Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 08, 2021 (SKNIS): The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) has been credited for strengthening St. Kitts and Nevis’ damage and needs assessment plan which guides the actions of teams who go out to survey the damage after a disaster and recommend strategies to safeguard lives and properties.
“We are a part of a regional body, CDEMA, who gives us a lot of support and they help in the drafting and refining of the damage assessment and needs analysis policy,” said Livingston Pemberton, representing the Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis Committee in St. Kitts and Nevis during his appearance on ‘Working for You’ on October 06. “They encourage us to actually come up with a policy that is tailored towards our local situation and so they would provide whatever support that we require of them. They try not to reinvent the wheel as it were.”
Mr. Pemberton said that the inter-agency teams tasked with designing the plan are also guided by practical standards set by others.
“We look at what we call benchmarking, best practices out there, and we take those and try to adapt them to fit our local situation,” he said.
According to information from CDEMA’s website, the organization is a regional intergovernmental agency for disaster management in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). It was established in 1991 as CDERA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency) with primary responsibility for the coordination of emergency response and relief efforts to participating States that require such assistance. It transitioned to CDEMA in 2009 to fully embrace the principles and practice of Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM).
All CARICOM and Non-CARICOM Member States of the Caribbean region are eligible for CDEMA membership. CDEMA presently comprises nineteen (19) Participating States namely Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Cayman Islands, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Republic of Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Virgin Islands.