The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, conducted a Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis workshop aimed at preparing key individuals in disaster management.
The workshop, which was held March 17 to 20, 2014 at the Anglican Parish Hall in Marsh Harbour, saw 15 participants from Government and Non-Government offices take part in the course.
Director of NEMA, Captain Stephen Russell, said the aim is to train key individuals in the communities who can readily respond to and conduct proper and detailed assessments of the impacted areas following a disaster.
“It is imperative to have persons in the islands technically trained to meet the immediate needs after a disaster struck,” he stressed.
Captain Russell said one of the challenges facing NEMA is the logistics of getting to an impacted area immediately after a disaster. This is a concern expressed by local and international donors who require immediate assessments in order to disburse funds for relief and recovery efforts.
In this vein, the workshop focused on providing participants with the knowledge and skills needed to make an initial assessment on site in the areas of health, life lines, housing and productive infrastructure, and to perform a needs analysis and purpose priority actions.
Once trained, this group would be part of the local emergency groups, community organisations, agencies that are responsible for the affected areas, and institutions that have the capacity to convene people.
The DANA course uses the interactive teaching method, based on well-defined objectives that participants must fulfil.
Luke Bethel of NEMA served as course coordinator. NEMA facilitated the workshop in conjunction with the United States Agency for International Development/the Office of United States Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). Participants were presented with certificates upon completion.