Session Leads: Amy MacDonald, Thornton Tomassetti, Inc., Sawana Fabian, Israid.org
In September 2017, Category 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria pounded Dominica, Puerto Rico and many countries in the Caribbean, which had a severe impact on infrastructure, agriculture, telecommunications, hospitals, schools, bridges, hotels, formal and informal housing stock. This interactive, panel session draws upon guidance developed through a national effort to standardize preparedness and response in Dominica’s schools and rebuilding Puerto Rico’s housing stock. The collective focus, showcasing case studies and creative approaches which are scalable, is on enhancing resilience capacity in communities, educating children, teachers and parents about disaster preparedness, strengthening structures to withstand future shocks and stresses, and advancing sustainable living whilst also integrating indigenous and marginalised communities into all resilience approaches. Through the Caribbean Safe School Initiative, IsraAID and UNICEF have guided and enabled schools and early childhood centres in Dominica to develop disaster preparedness plans, training over 13,000 children, teachers and parents in Dominica in a new model for safe schools in a community based approach. We will also draw upon examples from the Keep Safe Puerto Rico initiative, which provides detailed guidance, best practices, and actionable resilience strategies for adaptation of safer sites, green and grey infrastructure, climate adaptation, building safety, protection, energy generation and community-wide strategies, which consider not just events that have occurred in the past but also multi-hazard risks and the impact of climate change in the future. This session will share lessons learnt, some of the unique preparedness activities developed and opportunities to expand and scale these approaches across the Caribbean in an interactive workshop.