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The Office of Disaster Management (ODM), in collaboration with the UWI Seismic Research Centre (UWI - SRC) and through the support of key partners including, the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP), the Connecting Communities for Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness (CCC DRiP) Project, the Regional Security System (RSS), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and public-private sector partnership through the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC), conducted repair and upgrade works on the National Volcano-seismic Monitoring and Early Warning Network in Dominica. The cost of this project is approximately $1,000,000.00 EC dollars.

Two (2) Technicians from the UWI SRC and one (1) from the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) Volcano Observatory, along with their equipment, arrived in Dominica November 8th, 2021, via the Regional Security System (RSS) Aircraft.

The SRC team carried out repair and upgrade works on the Network during the period November 8 to December 6 2021. At the end of this initial phase:

  • Seventeen (17) sites were identified for installation of stations
  • New installations were completed at the ODM Headquarters in Jimmit, Londondary Agricultural Station, Castle Bruce Secondary School  and DOWASCO Earth tank in Morne Daniel
  • Repairs and upgrade were done to stations at Freshwater Lake, Scotts Head, Salisbury and La Plaine
  • Eight (8) of the seventeen (17) stations are now operational with six (6) transmitting data in real-time to the UWI SRC in Trinidad and Tobago.The upgraded network will enhance Dominica’s volcano-seismic monitoring, detection and early warning capabilities. It will also provide valuable information and data to inform the review of the National Volcanic Hazard and Earthquake Hazard plans. The Volcanic Alert Level for Dominica is currently at GREEN which signifies that volcanic activity is at background level.This project is part of the programming of the ODM to maintain a heightened state of preparedness to all hazards with potential to impact Dominica. It is aligned to the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of National Security and Home Affairs and contributes toward the resilience initiative of Dominica as outlined in the National Resilience Development Strategy (NRDS), 2030. The project is in-keeping with the regional Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy 2014-2024 which is implemented nationally through the Country Work Programme 2021-2025, the International Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

    The public is being reminded to assist with safeguarding the sites and equipment from vandalism and theft. The Office of Disaster Management wishes to thank all the partners who have contributed towards the planning and execution of this project.

     

 

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On Friday January 8, 2021, the ODM received a donation of a forklift from the USSOUTHCOM Humanitarian Assistance Programme (HAP) Project.

Maintenance and management of the ODM’s warehouses is essential for the optimization of preparedness, response and recovery post hazard impacts. Storage and distribution of emergency supplies and relief items require the use of a forklift to ensure that these functions are carried out effectively and efficiently while reducing the exposure of workers to occupational harm when handling bulky items.

Fitzroy Pascal, National Disaster Coordinator, stated that “The ODM is indeed grateful and appreciates the donation of a forklift from the USSOUTHCOM which will significantly improve the efficiency of operations in the warehouses at the ODM and contribute to the enhancement of the national relief, logistics and warehousing programme on a whole. The forklift was put into operation immediately by the Disaster Office”.

The ODM, on behalf of the National Disaster Management System, expresses thanks to the USSOUTHCOM HAP for their continued support and dedication to the advancement of Comprehensive Disaster Management in Dominica and look forward to future collaborations.

 

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OFFICE OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT CONDUCTED EARTHQUAKE DRILL AND EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION TESTING FOR CARIBE WAVE 21

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) carried out an earthquake and evacuation drill in schools on Thursday March 11 in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and National Excellence. The earthquake drill was one of the key activities in support of Caribe Wave, the annual tsunami exercise of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The objectives of the earthquake drill were to test and exercise the earthquake safety protocols of schools; test the evacuation protocols of schools and to assess the effectiveness of the earthquake and evacuation protocols of schools in a pandemic environment.

Following evacuation from the school buildings, teachers and students were encouraged to discuss their experience and their school tsunami safety protocols particularly for schools located in coastal low-lying areas.

The ODM also collaborated with key stakeholders, including the Dominica Police Force, Fire and Ambulance Services, Dominica Red Cross and Petro Caribe, on March 11 to execute a communication testing exercise with a view to assess the emergency communication network. Contact will be made with other stakeholders before the start of the upcoming hurricane season to ensure that the emergency communication network is operating seamlessly.

With over eighty percent of tsunamis generated by earthquakes which occurs quite frequently in the region, the public is being encouraged to increase their awareness about tsunami and to know the natural tsunami warning signs.

  • If you FEEL a strong earthquake and you are close to a beach or near a river DO NOT wait for official warning leave the area immediately;
  • If you SEE the water suddenly retreat or
  • If you HEAR a loud roar from the sea following a strong earthquake, it could be a tsunami; leave the area immediately.

If you experience any of these natural tsunami warning signs, move quickly and safely to higher ground (recommended height above 30 metres or 100ft) or as far inland as possible.

The ODM expresses appreciation to the Ministry of Education and all schools who were able to support the promotion of earthquake safety and to all stakeholders who continue to enable the advancement of Comprehensive Disaster Management in Dominica.

