Post-Georges Disaster Mitigation Project
Chronicle of Events: Antigua & Barbuda

February 16, 2000, Antigua, Initial Project Roundtable in Antigua/Barbuda.

A one-half day roundtable was held at the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) to introduce the PGDM and discuss the project's objectives and coordination. Representatives of 10 government agencies, the Barbuda Council, the insurance industry, the banking sector, professional associations, civil society and the media participated in this meeting. Key outcomes of the meeting include:

Documents: PGDM Introductory Slideshow (Antigua/Barbuda) (MS Powerpoint, 430k)

May 16-18, 2000, Antigua, Hazard Mitigation Planning Workshop.   May 19, Mitigation Planning Workplan Development

Twenty-three individuals participated in the workshop, representing 12 government ministries/agencies, the Barbuda Council and the Antigua Public Utilities Authority. The goals of this workshop were:

The first 1 days of the workshop included presentations on the hazards prevalent in Antigua/Barbuda (origin, history and scientific basis) and an approach to hazard mitigation and mitigation planning. During the rest of the workshop, participants worked in small groups to develop and present draft mitigation plans-at the national level and for selected sectors. Information gathered and goals developed by the small groups will be useful in the initial development of the national hazard mitigation policy/plan under the PGDM.

On 19 May, a half-day meeting was held to finalize the workplan for development of a natural hazards mitigation policy/plan for Antigua/Barbuda between June 2000 and June 2001. Eleven government representatives (all of whom had participated in the 3-day hazard mitigation planning workshop) and the executive director of the Antigua/Barbuda Chamber of Commerce participated in this meeting. The resulting project timeline is available through the links below.

Documents: Mitigation Planning Workshop Report | Workplan Development Workshop Report | Initial Plan Development Timeline/Tasks | Participant Photo

August 1, 2000, Antigua, National Hazard Mitigation Council Meeting

On 1 August 2000, the Antigua/Barbuda National Mitigation Council (NMC) held its first meeting. The role of this meeting was to develop policies for strategic planning and management of natural disaster mitigation interventions in the development of Antigua and Barbuda. The objectives of this meeting were to identify lists of Council and Committee members for approval by Cabinet, to develop strategies and incentives to support disaster mitigation-friendly policies and legislation and to develop a plan to achieve a nation-wide consensus on the importance of mitigation. Presentations were made on the definition of hazard mitigation and examples of vulnerability reduction approaches. Smaller group discussions were held to identify the membership in the National Mitigation Council and Committee and to generate ideas for promoting and enforcing disaster mitigation. Over 25 public and private-sector representatives participated in this meeting.

Documents: Minutes

August 16-17, 2000, Antigua, Hazard Mapping Prioritization Workshop

The objectives of the workshop were:

The first day of the workshop was devoted to a review of hazard assessment methodologies, the identification and prioritisation of natural hazards and a data needs assessment for prioritised hazards. On Day 2, the methodologies for conducting simple and detailed vulnerability assessments were reviewed. This was followed by a data needs assessment for identified critical facilities at risk, and an exercise on vulnerability assessment. The latter part of the day was devoted to the development of guidelines for the terms of reference for the hazard assessment studies and a workplan for hazard and vulnerability assessments. Twelve participants attended the first day of the workshop while 20 attended on the second day.

Participants conducted a formal prioritisation exercise to identify the natural hazards of critical importance to Antigua and Barbuda. The prioritisation exercise employed a methodology which ranked the hazards on a relative ranking scale according to their probability, frequency, area of impact and magnitude. Using this methodology, six priority hazards were identified: wind, storm surge, drought, ground shaking, flood and coastal and river erosion. Similarly, the workshop participants identified the priority critical facilities for the PGDM: medical, schools, shelters, government buildings, infrastructure, utilities, tourism and agriculture.

Documents: Workshop Final Report

September 13-14, 2000, Antigua, Emergency Shelter Management Training Course

The National Office of Disaster Services had identified a number of disaster districts with an inadequate number of trained shelter managers to staff existing shelters. To fill this gap, NODS staff conducted, with PGDM support, a shelter manager training course September 1415, 2000. The USAID/Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance Shelter Manager Training Course materials were used for this course. PGDM covered the workshop costs and provided 80 copies of OFDA shelter management course manual for use at this and future shelter manager training courses. 41 persons attended the first day of this course and 30 on the second.

