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MEDIA RELEASE - Commemoration of the International Day for Disaster Reduction



Friday 12th October, 2018                                                    12:05 p.m.


Commemoration of the International Day for Disaster Reduction


In commemoration of the International Day of Disaster Reduction on Saturday 13th October, 2018 the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) joins the international community in reminding all citizens of the importance of being prepared for all hazards. Every citizen, community, business, civil society group and state agency play a critical role in building a resilient Trinidad and Tobago.

The International Day for Disaster Reduction is a day to celebrate how people and communities are reducing their risk to disasters while raising awareness about the importance of Disaster Risk Reduction. It is also a day to encourage every citizen and civil society to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations. The overall theme for this year is reducing the economic loss of disasters at all levels.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has and continues to make strides towards reducing Trinidad and Tobago’s exposure to natural and man-made hazards. However, disaster risk reduction is everyone’s responsibility. Our strength as a nation depends on the preparedness level of everyone. Hurricanes, Flooding, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Drought and Industrial Accidents are some of the hazards that can impact Trinidad and Tobago. We must all “Get Ready and Stay Ready!” for any hazard.  

The economic losses from hazards can continue to impact our nation’s efforts towards sustainable development, the eradication of poverty and capital development programs. The destruction of agricultural produce and livestock, the disruption of lives and livelihoods affects the economy of Trinidad and Tobago. It can deprive the government of funds to spend on capital development, health, education, social services and other important public services.  Thus, reducing the national economic loss from disasters has the power to transform lives and protect future generations.  

To commemorate the International Day for Disaster Reduction in Trinidad and Tobago, the ODPM continues to encourage all individuals and communities to assess their level of preparedness for a disaster and to take the necessary action to reduce their level of risk. As a nation, it is critical that we develop a culture of risk-sensitive awareness to reduce economic losses from disasters.

You are invited to identify areas in your individual, community and business emergency plans that may place you and your family at risk during a disaster and to take the necessary action to augment those gaps.

On an individual level you can reduce the economic loss associated with hazards by maintaining an emergency fund; keeping cash in small dominations in your “grab and go bag” and emergency kit; insuring your property in the event of a hazard and establishing a household emergency and communication plans. 

As a community, you can become more resilient by engaging in the following activities:

  1. Identify and understand the risks most common in your community. Through this approach, a plan to mitigate a particular hazard can be created, thus preventing significant losses of either life or property in the aftermath of a hazard.
  2. Identify shelters and other safe places within your community that are closest to you, in the event of an evacuation order.
  3. Remember to strengthen homes and buildings in preparation for a hazard. For example, using hurricane straps to protect roofs, installing hurricane shutters on windows and advocating for proper drainage around homes and within your community.
  4. Engage key stakeholders such as the municipal corporation to understand the emergency plans for your area.
  5. Identify the most vulnerable persons in your community such as the elderly and persons with disabilities. These are the persons who require the most assistance in the event of a hazard from other members of the community.

Individual and community preparedness is a key component to building national resilience. The ODPM invites all citizens to continue all efforts to integrate disaster risk reduction into their economic loss reduction strategies as we forge to reduce economic losses from disasters.

To learn more about emergency preparedness visit the ODPM’s website at

Persons are encouraged to download a copy of our family communication plan to support your hazard mitigation activities.




Issued by:

Public Information, Education and Community Outreach Unit





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