2015 Hurricane Preparedness Week

Hurricane Preparedness Week

Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 24 - 30, coinciding with the release of the official hurricane season forecast for the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season.

USAID—through its Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)—is prepared to meet the demands of hurricane season. Though this season is predicted to be less severe than previous years, it only takes one major storm to wreak havoc and affect communities. In an effort to stem the impacts of hurricanes, we work year-round with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to reduce their risks and help them prepare for storms. Some of the areas we work in are:

●     Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) - Our DRR programs in Latin America and the Caribbean focus on enhancing local and national self-sufficiency in disaster preparedness and management. To this end, we aim to strengthen the capacity of established national and regional disaster management institutions so that they are able to meet the majority of emergency needs after a hurricane. Learn more about one of our innovative programs in Jamaica that is helping to turn youth into future disaster responders.

●     Shelter and Settlements - In the wake of a major disaster that damages and destroys homes, USAID provides shelter and settlement assistance to address immediate needs and support the overall recovery process. To ensure that our transitional shelters have the strength and design to withstand hurricane-force winds, we test them at Florida International University’s Wall of Wind lab.

●     Donations - When disasters strike, many people want to donate to those in need. Through USAID’s Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) we educate the public on the most effective way to help during a hurricane—monetary donations to organizations that operate in the affected countries. This enables relief workers to respond to evolving needs, from immediate life-saving assistance to eventually rebuilding communities.

●     Hydrometeorological Hazards - OFDA works closely with meteorological experts in hurricane-prone countries, training them on the Flash Flood Guidance System, which accumulates rainfall data and analyzes the rate at which the ground absorbs it. This system saves lives, giving disaster-prone countries crucial hours before a flash flood hits to implement emergency plans and move as many people as possible out of harm’s way. 

To learn more about our hurricane preparedness work, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Last updated: May 28, 2015

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