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Flood Response and Preparedness Plan
Civil Defence Commission
This document “Flood Preparedness and Response Plan” for Guyana has been developed by Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Guyana with technical and financial assistance and in association with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Guyana under the Disaster Risk Management Program of UNDP. It is expected that this document will enable all stakeholders including Central and local government, UN Agencies, Civil Society Organizations, Technical and Private Sectors for a comprehensive Flood Risk Management Initiative in the country. This Plan will be updated from time to time for better flood response and Preparedness in the country and it is expected that this plan is adhered and followed by all stakeholders for a better and well prepared Guyana.
Table of Contents
I. II. III. IV. Table of Amendments Abbreviations Message from the Director General CDC Message from Director General CDC 5 6 7 8 9-12 9 9 9 10 10 11 11 13-20 13 13 13 13 14 15 15 15 15 16 17 18 18 18 19 20 21-22 21 21 23-32 23 26 27 33-53
Chapter: 1 Introduction 1.1 Policy Statement 1.2 Aim 1.3 Purpose 1.4 Key Principles 1.5 Scope 1.6 Planning Assumptions 1.7 Ownership, Usage and Regular Updating of the Plan Chapter: 2 Profile of Guyana 2.1 Background 2.2 Profile of Guyana 2.3 Geography 2.4 Topography 2.5 Population/ Demography 2.6 Languages 2.7 Economy 2.8 Climate 2.9 River System 2.10 Flood Risk in Guyana 2.11Causes 2.12 Impacts 2.13 Probability of Flooding 2.14 Sources of Flooding 2.15 Impact of Climate Change 2.16 Flood Facts Chapter: 3 Disaster Management Systems in Guyana 3.1 Institutional Framework 3.2 Existing Disaster Management Systems Chapter: 4 Disaster Management Functions 4.1 Flood Preparedness 4.2 Early Warning Information Flow 4.3 National Early Warning Structure/mechanism Chapter: 5 Disaster Response Functions
5 After Floods 8.6 What to do during flood 33 33 38 47 54-59 54 54 56 57 58 60-62 60 60 63-67 63 63 63 63 64 64 4 .1 Command and Coordination 5.2 When Flood Warning 8.4 Disaster Response Elements Chapter: 6 Early Recovery Frameworks 6.4 Monitoring 6.2 Objectives 6.3 National Emergency Operation Centre 5.1 Approaches to Flood Mitigation 7.3 Early Recovery Process 6.2 Response Agency Roles and Functions 5.4 During Floods 8.5.1 Before Flood 8.2 Measures for Flood Mitigation Chapter: 8 Flood Safety Measures 8.1 Principles of Early Recovery Framework 6.3 If need to Evacuate 8.5 Evaluation Chapter: 7 Flood Mitigation: Approaches and Strategies 7.
TABLE OF AMENDMENTS National Flood Preparedness and Response Plan Draft Revised Periodic Revisions February 2010 November 2011 June 2012 5 .
ABBREVIATIONS CDC: CBO: CDM: CCG: DANA: EPA: FAO: GFC: GDF: GLSC: ICS: ICAO: MOH: MARAD: MSI: NFPRP: NDIA: NDC: NGO: PAHO: RDC: REOC: RCC: SOLAS: SOP: SOE: SRR: Community Democratic Councils Community Based Organizations Comprehensive Disaster Management Central Coordination Group Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis Environmental Protection Agency Food and Agriculture Organization Guyana Forestry Commission Guyana Defence Force Guyana Land and Surveys Commission Incident Command System International Civil Aviation Organization Ministry of Health Maritime Administration Department Maritime Safety Information National Flood Preparedness and Response Plan National Drainage and Irrigation Authority National Disaster Coordinator Non Governmental Organizations Pan American Health Organization Regional Democratic Councils Regional Emergency Operation Centre Rescue Coordination Centre Safety of Life at Sea Standard Operating Procedures State of Emergency Search and Rescue Region 6 .
MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL DISASTER COORDINATOR
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR GENERAL CDC
Chapter: 1 INTRODUCTION
1.1 POLICY STATEMENT: The purpose of this plan is to provide strategic guidance in a systematic and sequential manner for preparing and responding to a flood in a coordinated manner. This plan details the roles and responsibilities of public and private sector entities and a coordinating mechanism to ensure that all the identified activities are carried out in a coherent manner. Additionally, the plan describes the response mechanisms and co-ordination arrangements, and the management of flood response in a comprehensive manner. 1.2 AIM: The overall aim of the National Flood Preparedness and Response Plan is to ensure systematic, timely management of a situation in an appropriate manner through effective coordination and identification of the risks and potentially vulnerable population and undertaking necessary preparedness, response and mitigation measures. 1.3 PURPOSE: The purpose of the National Flood Preparedness and Response Plan (NFPRP) is to enhance the nation’s ability to manage all flood-related disasters using a comprehensive disaster management approach. It is also to ensure the timely and effective assistance to the affected in a coordinated manner, ensuring the greatest protection of life, property and health. The Plan also defines the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) of various ministries/agencies for coordinated response and flood preparedness. The NFPRP incorporates all disaster risk management activities from preparedness to response. It presents a framework for emergency response at different levels of government structures; identifies the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders; and lays down coordination mechanism for activities with civil society, the print and electronic media, public and private sector, and brings together a full range of national capabilities to prepare and manage any disaster. The NFPRP classifies different types of flood hazards, levels of vulnerabilities and their causes, as well as the structure, functions, and coordination mechanisms of the National Disaster Management Structure. The role of CDC and the disaster management organizations of the Regional Democratic Councils (RDC) and the related bodies of the City Council, Neighborhood Democratic Councils and the Community Democratic Councils (CDC) are very crucial in the entire process of flood preparedness and response planning. The various sub plans will focus on Provision of relief Procedure of declaring disaster areas
8. clearly defines the process of declaring each level of emergency and response mechanisms and procedures accordingly. 9. Designs for flood management must be able to cope with a changing and uncertain future. 3. Recommend mitigation and preparedness measures for substantial reduction of flood disasters in future. Every flood risk scenario is different and there is no flood management blueprint. local and national levels. 5. 12. Undertake activities for flood mitigations and better preparedness The NFPRP also focuses on the concept of EOCs at national. and. 10 . 4. Plan to recover quickly after flooding and use the recovery to build capacity. Clarity of responsibility for constructing and running flood risk programs is critical. 1. 6. 7.5 SCOPE: The scope of the Plan are under: The NFPRP classifies natural and manmade flood disasters in three levels in the country and corresponding response mechanisms and procedures. 1. Early warning systems. Rapid urbanization requires the integration of flood risk management into regular urban planning and governance. 2. and. An integrated strategy requires the use of both structural and non-structural measures and good metrics for getting the balance right”. 11. Many flood management measures have multiple co-benefits over and above their flood management role. Illustrates structures and mechanisms for providing operational direction to disaster management authorities at national. It is important to consider the wider social and ecological consequences of flood management spending. Implementing flood risk management measures requires multi-stakeholders cooperation. It is impossible to entirely eliminate the risk from flooding. Continuous communication to raise awareness and reinforce preparedness is utmost important. regional and neighborhood level. 10. Defines emergencies at regional. Information flow from national to RDC in the case of different hazards.4 Key Principles of Flood Risk Management: 1. Heavily engineering structural measures can transfer risk upstream and downstream. regional and community levels.
