CARIMAC Contracted to Develop New Online Course on Preparing for Natural Disasters

Photo: Michael Sloley Director, Institute for Sustainable Development, University of the West Indies, Dr. David Smith (left), speaks with Acting Director, Caribbean School of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), Dr. Livingston White, at a function to announce a new course to be developed by CARIMAC, called ‘Communication Planning and Media Relations for Disaster Risk Reduction’. The ceremony was at CARIMAC, University of the West Indies, Mona, on Monday (July 2).

Story Highlights

  • The Caribbean School of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) has been contracted to develop a new online course aimed at training persons in the Caribbean region on how to prepare for natural disasters and to manage communication in the aftermath.
  • Offered by the Disaster Risk Reduction Centre of the Institute for Sustainable Development at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, the contract calls for the development of a course called, ‘Communication Planning and Media Relations for Disaster Risk Reduction’.
  • Director, Institute for Sustainable Development, UWI, Dr. David Smith, said CARIMAC was chosen to develop the new course, because the institution has the expertise for new course development. which includes Disaster Risk Management.

The Caribbean School of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) has been contracted to develop a new online course aimed at training persons in the Caribbean region on how to prepare for natural disasters and to manage communication in the aftermath.

Offered by the Disaster Risk Reduction Centre of the Institute for Sustainable Development at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, the contract calls for the development of a course called, ‘Communication Planning and Media Relations for Disaster Risk Reduction’.

The announcement was made in CARIMAC’s Lecture Room on Monday (July 2), during the opening session of the Communication Planning and Media Relations to Support Disaster Risk Reduction two-day training workshop for disaster risk-reduction practitioners.

Director, Institute for Sustainable Development, UWI, Dr. David Smith, said CARIMAC was chosen to develop the new course, because the institution has the expertise for new course development. which includes Disaster Risk Management.

He added that new courses are also being looked at for CARIMAC to develop in the future.

“The obvious choice was CARIMAC [as] it works throughout the Caribbean and does excellent work in training people how to work in communications and how to work in media,” Dr. Smith told JIS News.

He said CARIMAC was also contracted because the institution is the premier media training facility in the Caribbean, and the disaster risk-reduction practitioners pursuing the course need training on how to communicate through the various media outlets about disasters and their country’s action plans.

“Communication and Disaster Risk Management is an absolute necessity. Effective communication can save lives and reduce loss from disasters. It can make sure that people are able to get back to their jobs as quickly as possible with minimal disruptions,” Dr. Smith said.

Acting Director, CARIMAC, Dr. Livingston White, said he is pleased that the Institute for Sustainable Development, UWI, Mona, has faith in the school being able to develop and implement these new courses.

He noted that CARIMAC has, since its inception, developed numerous graduate courses and programmes in Communication Studies, Communication for Social and Behaviour Change, and this new course will consist of well-researched information and a curriculum that will help improve standards in the Caribbean region.

“We’re excited about it, because it’s going to be delivered online. The plan is to deliver it by distance and to do online modality, so that persons across the region can participate in the course,” he told JIS News.

The contract forms part of the Disaster Risk Reduction Centre of the Institute for Sustainable Development’s ‘Enhancing Knowledge and Application of Comprehensive Disaster Management Initiative’.

According to a release from the Institute, “the Caribbean is vulnerable to various hazards, including earthquakes, hurricanes and volcanic activities, and the growing threat of climate change increases the region’s vulnerability to natural disasters such as droughts, intense storms, sea-level rise and extreme wet weather events”.

“These courses will recognise the role communication must play in helping disaster risk-reduction professionals assess, plan for and manage disaster risk in the region,” the document said.

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