of the CDM Agenda.

The TAC comprises of the National Disaster Coordinators and representatives of specialized regional organizations, such as those engaged in technological, meteorological and seismological fields whose programmes are directly related to the regional disaster management agenda.

The are four (4) Sub-Committees of TAC :

  • Information Communications Systems Advisory Sub-Committee (ICSAC);
  • Plan Development and Review Sub-Committee;
  • Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and Environment Sub-Committee;
  • Work Programme Development and Review Sub- Committee

The Coordinating Unit is managed by an Executive Director who is appointed by the Council.

The Coordinating Unit functions within a framework that fully embraces CDM and deals with longer-term mitigation issues. As such, the responsibilities and operating functions of the CDEMA Coordinating Unit are centered primarily around five (5) programming areas, namely:

  1. Education, Research and Information;
  2. Finance and Administration;
  3. Preparedness, Response and Recovery;
  4. Mitigation and Research; and
  5. Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

The Council has the power to add other programming areas.

CDEMA operates in an environment of small states with large vulnerabilities and limited individual capacity. Emergency operations are executed through the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM). This is an arrangement for the coordination of disaster response among CDEMA Participating States, Regional and International Agencies. It seeks to deliver speedy response and effective and efficient use and management of resources. The CDEMA Coordinating Unit, headquartered in Barbados, is the focal point for effecting the plan.

To better manage an efficient response, the 18 Participating States are grouped into four sub-regions, each of which is headed by an operations unit known as a Sub-Regional Focal Point (SRFP). The SRFPs Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago are CDEMA’s frontline response to member states after a disaster event.

Sub-Regional Focal Point

Responsible for

Antigua Anguilla Virgin Islands Montserrat St. Kitts/Nevis
Barbados Dominica Saint Lucia St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Jamaica Bahamas Belize Haiti Turks & Caicos Islands
Trinidad & Tobago Grenada Guyana Suriname


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:




Extent of Regional Involvement


I 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)
Guyana Floods (January 2005)
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)
Hurricane Tomas (St Lucia, 2010)
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 one of the operational arms of the Regional Response Mechanism. The CDRU comprises representatives from the disciplined forces (police, fire, military) 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)
Hurricane Ivan (Grenada, 2004)
Earthquake ( Haiti 2010)


CDEMA Annual Reports