ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua and Barbuda and other member states of the Caribbean Disaster Management Agency (CDEMA) are working to strengthen existing earthquake plans especially at the community level.
This was one of the issues discussed at a recent two-day meeting of the Model Earthquake Contingency Plan (MECP) Committee held in Barbados.
Director of the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) Philmore Mullin, who is a member of the committee, was part of the gathering.
Mullin says the meeting focused on enhancing disaster management programmes, and building search and rescue capacity at the community level.
The committee examined challenges surrounding search and rescue, in a national context that would hinder regional support and also looked at integrated planning for earthquake response, and issues of inadequate specialized tools.
The movement of such tools through member states to accommodate regional support was also of concern.
Recommendations from the meeting will be presented at a Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) conference to be held in Jamaica from December 6-10.
The earthquake plan can be used as a stand alone or in conjunction with an overall national disaster plan.
CDEMA member countries will be expected to look at their own unique challenges and make adjustments.