1. Training the trainers

St John will train volunteers as trainers, who will lead the disaster preparedness activities. These volunteers are already engaged with the organisation as first aid trainers, many of them for several years. They receive a two-day training on disaster related issues to prepare them for their role in the communities.

2. Household-centred disaster preparedness training

The trainers will teach households how to better plan, prepare and respond appropriately to disasters. Members of communities across St Lucia who will undergo a one-day training course in disaster preparedness practices, which also provides additional first aid skills.

The project aims to change the households’ behaviour so people commit enough time and resources for their individual disaster preparations, and they pay attention to the existing systems. At the end of the training, participants will have learnt how to identify risks in their community and in and around their homes, how to develop practical plans for their households which include actions to take in advance of an emergency, how to pack an evacuation kit with food and equipment for 72 hours and also how to provide first aid to their neighbours and friends after an emergency. The knowledge can immediately be utilised to help save lives and reduce loss of property.

Community’s attitudes towards disaster preparedness and practices will be improved, for example through broadcasting messages on radio, encouraging the population to better prepare for an emergency.

3. Re-establish active Disaster Committees

The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMOorchestrates all aspects of preparedness and response to disasters and other emergency situations in St Lucia. It is a network of committees, which function at the national, and – as Disaster Committees – on local levels. Disaster Committees have been elected by their own communities to serve for the Committees as volunteers.

50 people in all five rural communities will receive coaching in disaster preparedness, first aid and community contingency planning in cooperation with NEMO in order to re-establish inactive Disaster Committees. 

4. Emergency Shelters and Equipment

NEMO has defined public spaces as emergency shelters, such as schools, churches and community centres. The project provides support to shelter managers who learn how to better manage these centres and meet the needs of the communities.

Emergency shelters and other central spaces are also used as satellite warehouses, which store emergency equipment for the surrounding communities. Each warehouse will be assessed to see what necessary items are missing. An urgent need exists for equipment such as life jackets, hard hats with spotlights, dust masks, shovels whistles, first aid kids, stretchers, folding cots, blankets, family sized tents and dingies with motor.

5. Monitoring and Evaluation

St John St will continuously monitor the success of the project. In addition, the project will help to collect actualized and reliable data on the resilience status of remote rural villages in St Lucia.

Follow-up with the participants of the disaster preparedness training will check if they developed a disaster plan for their family. This anticipates a positive behaviour change towards disaster preparedness practices on household-level. 

Learn more about our Household Disaster Preparedness in the Caribbean