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Vulnerability and Risk Assessments

Preliminary Vulnerability Assessments 2011

Trinidad and Tobago can be affected by natural and anthropogenic hazards from several categories - seismic, hydrological, technological, biological  and meteorological. The level of vulnerability varies - e.g., low lying areas are more vulnerable to flooding than higher elevated places. Knowing which areas display the highest levels of vulnerability, as well as the location of critical facilities such as hospitals and shelters, is important in mitigation and response planning.

The ODPM is currently conducting preliminary vulnerability assessments of each municipality in Trinidad and Tobago. The hazard vulnerabilities of the following areas have been assessed. They are being reviewed by the Municipal Corporations and will soon be made available to the public.

  1. Tunapuna/Piarco Region and Arima Borough Preliminary Vulnerability Assessment, Critical Facilities Map and Hazard Occurrences Map
  2. Couva/ Tabaquite/ Talparo Region Preliminary Vulnerability Assessment, Critical Facilities Map and Hazard Occurrences Map
  3. Penal/ Debe Region Preliminary Vulnerability Assessment, Critical Facilities Map and Hazard Occurrences Map
  4. Sangre Grande Region Preliminary Vulnerability Assessment, Critical Facilities Map and Hazard Occurrences Map 

Feel free to submit questions and comments to the Disaster Management Units of the various Municipal Corporations, or email

The Preliminary Vulnerability Assessments will feed into the following comprehensive national risk and capacity assessments.

National Risk Assessment and Capacity Building 2011-2013

IDB Program: The Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) signed an agreement in February 2011 to deliver a program aimed at Improving the Delivery of Comprehensive Disaster Management in Trinidad and Tobago, in order to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience to natural hazards and disasters. It will develop a profile of disaster risk at the national level in order to inform development planning priorities and the effective incorporation of risk reduction at the national, sectoral and local levels.

The Program has the following components:

  1. Country Disaster Risk Evaluation, which will include:
    1. Hazard identification, historical review and probabilistic analysis
    2. Preparation of an inventory and categorisation of elements exposed and vulnerability analysis
    3. Risk assessment
    4. Update of the Indicators of Disaster Risk and Risk Management
    5. Preparation of hazards and risk maps, a detailed country risk profile and reports on the country risk evaluation.
  2. Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building, which will include:
    1. Institutional strengthening and capacity building of the ODPM and the Municipal Corporations in prevention, mitigation and response.
    2. Detailed assessment of the country’s institutional capacity to manage the risks associated with natural hazards:
      1. Review of the legal framework and practice
      2. Evaluation of the Government’s institutional capacity to manage identified risk
      3. Recommendations for updating the disaster risk management system
      4. Individual packages of individual strengthening needs for key stakeholders (public administration, physical planning, housing and environment, finance, social development, local government, community development, information and education, agriculture, energy, public utilities, telecommunication, works and drainage)

UNDP Program: The Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed an agreement also in February 2011 to deliver a program which also develops capacity for disaster risk management in Trinidad and Tobago. The following outputs are desired:

  1. Improved Disaster Risk Management framework of policies and strategies for four (4) sectors or ministries
    1. Gender sensitive capacity development program
    2. Capacity development program
    3. Mainstream DRM procedures into sector policies, laws, development planning and operations, and decision-making
  2. Well-functioning Emergency Communications System
    1. Gender sensitive DRM public education and awareness program materials and modalities designed for multi-hazard exposure and delivery to target audiences
    2. Emergency communication system strengthened for at least three categories of critical infrastructure taking into account gender 

2014 Preliminary Vulnerability Assessment

This report attempts to analyse these factors from the disaster management perspective and make recommendations for vulnerability reduction and resilience.Trinidad and Tobago is considered to be one of the most diverse countries in the Caribbean region with its own mix of culture and social values which make it truly unique. Additionally, Trinidad and Tobago's environment is gradually evolving, making the islands' more susceptible to the impacts of natural and anthropogenic hazards.

Certain factors such as poverty and the high dependent nature of the nation’s population contributes to a population's misinterpretation of risk , the way in which emergencies are managed , and the marginalization of special need populations.  It is pertinent to note that , Small Island States (SID’s)  like Trinidad and Tobago are  highly susceptible to economic vulnerability, which refers specifically to the way in which the nation’s economy responds to both internal and external shocks. Of the multiple factors which contribute to economic vulnerability, some of the key elements include : a proneness to natural and anthropogenic disasters; economic openess; export concentration , dependence of strategic Imports and sectors; and inadequate coping mechanisms to name a few. To view the contents of the Preliminary Vulnerability Assessment Report for 2014, click here.







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