October 9-13, Antigua, Development Control Authority Staff Training Program

The PGDM assisted the Antigua/Barbuda Development Control Authority with an internal staff training program by providing facilitators and instructors. The purpose of the training program was to strengthen the capacity of the staff to undertake development review and inspection activities. Topics covered included the legal context for land use planning and development control in Antigua/Barbuda, a discussion of the mission and vision of the agency, administrative procedures for application review and a review of the Antigua/Barbuda building code and guidelines. The final report from this workshop is available on the Building Inspector Training Course Materials page.

November 2000. Workshop on 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 to just return damaged structures to their pre-disaster state, but to make them less vulnerable 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. In this workshop, guidelines for pre-disaster planning for post-disaster reconstruction will be presented, as well as a sample plan for the housing sector. Other sectors will be guided through the process of preparing sector-specific plans.

Documents: Pre-disaster planning for Post-disaster recovery: national plans and reference materials.

November 13-17, 2000, St. Kitts, Multi-hazard Building Design Course

The PGDM sponsored a five-day course on Multi-hazard Building Design for engineers and architects of both countries at the Ocean Terrace Inn in St. Kitts during the week of 13 November 2000. This course was developed and conducted for the PGDM by the Council of Caribbean Engineering Organizations (CCEO). The objectives of the course were twofold:

Sixteen public- and private-sector engineers participated in the full week-long course. PGDM sponsored the participation in this course of Public Works Directors and Engineers from Antigua/Barbuda and St. Kitts/Nevis, as well as two participants from the Engineering Faculty of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. Private sector engineers from the project countries participated in the course free of charge. 

Documents: Multi-hazard Building Design Course page

December 6, 2000, Antigua, Mitigation Plan Development Work Session

PGDM supported working sessions on development of mitigation planning goals and objectives. In this session, the PGDM hazard mitigation planning consultant met with the plan writer and individuals assisting with the development of the hazard mitigation policy/plan. The purpose of this work session was to detail the process for developing goals and objectives and to review draft materials that have been completed, including capability assessment forms and historical hazard information. PGDM consultant also accompanied NODS representatives in meetings with high-level government officials to discuss hazard mitigation.

Documents: PGDM Mitigation Planning Page

January 15-26, 2001, Antigua, Building Inspector Training Course

PGDM conducted a two-week training course for building inspectors from Antigua/Barbuda and St. Kitts/Nevis. The objective of the building inspector training course was to provide public- and private-sector building inspectors with the expertise necessary to review buildings under construction for compliance with adopted codes. The course began with a 4-day introductory session for inspectors from banks, insurance companies and interested agencies, in addition to the building inspectors from the Development Control Authorities. The remainder of the course was primarily for government building inspectors and incorporated significant fieldwork. Over 25 individuals participated in this training course. The training course was quite well received. A series of recommendations for further strengthening the building inspectorate are included in the final report for this workshop. Highlights of these recommendations include:

Further details on the training course, resulting recommendations and training materials used during the course are included in the final report on this activity.

Documents: Building Inspector Training Course Overview

January 18, 2001, Antigua, First Roundtable on Hazard Mitigation in the Insurance and Banking Sectors

This meeting was held at the Cortsland hotel, Antigua, on 18 January 2001. All insurance companies and retail banking establishments currently active in Antigua/Barbuda and St. Kitts/Nevis were invited to participate. 31 representatives from the banking and insurance sectors participated from the two project countries (19 from the banking sector and 12 from the insurance sector). During the workshop, a three-year vision for hazard mitigation was developed and the following three short-term actions were proposed:

  1. Upgrading Public Awareness on vulnerability reduction cost/benefits, methods and procedures.
  2. Effective Dissemination, Application, and Enforcement of Building Codes
  3. Establish Effective Cooperation between Bankers/Insurers/Construction Professionals and trades people.