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PRESS RELEASE May 27, 2021

United States Strengthens Dominica’s Disaster Response through Medical Field Hospital and Training

The United States donated a field hospital valued at approximately US$640,000 to the Government of Dominica. This week, as a part of the donation, the U.S. manufacturer of the field hospital is training personnel from Dominica's Ministry of Health, the Office of Disaster Management (ODM), the Dominica Fire and Ambulance Service, and the Dominica Cadet Corps on the setup and use of the field hospital at the Dominica Botanic Gardens.

The hospital was purchased by U.S. Southern Command through the Humanitarian Assistance Program. The field hospital includes five medical tents and one administration tent that can be connected, a 70 KVA generator, an air conditioning system, sinks, a water purification and distribution system, and 40 hospital beds.

“The field hospital will provide additional capacity to Dominica's health system in the event of a natural disaster and is part of the U.S. government's ongoing assistance to nations responding to the pandemic,” said U.S. Embassy Bridgetown’s Chief of Security Cooperation, Lt Col Shane Moran.

“This initiative is in-keeping with the ODM’s goal to integrate Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) in our key sectors. The Health Sector will benefit tremendously from this donation as it provides redundancy and additional capacity to our health infrastructure. We are grateful to the US Government for this generous donation, and to the instructor and participants of this training programme,” commented the National Disaster Coordinator, Mr. Fitzroy Pascal.

Twenty-three (23) participants benefitted from this training programme. “The workshop is a great programme. After the instructor leaves, the onus is on us to setup and maintain the facility. We are grateful for this training, it is interesting, fun and we are learning a lot,” remarked participant Station Officer of the Dominica Fire and Ambulance Service, Mr. Matthew Prosper.

This donation builds on the longstanding partnership between the United States and Dominica. Through regional workshops, best practice exchanges, and the ongoing construction of emergency operations centers and disaster relief warehouses in Castle Bruce and Portsmouth, the United States is committed to Dominica’s hurricane preparedness and supporting a coordinated emergency response.

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Emergency Communications Training for the Northern Disaster District

EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION TRAINING FOR THE NORTHERN DISASTER DISTRICT

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) has commenced Emergency Communications Training Workshops for the Northern Disaster District which will be in two groups from June 21 – 24, 2021 at the Cabrits National Park Conference Facility from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily.

  • June 21-22, 2021 training will target participants from: Savanne Pille/ Tantan, Portsmouth, Capuchin and Cottage.
  • June 23-24, 2021 training will target participants from Penville, Vielle Case, Bense, Borne, Paix Bouche, Dublanc, and Bioche.

The training workshop is being funded by the Government of Canada, under the project titled “Establishment of a Community Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Capuchin and a Communications System to link Capuchin and other West Coast Communities to the national EOCs (Main and Alternate)”.

The training workshop will be facilitated by Sgt. Joseph Raymond of the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force and the staff of the ODM and will cover the following topics:

  1. Emergency communication protocols
  2. Regulations and License conditions
  3. Components of the radio equipment
  4. Basic radio operations

This activity is in-keeping with the Dominica Country Work Programme (CWP) 2021- 2025, Outcome 1.3: Improved Operational Readiness, Output 1.3.2: The emergency response communications system is resilient and redundant. It is also in-keeping with the Dominica Climate Resilience and Recovery Plan (CRRP) 2020-2030 Climate Resilience Target no. 8 – 100% functioning of critical Government and emergency services during and after an extreme climatic event.

The ODM extends gratitude to all the participants who have committed to this activity and for their support with the advancement of Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) in Dominica.

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ODM Conducts District Disaster Management Committees After-Action Review

The Office of Disaster Management convened an after-action review (AAR) of the District Disaster Management Committees emergency operations during the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season on Friday December 17, 2021, at the ODM Headquarters in Jimmit.

The objectives of the AAR were to highlight the successes of operations and document the best practices, to identify the challenges and gaps in coordination, to discuss solutions aimed at addressing the challenges and gaps identified and to develop a joint plan of action for implementing the feasible recommendations put forward.

In his opening remarks, the National Disaster Coordinator, Mr Fitzroy Pascal noted that “the end of the season is not a signal to let down our guards as we are operating in a multi-hazard environment. While weather events affect the island more frequently, the Disaster System and the general public should keep in mind other hazards such as volcano, earthquake and the on-going COVID 19 pandemic”. Mr Pascal went on to highlight the valuable contribution of Disaster Committees during the hurricane season and extends appreciation for their work

Mr Glenroy Toussaint, the Local Government Commissioner in his comments highlighted the tremendous work of volunteers especially shelter managers. He noted that “at the community level every effort should be made to build resilience to hazards in an effective and efficient manner through a collaborative effort”.

Members of the disaster committees provided valuable feedback on operations during the 2021 hurricane season. Some of the recommendations put forward by committee members include: harmonizing damage assessment and trainings with the ODM and key partners, a recognition system for volunteers and development and maintenance of a database to support planning and decision making.

 

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