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Membership is not restricted to the English-speaking Caribbean. The Agreement establishing CDERA makes explicit provision for any Caribbean State to apply for membership. Applications for membership are to be submitted to the Coordinating Unit. Admission is subject to approval by the Council on the recommendation of the Board of Directors.
National Disaster Organisations

The Agreement requires that each Participating State establish or maintain a National Disaster Organization (NDO) or a national relief organization capable of responding swiftly, effectively and in a coordinated manner to disasters in Participating States. This is the government-designated organization which has overall responsibility for the country's National Disaster Management Programme.

The NDOs have the primary responsibility for coordinating national-level response to disasters in their respective countries. They are also the national focal points for CDERA's activities in Participating States. The NDOs are headed by the National Disaster Coordinator (NDC) who is a government official responsible for the day-to-day management of the organization. The actual name and structure of the NDO and the title and terms of appointment of the NDC varies from country to country.

The Participating States under the aegis of the National Disaster Organization are in addition required to:

* To establish emergency disaster planning groups and define national policies and priorities in the event of disasters;
* Provide national relief organizations with adequate support including named emergency coordinators, liaison officers with key Ministries, emergency services, utilities etc;
* To define the role and functions of key agencies such as the Security Services, Health and Public Works in disaster emergency response management and establish a system for regular review of their procedures for coordinated response;
* Establish and equip a suitable Emergency Operations Center (EOC) capable of handling emergency telecommunications and coordinating emergency responses involving many services;
* Develop and maintain an emergency telecommunications system based on the most appropriate technology to ensure the coordination of emergency operations involving the emergency services mentioned above as well as voluntary private sector services;
* Establish and strengthen procedures for coping with major disaster threats and scenarios and review systems for treating the procedures by drills and simulations;
* To review and rationalize legal arrangements for disaster mitigation and emergency action;
* To develop, in collaboration with competent governmental agencies, an emergency shelter policy programme involving the full participation of local officials in community-based organizations;
* To develop and implement a comprehensive disaster public awareness, information and education programme involving media houses, schools, voluntary agencies and other institutions in order to ensure public participation and community involvement in the disaster management system;
* Develop and implement appropriate training programmes for persons involved in the disaster management system.



CDEMA Annual Reports