Widening the Scope of Disaster Preparedness in the Caribbean: Building Resilience Through Improving Climate Information (chapter)

Part of the The World of Small States book series (WSS, volume 9)

Despite the frequency and severity of disasters in the insular Caribbean, and in particular the impacts of hydrological/meteorological (‘hydromet’) events, there are relatively few insights into the necessary relevance and scope of disaster preparedness. Such plans should not be limited to evacuation plans, assembling disaster toolkits, and preparing emergency response, but rather widened to include a deeper and more updated awareness of impending disasters and response options, and the timely communication of appropriate climate information. Not only could this facilitate building comprehensive disaster risk resilience but also holistic adaptation strategies by highlighting local vulnerabilities and policy gaps, given the specific challenge of climate change and variability for Caribbean SIDS.

This chapter reviews global- and Caribbean-relevant literature regarding disaster risk management and reduction, as well as ongoing strategies and policies. It advocates for a wider appreciation of disaster preparedness strategies, including the utility of enhanced climate information, storm forecasting and hydromet service delivery, as well as improved coordination and communication between and amongst weather, disaster and other national and international agencies and the local public. It also offers a brief review of the detrimental impacts of Tropical Storm Erika in Dominica in August 2015 towards a contextual understanding of disaster risk management lessons learnt and the need for encouraging the improvement and use of climate information within the Caribbean. Such a specific focus on storm disaster preparedness, and in particular that preparedness matters, could assist in channelling more attention to disaster preparedness and resilience strategies, assisting disaster policy

Dookie D.S., Osgood D.E. (2021) Widening the Scope of Disaster Preparedness in the Caribbean: Building Resilience Through Improving Climate Information. In: Moncada S., Briguglio L., Bambrick H., Kelman I., Iorns C., Nurse L. (eds) Small Island Developing States. The World of Small States, vol 9. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-82774-8_5directives as well as resource allocation planning within the Caribbean and also other small island states.

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