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Mar 15, 2018

UNICEF shows plans for disasters

The 2018 Hurricane Season is a couple months away, but that has not stopped UNICEF and its partner agencies to sharpen their disaster management skills. On Wednesday, UNICEF and several organizations gathered at the Biltmore to do a simulation of a flood. Doing the exercise helped the organizations to see how the machinery works and to identify how personnel on the frontline and behind the scenes at respond at the time of a natural disaster. We stopped in at Wednesday’s exercise to find out more.

 

Dr. Susan Kasedde, UNICEF Country Rep, Belize

Dr. Susan Kasedde

“The purpose of the exercise is really to bring partners together that would normally work together and respond in an emergency, so as to think through together how we organize the roles and responsibilities that each of us holds and how we can coordinate to make sure that our support is as effective as it needs to be in the case of an emergency. So, today we have been given a scenario to respond to a flood, a major flood, affecting sixty-five percent of a national territory. We have been assigned to our different roles; the Government team, the interagency team for the United Nations System and the UNICEF team. Each of us having to work through the information as it comes through – who is affected, where they are affected, the impact and the needs so that we can rapidly come to an agreement on what we would then take in terms of support to complement the government’s resources, the agency assets in order to respond to the populations in need.”

 

Tracey Hutchinson

Tracey Hutchinson, UN Coordination Analyst

“The United Nations has an emergency technical team that is normally activated in the event of an emergency that allows all United Nations agencies to come together to better coordinate the response and support the national authorities.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now, when you look at this specific scenario that is playing out, what specific role do you guys play in terms of being able to provide either relief or emergency assistance?”

 

Tracey Hutchinson

“Through the U-net, we try to ensure that we are able to capture the information that is being shared to better assess the situation and make available the resources that would be required. So, in the case of this simulation we are doing right now, it is receiving that update from Government, identifying already what resources may be available from specific agencies that have particular leadership across different areas.”

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