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The need for developing national and regional capacity in the area of Land-Base Search and Rescue (LSAR) has been demonstrated within the Participating States of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA). While this has been most apparent for the island of Montserrat (as demonstrated by increased seismic activity since 1995), other islands have been affected by seismic activity – Jamaica 1692 and 1907, and Antigua and Barbuda 1974. In addition, the vulnerability of CDERA Participating States to multi-hazards, - other natural as well as human induced hazards - which may require the use of USAR, makes the development of capacity in this area more critical.

Whilst emergency planning systems in CDERA Participating States have been elaborated for tropical cyclones, the preparedness for LSAR response has been generally weak or missing.

In view of this, the CDERA/CU has embarked on a comprehensive Search and Rescue Programme of which LSAR is a one key component. The process is being informed by collaboration and consultation with experts in the field in both Land-Based and Marine SAR. With this support, the Region will shortly be better positioned to prepare for SAR activities through training, skill enhancement and establishment of a response capability.