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Barbados developing early warning systems

Barbados developing early warning systems
Kerry Hinds, Director of the Department of Emergency Management. (FILE)

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The development of a Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems Policy for Barbados is well under way.

Speaking during the first policy consultation at the 3Ws Oval recently, Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Kerry Hinds, explained that early warning systems were a major component in disaster risk reduction, as they contributed to the prevention of loss of life, property and the economic impact of hazards.

“Increasing the availability of multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information is one of seven global targets set by The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 to 2030,” she said.

She stated that an investment in impact-based early warning systems for Barbados would allow officials to take early action against hazards, which was a key success factor in the quest to becoming resilient.

The Director urged the working group to ensure that the tenets of cooperation, inclusivity, proactivity, strengthening of institutional and knowledge capacities, financing, monitoring and evaluation and reporting formed a part of the policy document.

She added that it should also address the needs of at-risk populations and reach communities before a disaster struck, to ensure that no one was left behind.

“Think of the resilience approach to all investments and decision making and increase efforts to stop the spiral of increasing disaster impact and risk,” Hinds pointed out.

She urged the working group members to mainstream disaster risk reduction in everything they did, including closing the data and modelling gaps, further developing interoperable tools, collaborating with the private sector and civil society, and overcoming communication barriers to reduce vulnerability.

“The early warning system is an important tool in our decision-making process, and the success of the system is built on our commitment towards functional horizontal cooperation and the sharing of experiences. Our discussions therefore contribute to an interactive platform for knowledge exchange, lesson sharing and collective reflection as we forge the way forward,” Hinds stated. (BGIS)