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Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience

by Team Rubicon Global
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Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience
Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Response & Resilience

Dear Friends,

We felt in writing to you this time that we should reflect on the incredible impact your support has made since we launched this campaign in 2017. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria hitting the Caribbean region in late summer 2017 we rapidly deployed disaster response teams to the area. In those early days we launched this partnership with the amazing team at GlobalGiving to generate support for the immediate response operations we were conducting. These included debris removal, route clearance, hasty repairs and disaster mapping to assist the overall coordinated effort.

With your continued support it became clear that the recovery effort was going to take weeks and months – and we shifted our focus to building a full time core capability to assist in the rebuild of the community centers which form a focal point during disasters. We also began working with local agencies, governments and organizations to support training and resilience initiatives – recognizing that preparedness forms such a crucial element to enabling communities to rebuild and recover following natural disaster. Most recently TR staff provided training on disaster preparedness at the American University of the Caribbean as part of a regional center of excellence initiative.

 None of this would have been possible without your support. Looking forward as the Hurricane season approaches the region we remain poised to response again and look to combine these initiatives within our wider global disaster operations campaign. As ever, we remain committed to support those communites affected by natural disaster,

 Kind Regards,

 All the Team

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Looking into 2019 we remain focused on building preparedness and resilience capacity across the region and continuing to work with local partners.

Team Rubicon UK is continuing its direct support through the team based in the BVIs and working alongside NGOs and local authorities there.

Further afield and in partnership with our partners at BIDMC we are supporting the American University of the Caribbean with their disaster medicine and hurricane resilience initiatives.

Working with Emergency Managers from the islands about NGO coordination, capabilities and providing insights on pre-planning, along with field experiences. With a focus on providing EM's real-world experiences in responding to disasters globally and if properly planned, how coordinating NGO's can be most efficient in getting to recovery quicker.

By providing insights & experiences to the Emergency Managers of the region, Team Rubicon Global, along with our partners, continues to be involved in the region. In addition, with our involvement in the International Conference on Disaster Medicine & Hurricane Resiliency Conference; the Emergency Managers of the Islands will be better prepared for this years hurricane season.

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2017 - Hurricane Irma hits the BVIs
2017 - Hurricane Irma hits the BVIs

Dear Supporters,

We are pleased to update you on the latest progress on our project based in the BVIs. With much focus through the year on resilience and planning we continue to work closely with the local authorities and partner NGOs in developing overall preparedness.

 

We have been spared from significant weather event so far this year and this has allowed the projects to continue at pace without having to switch attention to a response effort across the islands.

 

The work to rebuild the West End Community Center is nearing completion and this will provide a significant capability to the community as a hub in times of natural disaster - and this work could not have been possible without your support.

 

Support to Ministry of Health & Social Development continues with guidance on business continuity planning and disaster management. We are also looking to partner with another NGO to provide semi-portable solar and wind powered back-up power supplies for some of their key front-line buildings (eg clinics), and plans are being finalised which would include a community awareness education package in climate change and renewables.

 

We remain incredibly grateful for all the support we receive and the impact this is having on the local communities is a source of constant encouragement. Thank you from all the team!

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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!

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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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Organization Information

Team Rubicon Global

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @TRGlobal
Project Leader:
Ed Hill
Washington, DC United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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