Post-Georges Disaster Mitigation

Objective 1 | Objective 2 | Objective 3 | Objective 4

Objective 1: An effective hazard mitigation policy and operational plan is adopted and implementation has started in each country

National Natural Hazard Mitigation Policy and Plan Development

The Post-Georges Disaster Mitigation project supported the drafting of comprehensive national hazard mitigation policies and plans in both Antigua/Barbuda and St. Kitts/Nevis. This activity served as a framework for many of the other project activities. In both countries, multi-sectoral working groups were convened to guide the development of the mitigation policy/plan. The project engaged an individual in each country to serve as the focal point for development and writing of the plan, specialists to carry out specific hazard assessments, and a geographic information system specialist to integrate these assessments into a vulnerability assessment. The PGDM also provided the assistance of two regional mitigation planning experts to help structure the planning process and to provide guidance to the local individuals and agencies developing the policies and plans. Under this arrangement, the PGDM undertook the following activities:

Further details on the hazard mitigation policy and plan development process and products are available on the PGDM Hazard Mitigation Planning Page.

National Mitigation Planning Councils

All sectors and segments of society are affected by natural hazards in Antigua/Barbuda and St. Kitts/Nevis. Any effective program to reduce the overall vulnerability to natural hazards must be similarly all-inclusive. Multi-sectoral bodies with high political support are critical to the coordination and long-term success of the hazard mitigation initiatives. In both countries, the national hazard mitigation policies/plans were developed under the mandate of national mitigation councils.

In Antigua/Barbuda, the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) and the Government of Antigua/Barbuda had proposed, prior to the inception of the PGDM, the establishment of a National Mitigation Council. With the assistance of the PGDM, an organizational meeting of the Council was held in August 2000 and the first official meeting was held in March 2001. The National Mitigation Council is chaired by the Minister of Planning and comprises senior public servants and representatives of the private and non-governmental sectors, across a wide variety of sectors. NODS serves as secretariat to this council. A technical guidance committee was also established to guide the development of the mitigation policy/plan.

In St. Kitts/Nevis, a National Mitigation Council existed prior to the inception of the PGDM. This Council met on a regular basis throughout the project and is chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister. Its membership includes the heads of each Government Ministry and Department and representatives of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Chamber of Commerce, the Hotel and Tourism Association, protective services, church and women's organizations. A technical guidance committee was established to provide day-to-day guidance to the mitigation plan development process. 

Pre-disaster Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery

In the aftermath of a disaster, there is great pressure to repair damages and return society and the economy to "normal." The post-disaster period, however, also provides an opportunity not just to return damaged structures to a functioning state, but to make them less vulnerable than before to future such events. The time pressures and difficulties in communication and transport in the post-disaster environment make it difficult to undertake the planning necessary to increase the resilience during reconstruction. Advance planning for appropriate reconstruction can assist in meeting this goal by ensuring access to appropriate building materials and by identifying key strengthening measures to be incorporated in any reconstruction activities. 

Under the PGDM, plans were developed for post-disaster reconstruction of the housing sector. Included in these plans were training and public information materials on safe building techniques. These plans can be used by other sectors as models for development of their own reconstruction and recovery plans. Further information is available on the PGDM Pre-disaster Planning for Post-disaster Recovery page.

Pre-project Baseline (December 1999)

Antigua and Barbuda: The national disaster office recently formed a Disaster Mitigation Strategy Committee. Composition of the committee is not yet final, and representation seems to be below the desired level. The private sector is under-represented. The committee does not yet have a coordinator an no workplan has yet been developed.

St. Kitts and Nevis: In 1998, Parliament passed a disaster mitigation act and an accompanying National Disaster Plan, which was revised in September 1999. Both the Plan and the Act were widely distributed for review before the bills were presented for debate and passage by Parliament. Although the Disaster Plan exists, there is no clear-cut mitigation plan or policy. A review will determine the extent to which the plan is consistent with government policy, and will identify steps to be taken to operationalize the plan.

Neither country has a plan that would enable the appropriate agencies to learn from failures in housing and infrastructure, and to carry out reconstruction in such a way that impact of future hazards would be minimized.

Expected outcomes (December 1999)

  1. Each country has adopted an effective disaster mitigation policy and plan that makes full use of the hazard and vulnerability information.
  2. Each country has agreed on a mechanism to integrate the plan into the ongoing physical and economic development planning process.
  3. Each country has a plan to ensure that mitigation is built in future post-disaster reconstruction projects.

Pre-PGDM Documents and Reference Information


St. Kitts/Nevis


USAID/OAS Post-Georges Disaster Mitigation:

Page last updated on 17 Sep 2001