Strengthening Early Warning Systems in the Caribbean Early Warning Systems Nationall Assessments & Roadmaps

Aug 15, 2019

The Caribbean region is highly prone to natural hazards such as hurricanes, floods, volcanic and seismic activities, droughts and forest fires. The increasing impact of global climate change and the risk posed by a range of natural, environmental and technological hazards are among the Caribbean’s most critical development problems. The past decades have been marked by an intensification of the impact of disasters, such as the destruction of livelihoods and communities, as well as a setback in development gains.

Thus, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) set out to improve their Early Warning Systems (EWS) through an 18-month project financed by European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).

The country level actions were supported by UNDP, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), who embraced a partnership approach and helped reinforce the efforts to realize a more integrated EWS and enhance disaster riskreduction at the regional, national and community level.

This document provides an overview of the results and lessons of the national assessment and planning processes to strengthen Early Warning Systems in each country. Five countries were supported in carrying out a national assessment to identify the gaps in their early warning systems. These assessments were guided by the Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (MHEWS) Checklist which contains the main components and actions to which national governments can refer when developing or evaluating early warning systems. Each target country produced a national EWS Gap Report, based on the assessments and analysed the findings to identify priority actions. The formulation of a national EWS Roadmap provides a blueprint for further improvement and investment in early warning systems and disaster risk reduction efforts.

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