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Going on Vacation and Community Disaster Response Team Training

I was up at 4 am and super excited, I am going on a much needed 2 day vacation. Leaving it as a surprise as to  where  – you will have to wait and find out when I get back and blog it. I have lot’s of bits and pieces to take care of work wise before I go between blog related stuff and Belize Red Cross.  Miraculously I got it almost all done and now I can get to finishing packing so I can get the heck out of here – my brain feels like rush hour ha ha.

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Lunchtime Rush hour
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San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross is looking for 12 – 15 people to form a Community Disaster Response Team. Training date information will be coming soon, we need interested parties who are willing to receive training first. If you or someone you know would make a good CDRT please email Your help in getting the word out and working together to create a prepared and Safe Ambergris Caye for residents and tourists is much appreciated and it is already working. Scott and Jody from Palapa Bar, Dov Magy aka Karaoke Joe and Renae Berg are the first 4 people to sign up for CRDT training and Dianne Campbell emailed me of 2 great candidates that are moving to Belize in June and can catch the second round of training.

Community Disaster Response Team (CDRT):

Following a disaster there is always a period when the emergency services and first responders will be unable to react. This may be due to the size of the area affected, communication problems or impassable roads. The Community Disaster Response Team (CDRT) is designed to complement and strengthen the existing role of NEMO within the community by helping to increase its capacity. The Red Cross trains and equips Community Disaster Response Teams (CDRT) in each community to enable them to carry out emergency first response when a disaster occurs.

CDRT role and function:

The main role of the CDRT is to assist with increased community resilience by:

1. Working closely with its local NEMO to prepare for and provide assistance during any disaster that is within the scope of the CDRT’s capacity.

2.  Helping the community to prepare for and respond to disasters through public educational initiatives.

3. Developing and maintaining a strategic community disaster plan.

4. Assisting community members with the development of a Family Emergency Plan

5.  Mobilising residents to participate in community-based risk reduction activities

6. Implementing, updating and testing of this plan

CDRT Objectives:

Preparedness: to assist their local NEMO with community empowerment and resilience in order to better prepare for an respond to emergency situations.

Response: to save lives and property by providing where possible, first response to self, family and community during times of emergencies and disaster.

Relief: to assist in relief and assessment after a disaster as directed by NEMO

CDRT Structure:

The CDRT functions as a single unit with a leader and Deputy Leader appointed by its members. Additional roles including e.g. Secretary, Treasurer and Community Relations Officer can be identified and selected as necessary. The desired minimum membership is 12 with a maximum of 25 persons. The aim of the group is to ensure diverse representation of the community on the CDRT.

CDRT Training:

The teams learn fire prevention, basic search and rescue, First Aid, initial damage assessment, shelter management, psychosocial support, radio communication. This three to four days training includes participation from the Fire Department, health professionals, NEMO and other partners.

Develop, test and review disaster plan:

The CDRT are responsible of developing a Community Disaster Plan, which they do under the guidance of the Red Cross and NEMO, which defines clearly each member’s role and function, the links between CDRT and government search & rescue services, as well as the routine according to which the emergency operations will be carried out. This plan is tested through a simulation exercise and reviewed on a yearly basis.


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