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From the Desk of the Chief Executive Officer...
I welcome you and thank you for visiting the official website of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), a division of the Ministry of National Security.
This website is important to us because we believe that public education and public awareness are vital to the creation of a disaster resilient country and region. It is through these initiatives that the general citizenry will be provided with the necessary tools to plan and prepare in the face of natural and man-made hazards.
Since transforming from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management in 2005, we have shifted from a response-centric approach to an approach which focuses more on mitigation and preparedness, two elements of the comprehensive disaster management approach. In addition, we upgraded our Work Programme to focus more on integrating First Responders’ capabilities and managing their responsiveness, public education and community outreach activities, prevention and mitigation initiatives, consequence management and critical infrastructure protection.
Over the past year, we have seen an increase in the number of hazard impacts, which have disrupted several countries and regions. In our own region, we continue to see and feel the effects of strong hurricanes, tropical storms and unusually heavy rainfall with subsequent flooding. Here in our own twin island Republic, we have experienced severe flooding and serious landslides from short but intense periods of rainfall. All these hazard impacts have caused immense human suffering and substantial damage to sustainable development and livelihood. Climatic conditions and a variety of disasters continue to change our world and so, we have to adapt to these changes. One way that we can surely adapt is by building our resilience. Resilience can be built and sustained in many ways; however, one of the easiest ways is through education and empowerment.
Consequently, this website will focus on providing you with up to date public advisories, speeches, resources, such as information on hazards to which our region is prone, policies, plans, shelter listing, maps and relevant links and tools.
On behalf of the entire ODPM, I thank you for visiting the site and I encourage you to start perusing!
Dr. Stephen Ramroop, MBBS FRCSEd FRCSGlasg. UK MBA HCM UOP USA
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER