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The Caribbean region is renowned as a high-risk environment with a diverse set of hazards to which it is susceptible. The frequency of impacts from severe weather systems has forced countries to develop contingency arrangements within their respective jurisdictions to enhance survivability and to protect very fragile economic bases from this particular hazard. However over time as access and telecommunications has advanced, the region has become more exposed to potential technological and complex type hazards that have the ability to cause severe losses if they are not mitigated against.

It has been demonstrated in the region that there is a need to develop contingency search and rescue arrangements to deal with situations that can and have arisen from incidences of aircraft crashes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, large fires, oil spills and HAZMAT incidents. Given our economic realities and resource base limitations there is a need to articulate a clear policy and programme for planning for, mitigating against, responding to and recovering from situations that give rise to search and rescue events.

The CDERA integrated Search & Rescue (SAR) Programme is designed to provide a coordinated interagency mechanism to manage and administer both marine and land based SAR activities and to ensure effective use of all resources within the region.