The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency Coordinating Unit (CDEMA CU) concluded a two-day workshop last Thursday on training of deployment personnel in operational readiness. As Participating States prepare for the hurricane season while grappling with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the workshop sought to orient attendees from around the region on the updated deployment protocols. The online training sessions proved useful in enhancing the capacity of regional personnel, with over 120 persons in attendance.
Programme Manager for Preparedness and Response at CDEMA, Joanne Persad, explained, “As part of the annual programme for enhancing regional and national level readiness for disasters, the CDEMA CU has been convening a series of online training /webinars that are designed to strengthen knowledge, skills sets and overall technical capacity of persons to be deployed as a surge support to an impacted country.”
“One of the key objectives of the webinars is to ensure that persons follow specific standards of performance, codes of conduct and reporting protocols in addition to specific technical procedures and processes when deployed.”
Operational readiness within the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) is critical following the above normal forecast for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Persons were reintroduced to the
RRM framework, duties and expectations as well as safety and security measures for deployment.
CDEMA has also strengthened its planning by collaborating with National Disaster Offices to create a specialized cell for COVID-19 under its RRM. Attendees were briefed on the Mission Cycle for deployment, which now considers the threat of COVID-19. Self-Personal Protective Protocol, personal health considerations and sending state guidelines for travel were discussed in preparation for mission during the pandemic.
All deployment teams under the Regional Response Mechanism were required to participate in the webinars including the Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT), the CARICOM Damage Assessment and Coordination Team (CDAC) and the CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST).