T&T is no stranger to the devastating impact of natural disasters. In recent years, the country has experienced floods and other extreme weather events that have left a trail of destruction in their wake. May has been marked as the month of National Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Month (NDPPM) by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM). This annual event seeks to mobilise citizens to actively participate in disaster preparedness and prevention prior to the commencement of the Atlantic’s Hurricane season and the country’s rainy season in June. The theme this year is, “Being disaster ready is MY responsibility.”
Recognising the urgent need to minimise disaster losses and help protect communities, the Emergency Management Association of T&T (EMATT), a non-profit organisation established in June 2019, is taking a proactive approach by doing webinars on Facebook and YouTube social media platforms.
EMATT’s focus is on enhancing disaster response and preparedness in T&T. Through effective coordination and collaboration among various government agencies, emergency services, and community stakeholders, EMATT aims for disaster risk reduction and mitigation through the engagement of key stakeholders in taking necessary precautionary actions and seeks to empower citizens to active participation in disaster preparedness. By streamlining communication channels and establishing clear protocols, EMATT enables a more coordinated approach to disaster management, which in turn reduces response time and enhances the effectiveness of emergency operations.
Central to EMATT’s objective is the promotion of risk reduction strategies. EMATT emphasises the importance of proactively identifying and mitigating risks before disasters strike. By conducting risk assessments, vulnerability mapping, and hazard analyses, EMATT will help communities identify potential risks and vulnerabilities. This information is then utilised to develop comprehensive strategies that minimise the impact of disasters and protect lives, infrastructure, and the environment.
EMATT recognises the significance of engaging and empowering local communities in disaster management efforts. Through extensive community outreach programmes, awareness campaigns, and training initiatives, EMATT ensures that residents are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to respond effectively during emergencies. By fostering a culture of preparedness, EMATT helps build the resilience of communities across T&T, enabling them to withstand and recover from disasters more effectively.
EMATT maintains a robust monitoring and evaluation system to assess the effectiveness of its programmes and initiatives. By monitoring key performance indicators and collecting data on disaster losses, response times, and community resilience, EMATT can make informed decisions and continuously improve its strategies. This iterative approach allows EMATT to adapt to evolving challenges and emerging risks, ensuring that its efforts remain relevant and impactful.
In the face of mounting climate change impacts and the increasing frequency of natural disasters, building community resilience is of paramount importance. EMATT, through its multifaceted approach, will play a vital role in reducing disaster losses in T&T. By focusing on enhancing disaster response, awareness, and preparedness, promoting risk reduction strategies at all levels, (community, policy making, government planning and development, legislation, and environmental best practices), engaging communities, and fostering collaboration, EMATT will strive to create a safer and more resilient nation.
With ongoing commitment and concerted efforts, EMATT will bring hope and protection to T&T, safeguarding its people and their futures.
How to support EMATT
If you would like to support EMATT by volunteering your service and/or resources you can contact Stacey Pi Osarius at 680-1464 or send an email to email@example.com
Check out EMATT’s Facebook page for further information.
Janice Learmond-Criqui, CPC, CaribDE is a Certified Professional Coach, personal development and soft skills trainer, and motivational speaker.