Documents: Hazard Mitigation in the Insurance and Banking Sectors

March 2001, Antigua, Building Code Sensitization Meetings

During March 2001, the PGDM organized discussion meetings with home owners and home builders in St. John's and Liberta. The purpose of the meetings was to discuss with participants the problems of building a small house to be resistant to the natural hazards of hurricanes and moderate earthquakes which affect the islands, and to develop simple and effective ways of engaging persons to design the house and then to engage builders to construct the house. The intention was to provide the potential home owner with the information which would lead to appropriate decisions with respect to the resistance of the building to the natural hazards and importantly on the proposed cost of the building before signing a contract with the builders. The meetings were designed to provide this information in an interactive manner with the participants being involved in the decisions for building their house. The workshop presentations focused on the Buildings Guidelines, the use of which is mandatory. The processes for seeking building approval from the relevant Ministry and Development Control Authority were also discussed. 

Meetings were also held with members of the building fraternities in Antigua/Barbuda and St. Kitts/Nevis to discuss strengthening of the use and enforcement of the building code in both countries. A report of these meetings was produced, which contains the following recommendations:

Documents: Building Code Sensitization Meetings page

April 4, 2001, St. Kitts, Second Roundtable on Hazard Mitigation in the Insurance and Banking Sectors

22 representatives from these sectors in both countries participated in the second roundtable. The discussions focused on the approaches and mechanisms originally identified in the first roundtable, held in the previous quarter:

  1. Establish effective cooperation between bankers/insurers/construction professionals and trades people.
  2. Achieve effective dissemination, application, and enforcement of building codes
  3. Upgrade public awareness on vulnerability reduction cost/benefits, methods and procedures.
  4. Reduce reliance on the existing insurance mechanism

Each of these points were discussed and elaborated upon in smaller group discussions at the roundtable. The results of these discussions are available in the final report for the roundtable series.

During this roundtable, participants reported that, in response to the first roundtable, the professional organizations for both the banking and insurance sectors in Antigua/Barbuda and the banking sector in St. Kitts/Nevis had reorganized themselves.

Documents: Hazard Mitigation in the Insurance and Banking Sectors

May 16, 2001, Antigua, Presentation of Hazard Vulnerability Assessment Results

With the assistance of a PGDM consultant, summary hazard layers from each of the PGDM hazard assessments were incorporated into the national geographic information system (GIS)  database, housed at the Development Control Authority. A team, led by the National Office of Disaster Services, inventoried and mapped over 250 facilities for use in the PGDM vulnerability assessment. Using the hazard GIS layers, an assessment of the mapped facilities was undertaken to identify those that are at the highest risk to the mapped natural hazards. The results of this vulnerability assessment were presented to a multi-sectoral group at the Multi-Purpose Cultural Center.

Documents: Antigua/Barbuda Hazard Vulnerability Assessment page

July 2001, Antigua, Tide Gauge Strengthening

Under the project Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Global Climate Change (CPACC), a tide gauge was installed in St. Kitts in 1998. This gauge proved to be particularly sensitive to the effects of severe storms. Under the PGDM, this gauge was hardened to increase the probability that the equipment can withstand the effects (and record information during) of tropical storms. The monitoring equipment was relocated from its original location on the concrete pier to a site that would accommodate installing additional system height (3m) and placing guy wires on the tower. Additional brackets were added to the sea-level system.

Documents: Tropical Storm Hazard Assessment page

July 26, 2001, Antigua, Final Project Handover Ceremony

The final event for the project was held at the Cortsland Hotel in the evening of 26 July 2001. At this event, Cecily Norris, OAS Director in Antigua/Barbuda, delivered the final draft of the Antigua/Barbuda National Hazard Mitigation Policy and Plan to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. Hon. Gaston Browne, Minister of Planning, Implementation and Public Service Affairs, accepted the document, which represented all activities and products of the PGDM. Remarks were made by the Minister Browne, Patricia Julian (Director of the National Office of Disaster Services), Philmore Mullin (NODS Deputy Director) and Steven Stichter (PGDM Project Manager). The ceremony was followed by cocktails and refreshments. Approximately 50 people attended this event.

Documents: Photos

Pre-PGDM Documents and Reference Information

USAID/OAS Post-Georges Disaster Mitigation:

Page last updated on 18 Sep 2001