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Public natural disaster emergency response systems in caribbean small island developing states: a Trinidad ans Tobago case study

Abstract : The occurrence of natural hazards in the Caribbean continues to result in disastrous effects for many islands, notwithstanding sustained efforts by domestic and external agencies to promote risk reduction and improved preparedness. Trinidad and Tobago faces a moderate to high level of exposure to potentially catastrophic effects from a strong earthquake, and is also exposed to storm surges and flooding risks. This paper examines the public natural disaster response systems in Trinidad and Tobago for evacuation, provision of shelters and communication with the public during a disaster event. The study extends to the opinions of members of the public on the adequacy of these systems and any impact which disaster experience may have on such opinions. Research on natural disaster emergency response suggests that lack of public understanding or trust in disaster response arrangements can hamper their effective execution. The study is based on interviews with disaster management agencies and a survey of individuals across the island of Trinidad. The analysis covers the structure of the mechanisms, reliability of the arrangements and dissemination of response arrangements to the public. The findings point to gaps in the formulation, testing and dissemination of these emergency arrangements. The results suggest areas for priority focus that may improve execution during the chaos of an actual major natural disaster event. These priority areas may also be instructive for other Caribbean SIDS where similar weaknesses may exist. Recommendations are offered for the refinement of natural disaster response measures and engagement of the public before a natural disaster situation develops. Improvements in the adequacy of these systems can work towards a reduction in the scale of adverse disaster outcomes, particularly those related to the health and safety of persons.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - 8:52:29 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 3:41:53 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02433093, version 1



Marlene Murray, Patrick K. Watson. Public natural disaster emergency response systems in caribbean small island developing states: a Trinidad ans Tobago case study. Caribbean Science and Innovation Meeting 2019, Oct 2019, Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe), France. ⟨hal-02433093⟩



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