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Disaster Response

 Disaster Response 

Latin America the Caribbean have experienced multiple natural disasters over the past few years, including severe earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and draughts that have challenged governments, the civil society, and international aid agencies to the limit.  It is not a surprise that currently, there is a regional consensus on the need for a coordinated approach to prevention, mitigation, the humanitarian response, and reconstruction efforts. 

Challenges & Opportunities

The lack of resources and budgetary constrains are often sited as the main reason for insufficient prevention and a weak response to natural disasters, but through preparedness and international cooperation at different levels, it is possible to fill some of the voids and build stronger crisis response systems that can better serve citizens throughout the region, -specially at local levels through better coordination and management of resources and expertise.

The costs associated to natural disaster are hard to predict but they will clearly have a direct impacts on budgets, productivity and the GDPs of countries.  Building resilience to natural disasters is as important for governments as it is to the private sector to minimize the impact and be able to recover faster. 

Lessons learned from recent disasters around the globe as well as new technologies and the high level expertise on crisis management can provide governments with the necessary tools to better prepare and react when disaster hits. Building on experience and ongoing reconstruction efforts, regional leaders have the opportunity to enhance the level of cooperation seeking improvements in prevention, mitigation and humanitarian response.

 

CEELAT’s Work

CEELAT seeks to contribute in the efforts to build a coordinated approach to natural disasters and asymmetric threats by looking and offering advice on critical issues, including:

• Public awareness and preparedness (about risks, prevention, and response)

• Protecting the critical infrastructure

• Coordination among government entities and first responders

• Coordination between the government, the private sector, civil society

• The role of the international community

• Developing business continuity plans

• Building resilience to natural disasters.

 

Related Activities: During 2011 we will host relevant workshops on cooperation, prevention, mitigation, response and reconstruction with the objective of producing recommendations and collecting valuable information to decision makers.

Related Guidelines and Reports: In recent years CEELAT members, advisors, and associates have contributed to the creation of guidelines and reports, including: Haiti, New Orleans, business continuity plans, etc

Related Projects: Currently CEELAT is working with partners in the reconstruction of Haiti, among the research areas and alternatives being considered are: Sustainable villages, industrial ecosystems, eco districts

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