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ODPM commemorates International Day for Disaster Reduction - Thursday 12th October 2017

Thursday October 12, 2017 – 12:30 p.m.

(View original release here:

International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) is held annually on 13th October to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. The focus of this day, as envisioned by the United Nations, is to celebrate people in communities around the world reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness of the risks they face.

Undeniably, hazards are becoming more frequent and intense. The theme associated with IDDR continues to raise awareness of the seven targets of the Sendai Framework. More specifically, in 2017 the focus is on Target B – “to reduce the number of people affected by disasters by 2030.” In order to reduce risk, citizens need to be aware of the risks in and around their environs. With this in mind, there is the need to be cognisant of the social, economic and cultural impacts of disasters in past and present incidents throughout the fabric of vulnerable communities.

In this regard, the ODPM has partnered with Geography students of the University of the West Indies to pilot the use of a data collection tool engineered by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and key stakeholders referred to as the Strategic Targeting Methodology (STM) Tool. Regional Corporations’ Disaster Management Units (DMUs) and ODPM’s Volunteer Corps have also joined this venture by providing public information and skill learning exercises on Saturday 14th October 2017 in the Diego Martin, Sangre Grande and St. Helena pilot areas. Citizens in the pilot communities mentioned are invited to come out and learn how to build proper sandbag walls, safety procedures when using a chainsaw and GIS mapping of shelters, as well as how to plot evacuation routes in their frequently impacted communities.

It is fitting that IDDR 2017 and First People’s Day are being commemorated on the same day, as students will be interviewing impacted communities in order to capture historic hazard and vulnerability information. IDDR 2017 activities pay homage to the significance of indigenous knowledge and the value of recording such data to assess risks in such communities. It is hoped that the information gathered from the survey will support the refinement of Municipal Emergency Plans. Here the utilisation of indigenous knowledge of river bank erosion, landslides, flood prone areas and the changing dynamics of hazard impacts will improve planning for such events.

The ODPM encourages all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to continuously build their awareness levels and resilience so that they can reduce the impact of hazards on their lives. Visit and learn more about IDDR 2017 and enter our social media competition to win a disaster kit. It is simple, use the hashtags #ODPMIDDR2017 and #liveslostindisastermatter and inbox us pictures of your preparedness activities. Weekly entries will be featured on our Facebook page. The picture with the most likes will be the winner, be prepared and enter now.

Issued by:
Public Information, Education and Community Outreach Unit,
For further information, please contact:
Customer Call Centre 511

Photo Captions:

[Members of ODPM, Dean of the Faculty of Food and Agriculture, leads at the Department of Geography at UWI and Regional Corporations’ Disaster Management Units cooperate to pilot the Strategic Targeting Methodology (STM) Tool in vulnerable communities.]

[Members of the ODPM, Regional Corporations’ Disaster Management Units, Leads of the Faculty of Food and Agriculture, and Department of Geography with their students at UWI. All stand ready to partner in commemorating International Day for Disaster Reduction 2017 and First People’s Day by volunteering to collect hazard data in vulnerable communities on Saturday 14th October 2017.]

[From the Left: The Dean of the Faculty of Food and Agriculture at UWI, Dr. Wayne Ganpat and Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the ODPM, Colonel (Retired) Dave Williams, commemorate International Day for Disaster Reduction 2017 and First People’s Day on 13th October 2017.]

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