JIS News

Co-ordinator at the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Association (CDERA), Jeremy Collymore, has said that the 2004 hurricane season presented a real opportunity to harness fear, address policy gaps and enforce regulations.
Addressing the opening ceremony of a three-day Caribbean 2004 Regional Disaster Conference yesterday (November 1), at the Wyndham Rosehall Resort and Spa in Montage Bay, he emphasized that to benefit from this window of opportunity, disaster management stakeholders in the Caribbean would need to recognize and work within their framework for a comprehensive disaster management policy.
This, Mr. Collymore pointed out, must inform a reconstruction vision within the Caribbean.
He called for closer attention to be paid to disaster management audits across the region, adding that results of these preparedness audits should be part of the annual Parliamentary debates throughout regional states.
“It would be an important first step in making disaster management everybody’s business, and building that culture of disaster loss reduction,” Mr. Collymore said.
In her presentation, Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Dr. Barbara Carby said the importance of such a meeting could not be over-emphasised, as there were clear advantages in the fostering of co-operation and active discussions between Caribbean states on issues that were sensitive to all these states.
Citing the vulnerability of the region to natural disasters, she stressed that only full co-operation between private and public sector agencies and individuals, could lead to noticeable risk reduction and better disaster preparedness.
“In examining Jamaica, the cost of damage incurred from the passing of Hurricane Charlie amounted to approximately $247 million, while the cost of damage from Hurricane Ivan was in excess of $20 billion, representing just under three per cent of our gross domestic product,” Dr. Carby said.
Apart from the sharing of experiences and ideas on disaster management and mitigation, the three-day conference is being used by regional disaster managers to prepare a position for presentation at the World Conference on Disaster Management, scheduled to be held in Kobe, Japan, in January 2005.

Skip to content