These organizations will implement preparedness. Government agencies. No single disaster event will completely devastate the country rendering it uninhabitable. e.. All Government agencies. 1. Disasters can occur at any time or of any scale. A national disaster results in a large number of casualties and damage to infrastructure. to address the emerging needs. communities. and displaces large numbers of people. private sector. response and recovery activities and conduct exercises in order to maintain the overall national response capability. Floods can cause the destruction of physical and communication infrastructure. In some cases the first responders. local authorities. The plan is to be used as follows: a) To guide operational response to flood disasters in Guyana 11 . critical facilities and the private sector would have developed general disaster/emergency and contingency plans. The Plan will be a dynamic and living document and changes and amendments will continue.7 Ownership.1. severely affects population and livelihoods. Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) will support the overall concept of Operations of the Plan and will carry out their functional responsibilities. There will be regular updating of the plan through mock drills and organizing periodic review and updating of the same from time to time. triggering the declaration of a national disaster in the country. largescale casualties and displacement of local communities. It needs a strong ownership and follow up for adhering to the response functions and also various preparedness aspects from time to time. Thus it is very important that CDC owns the plan and a task force is formed with support from RDCs for smooth operationalisation of the same. The nature and scope of disasters can include natural and manmade hazards. It needs to be strongly used not only during the flood period but also during the planning stage for identification and finalization of development projects. gives rise to the potential threat of disease outbreak.6 PLANNING ASSUMPTIONS Following assumptions have been made: Incidents are managed at the local level and when overwhelmed the regional and national levels step to assist. with little or no warning in the context of general or specific threats or hazards. as and when required.g. and other response structures may be affected by an incident and left unable to perform their duties. The response capacity and resources at regional and community level may become easily overwhelmed. Usage and Regular Updating of the Plan: The NFPRP is a very important document for substantial reduction of flood risk in the most vulnerable areas of the country. mitigation.
The plan also needs to be regularly updated from time to time for making it more userfriendly and also making it more practical and usable by all stakeholders. during and after disasters To upgrade and enforce standard operating procedures for various ministries/departments and other stakeholder. 12 . There need to be regular simulation exercises involving all relevant stakeholders in order to make the plan more lively and make necessary update from time to time so that it not only contributes to reduction of loss of lives and property but also ensure a better integration of flood risk into the national and regional development planning especially in long term flood mitigation efforts.b) c) d) e) For the provision of information to the general public before. For the management of the NEOC Help in formulating Flood mitigation strategies for long term development and sustainability of investments.
It is bounded on the North by the Atlantic Ocean. 2. (83 000 sq. 2. km.2 PROFILE OF GUYANA: GUYANA KEY LOW COASTAL PLAIN HIGHLAND REGION 2. mi. allowing for two annual harvests of two of their key export crops. straining the system during heavy rain periods. the colonial powers developed an intricate drainage system requiring constant care and maintenance. on the East by Suriname and on the West by Venezuela and Brazil with total area of 215 000 sq. Hilly sand and clay area. Combined. this network of dams. To compensate for high levels of rainfall and the low elevation of the populated regions. sugar cane and rice. Over the past three decades. on the South by Brazil. The strongest of these occurs between the months of June and July with the lesser rainy season occurring between December and January. Low coastal plain. particularly in relation to its regional competitors who lack such favorable climate conditions.4 TOPOGRAPHY: Guyana is divided into four (4) natural regions as follows:1. 3. Guyana maintains a firm market position in cane and rice due to these annual weather cycles.Chapter:2 FLOOD RISKS IN GUYANA 2. This semi-annual rainy pattern provides the Guyanese with two planting seasons. Highland region.). these crops are responsible for approximately 27 percent of the nation’s GDP. 10˚ to 8½˚ North Latitude and 56½˚ to 61½˚ West Longitude.1 BACKGROUND: Guyana is situated in the northern Amazon Basin and experiences two rainy seasons annually. HILLY SAND AND CLAY INTERIOR SAVANNAH Pop-75% GDP-70% 1to3metres Dykes Conservancies 13 . canals and sluices has fallen into disrepair. Guyana has been experiencing higher than usual rainfall.3 GEOGRAPHY: Location: Northern South America. In an increasingly competitive international market. 2. Interior savannah. and 4.
