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Aug 7, 2018

The latest news from Team Rubicon in the BVIs

The Hurricane Season in the region is now well underway. Our Team Rubicon Staff and volunteers on the Islands have been working tirelessly with the local community and partners to launch a series of resilience and preparedness initiatives – as well as continuing our work in responding to the ongoing needs form the storms of last year. This report gives you, our valued donor and partners, a brief snapshot of our work over the past few months. None of which is possible without your support – you are having an impact!

General activity over last 3 months has consisted primarily of Business Continuity support to Ministry of Health & Social Development, and assisting BVI Red Cross with their disaster response planning, as well as planning for training serials described below.

In addition, have done some consulting to BVI Police over a VHF procurement project for national communications resilience.

 Last week we signed a contract to rebuild the West End Community Centre on Tortola on behalf of the Ministry of Health & Social Development. This is being done in partnership with the NGO One Love BVI.

July was a very busy month. 10 Team Rubicon ‘Greyshirt’ volunteers deployed to BVI in 2 waves of 5 to conduct training as below.

  • 28 sessions, totaling 128 hours, were delivered to 430 people in:
  • Disaster Management Preparedness training (Leadership, teamwork, communication and collaboration, impact & damage assessments, aid distribution, disaster management using the Incident Command System, Shelter management)
  • Trauma Exposure and Resilience (TEaR) training.
  • Disaster preparedness and business continuity consultancy.   

 Some of the organizations we trained in some or all of the above were:

  • Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR)
  • British Virgin Islands Red Cross
  • Episcopal Relief & Development - St George’s / St Paul’s Church
  • Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP)
  • Ministry of Health and Social Development
  • Department for Disaster Management Community Emergency Response Teams
  • Unite BVI
  • Rotaract Club/ Rotary
  • Lions
  • Crisis intervention Team
  • St. Ursula’s Catholic Church Hurricane Preparedness Committee
  • Virgin Gorda Recovery Operations Centre

The training included 3 table-top exercises and culminated in a 4 hour Live Simulation Exercise on 28 July, which saw the BVI Red Cross set up their ops room and manage tasking after a fictional hurricane. As part of the training scenario, Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR) launched their boats and exercised two of their crews in casualty management, taking scenario casualties from the BVI Red Cross medical team and transporting them by sea to the hospital. A total of 37 people (plus 7 Team Rubicon training staff) played in this exercise, which was the first of its kind for both BVI Red Cross and VISAR.

 This capacity building deployment was delivered in partnership with BVI Red Cross, fully funded by Unite BVI, accommodation was provided by St George’s Church, and EY continued their ongoing support with office space and a training venue.

 Much has been achieved – but we still have so much more to do. Our focus on preparedness and resilience through disaster management training is growing a level of expertise and understanding within the community of what measures they can best take for when the next storms hit. We are continually overwhelmed by the kindness and support we receive from the BVI community as we all work together to tackle these challenges.. We will keep you all posted on our progress! Thank you all again!

Jul 3, 2018

TRG Disaster Response Fund Update

Testing Safe water kit for disaster response
Testing Safe water kit for disaster response

Dear TRG Supporters,

We are please to have seen significant increases in activity across th einternational network of Team Rubicon Country Units over these past few months.

Our teams of volunteers and dedicated staff in the UK, Australia Norway and Canada have deliverred comprehensive training courses to build the skills and capacity of our volunteers to respond rapidly in time of natural disaster.

We are especially mindful that the Carribean and N American Hurricane season commneced last month and know all too well the significant impact that can have on communites having been deeply involved in the response efforts to Hurricans Harvey, Maria and Irma in 2017. Indeed - we still have volunteers in the Caribbean today working with communites to prepare them and help build resilience for when the inevitable next event strikes.

Elsewhere teams have responded to flooding in N America (centered on New Brunswick) and well as wildfires in Australasia and rebuilding of hydroelectric facilty in a remote rural community in Nepal.

None of these efforts is possible without the considerable support we receive - for which we are eternaly grateful.

May 14, 2018

Latest News from Team Rubicon Project in the BVIs

TR Team leader testing water purification kits
TR Team leader testing water purification kits

We wanted to update you all on the latest form the BVIs: With the continued support of our partners and donors our project team on the islands are increasing our focus on preparedness for the upcoming hurricane season. With projects to prepare community centers which then will serve as emergency shelters when needed by the local community. Our BVI I Project Team are in the latter stages of formalising support to the training and equipping of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). This is expected to happen in four phases:

  1. The Red Cross to confirm with Department of Disaster Management which communities they are responsible for preparing.
  2. TR Project Manager will assist to build capacity in local branches of the BVI Red Cross and ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) to be able to run a NGO-coordination centre in the event of a disaster response being required.
  3. Assist Red Cross in the re-engagement of previously trained CERT volunteers to commit to further training and participating in ‘table-top’ response scenarios.
  4. Conduct capacity building activities in local communities through provision of equipment (portable solar/wind, water filtration, communications equipment) and with a further training and exercising package to the communities identified in Step 1, both through CERT members and other non-Red Cross community leaders. This is likely to be supported by a Team Rubicon training team deploying to BVI in late June, early July.

 This work is currently underway - and we aim to have made significant progress prior to the onset of the 2018 Hurricane Season - which, given work still needed as part of 2017 Hurricanes (Irma & Maria) is a significant challenge with the variable of the potential impact of storms hitting the islands from June 2018 onwards. A strong focus is on delivering as much training and equipment as possible prior to the 2018 flood and hurricane season (August-December) to up to 10 communities.

Yours in Service - With Thanks from all the team

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