Organization: CCDM, American University in the Caribbean, and World Bank

Session Leads: Mark Quirk, Caribbean Center for Disaster Medicine, American University in the Caribbean & Claudia Soto, World Bank & Cecile Lorillou, World Bank

Time: 14:00-15:15

Summary: Community Engagement and Emergency Preparedness for Natural Disasters

• St Maarten is taking a ‘systems approach’ that will increase a community’s ability to continuously provide, obtain, promote and share risk information.

• Educational, public health, religious and healthcare institutions on the Island work together to deliver continuous consistent emergency preparedness messages to all citizens including vulnerable populations.

• A Center for Disaster Medicine that includes international, regional, and community experts educates, trains and conducts research to ensure accurate, relevant, timely and consistent communication on emergency preparedness.

• In Haiti municipal emergency preparedness and response capacity has improved with the commitment of Municipal Civil Protection Committees (CCPCs)

• The CCPCs have been crucial in mobilizing community volunteers to respond to natural disasters

• Effective ‘continuous community engagement’ (CCI) is founded upon awareness and acceptance of stakeholders’ perspectives and goals.

• Strong ongoing relationships among ‘system’ members of the community such as government, religion and education help build trust and cooperation before, during and following disasters.