The hurricane season between June and November brings storms and torrential rainfall to the Caribbean, devastating families and businesses and seriously affecting tourism dependent economies.
The best defence against such disasters is to be prepared, and educate people how to take the necessary actions before the next hurricane hits. This will minimise risks and improve their chances of survival.
Knowledge of first aid and what to do when disaster strikes is vital for Caribbean communities. Following a disaster, local rescue units are often overwhelmed with huge numbers of injured people while ambulances are unable to reach remote victims due to the devastation. Rural inhabitants will frequently have to provide for themselves for several days or weeks.
Therefore it is crucial that they have the knowledge and skills to do so. St John works with local people by training them how to prepare and protect their families and how to help their friends, neighbours and the community at large after a hurricane. Based on their own needs we are building more resilient communities and reducing the demands placed upon the emergency services.
St John teaches specially designed first aid courses to people in the local communities, developing skills which can be used when disaster strikes. This locally informed guidance also includes information about health priorities in a post disaster situation, such as treating contaminated water.
St John helps communities to prepare for a disaster at the household level. People learn how to inspect their buildings and repair vulnerable parts, how to tape windows, leave doors ajar to prevent pressure build ups, and to place emergency bags next to household exits.
In search for stability and appreciation, Greg turned to a street gang, but he found his real purpose as a volunteer for St John St Lucia.