Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project
Implemented by the Organization of American States
Unit of Sustainable Development and Environment
for the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Caribbean Regional Program


CDMP Activity Streams

The Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project (CDMP) is a coordinated effort to promote the adoption of natural disaster preparedness and loss reduction practices by both the public and private sectors through a program of regional, national and local activities. CDMP activities target six major themes: community-based preparedness, hazard assessment and mapping, hazard-resistant building practices, vulnerability and risk audits for lifeline facilities, promotion of hazard mitigation within the property insurance industry and incorporation of hazard mitigation into post-disaster recovery.

Pilot projects are being implemented in selected countries, while training, information dissemination workshops and technical meetings, the publication of reports and other dissemination activities ensure that the entire region can benefit from the results of such activities. Project participants include local architects, engineers, bankers, builders, artisans, professional associations, insurance and reinsurance companies, finance institutions, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations and community groups.

Facilitation of Community-Based Disaster Preparedness and Prevention

The CDMP recognizes the vital role communities play in assisting government efforts in preparing for natural disasters and mitigating their effects. The project seeks to promote public/private sector disaster mitigation and preparedness initiatives and to carry out pilot projects in specific communities. The final aim is to put in place community-based, sustainable disaster preparedness and prevention programs.

Activities in the Dominican Republic | Activities in Haiti

Natural Hazard Assessments and Risk Mapping

The CDMP derives hazard and risk information from descriptions of past events, existing topographic and thematic maps, satellite imagery and other specialized sources. This information is presented in traditional and computer-based, single- and multi-hazard maps for selected study areas. These maps are designed to support incorporation of hazard mitigation in planning and locating physical development, improved emergency management and evacuation planning and more accurate determination of natural hazard risk by insurance and lending institutions.

Hazard Mitigation Planning | Storm Hazard Modeling

Promotion of Hazard-Resistant Building Practices and Standards

Large and small contractors, artisans and others working in the formal and informal building sectors are assisted in adopting effective natural hazard vulnerability reduction measures, and project area governments are assisted in adopting development regulations and building codes that promote vulnerability reduction.

Hazard-resistant Construction | Hurricane-resistant Home Improvement Program

Vulnerability and Risk Audits for Loss Reduction in Lifelines and Critical Facilities

Successful performance of lifeline systems (electrical power and communications, water and sewage, transportation, gas and liquid fuels) is vital for prevention of severe human and economic losses during natural disasters. The CDMP is designed to enable participating institutions to conduct risk audits for utilities and other infrastructure, and to help implement their recommendations.

School/Shelter Vulnerability Reduction Resources

Promotion of Loss Reduction Incentives and Hazard Mitigation in the Property Insurance Industry

The CDMP is working with the Caribbean insurance industry on various actions aimed at easing the property insurance crisis in the region. Among these actions are:

Insurance, Reinsurance and Natural Hazard Vulnerability Reduction

Incorporation of Hazard Mitigation into Post-disaster Recovery

While the preferred mode for providing technical assistance in disaster mitigation is to incorporate vulnerability reduction measures into all aspects of development projects, the reality is that often a disaster must strike before there exists sufficient institutional and technical interest in mitigating against future losses. For this purpose, the OAS/CDMP has developed a Post Disaster Mitigation Strategy, which enables disaster-affected OAS member states to have access to a wide pool of technical specialists to assist in the design of mitigation activities and their incorporation into reconstruction plans and projects.

Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn Response | Hurricane Georges Response | Layou River Landslide Dam

Technical Training and Information Dissemination

The success of the CDMP requires that disaster mitigation information and technical skills be accurately and effectively transmitted to project participants. Accordingly, each of the CDMP activities described above include, as appropriate, workshops, technology transfer and training sessions, the drafting and distribution of training manuals and other publications, and/or the establishment of public information campaigns, as essential components in their implementation.

Investing in Mitigation: Costs and Benefits | CDMP Papers and Publications

CDMP home page: Project Contacts Page Last Updated: 20 April 2001