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  • IOM supports communities in Dominica to prepare for upcoming hurricane season

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IOM supports communities in Dominica to prepare for upcoming hurricane season

Source(s):  International Organization for Migration (IOM)

More than 200 community members in Dominica received emergency preparedness training from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), on the eve of start of the Atlantic hurricane season. The training activities include topics such as first aid, fire safety, community emergency response training (CERT), gender-based violence, psychosocial support and emergency shelter management. 

“The objective of the training activities is to ensure that disaster coordinators from the Department of Local Government, Public Health, the Police, Fire Service, Youth Division, and other areas of the public service, active community members and responders in general, apply best practices in responding to community needs before, during and after an emergency,” said Maxine Alleyne-Esprit, Community Engagement Officer for IOM Dominica.  

The training builds on previous activities undertaken by IOM since the devastating Hurricane Maria in 2017, which focused on meeting the needs of people who were displaced from their homes by the disaster. IOM supported more than 700 families with house repair and house construction, and has also repaired 16 emergency shelters, which have been supplied with non-food items, household equipment and safety supplies.   

Shelter managers, local authorities and government officials were introduced to participatory strategies for managing shelters, the humanitarian principles that should underpin shelter management, and the “Emergency Shelter Manual” which contains recently standardised guidelines and tools for Emergency Shelters in Dominica.  

This manual has been developed by IOM under the leadership of the Local Government Division, Office of Disaster Management (ODM) and Ministry of Disaster Management, in close consultation, experienced shelter managers and other key stakeholders and will be formally presented to the government early in June.  

IOM joins the ODM in urging all residents to be prepared at all times for an emergency, as preparedness is key to saving lives. 

“My dream is that we have community-managed disaster risk reduction,” said Jan Willem Wegdam, team leader at IOM Dominica. “Communities should be in charge. Communities can do the assessments. Communities ask for support. Communities repair their shelters or take care of their fellow citizens.”   

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  • Publication date 07 Jun 2019

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