Africans. Portuguese. native Amerindians.1 percent) and 375. (2008 est. The 2002 Population and Housing Census indicated that the population was 751. including 376.3%.200.189 females (49. The smallest groups are the Whites (0. chiefly made up of six peoples – Indians.5 POPULATION/ DEMOGRAPHY Guyana population is one of mixed heritage.) The total fertility rate was 2.03 children born per woman (2008 est.5 percent of the population in 2002. It is on this narrow coastal strip that about 90% of the population resides.223.19 percent or 1396). They are followed by persons of African heritage (30.9 percent). While the sex ratio is evenly balanced between males and females. Only 10 percent of the population lives in the interior and the majority (90 percent) lives on the country’s narrow coastal plain that occupies a mere 7. The life expectancy at birth was 66.5 percent of the country’s total land area. that is. Guyana’s population is small in relation to its land space with an average population density of approximately four persons per square kilometre but population density differs significantly between rural and urban areas.) The largest nationality sub-group is that of East Indians comprising 43.18 years).01 percent or 112 persons) did not identify their race/ethnic background. the Portuguese (0. A small group (0. while the Amerindians are fourth with 9.20 percent or 1497) and the Chinese (0. The country has been divided into ten (10) administrative regions as follows:Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Region 4 Region 5 Region 6 Region 7 Region 8 Region 9 Region 10 Barima/Waini Pomeroon/Supenaam West Demerara/Essequibo Coast Demerara/Mahaica Mahaica/Berbice East Berbice/Corentyne Cuyuni/Mazaruni Potaro/Siparuni Upper Takatu/Upper Essequibo Upper Demerara/Berbice 14 . Currently. The third in rank are those of Mixed Heritage (16. Females: 69.06 percent or 476 persons).43 years (Males: 63. 2. there are variations within various age groups.2 percent.81 years. the mid-year population at 2007 was estimated by the Census Bureau to be 763. with a growth rate of 0.034 males (50. These groups of diverse nationality backgrounds have been fused together by a common language. English.The low coastal plain extends for some ten (10) miles inland from the Atlantic Sea Shore and is some three (3) to five (5) feet below mean high water level. Europeans and Chinese.2 percent).7 percent).
Human habitation grew around the agricultural lands and associated transportation centers concentrating much of the development in a 25 Km band along the Guyanese coast. Urdu 2. gold mining.9% Major Industries: Sugar.9 RIVER SYSTEMS: The Guyana coast comprises the river delta regions of the principal rivers of Guyana including the Berbice. humid. there are at least eight different languages spoken throughout the country. Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi). timber. 2. The rich fertile lands of the delta region. Amerindian dialects. The proximity of the rivers and the volume of sediment deposited annually has created a low coast. Creole. Due to the low 15 .8 CLIMATE: Tropical. China and India. diamonds Major Trading Partners: US.3% Inflation: 3. November to January) 2. Canada.6 GDP: US$ 999.40 Million GNP: US$982. often below sea level.7 ECONOMY: (as at 2009) Source: Guyana Bureau of Statistics Per Capita GDP: US$ 1298. rice. presented a strong incentive for the colonial powers to settle the coastal region and invest in drainage works to access its agricultural potential. compared with the thin soils of the tropical jungle to the south. Demerara and Essequibo rivers. which is constantly expanding northward due to the deposition of riverine sediments. contained in a conservancy system. Mahaica. rich in organics. UK. two rainy seasons (May to August.60 Per Capita GNP: US$ 1276. hot. Caribbean (especially Trinidad and Tobago) Brazil. bauxite.50 Million Annual Growth: 2. moderated by northeast trade winds. With savannah water.2. English.6 LANGUAGES: Although the official language is English. fishing (shrimp). a network of drainage canals for both conservancy maintenance and agricultural irrigation was constructed leading to the present intricate system of dams and canals.
The total capacity of the conservancy is estimated at roughly 100 billion gallons and was originally built by Dutch colonists using slave labor in 1818. along the coast from the village of Mahaicony to Georgetown. The East Demerara Conservancy Dam. The Region 4 conservancy lies on the eastern side. Flooding has been regarded as one of the most important environmental hazards affecting Guyana particularly in the coastal regions. Drainage from the dam flows north into the coastal lowlands. riverine and ponding. Takatu River Colombia Rio Branco Brazil Rio Negro Figure 3: Transboundary Flooding in Region 9 in Guyana.10 FLOOD RISKS IN GUYANA: Venezuela Lethem Guyana Ireng River TransBoundry Flooding. source: CDC. 2. While the dam in generally regarded as failsafe system in the event of a breach in the conservancy dam.0 kilometers in front of the conservancy dam and serves to provide irrigation water to the agricultural sector. 2011 Due to its geography and hydrology Guyana is vulnerable to a variety of flood events. The Crown dam is located at a distance of between 0. Drainage also passes into either the Demerara River on the west side of the conservancy or the Mahaica river along the eastern side of the conservancy. dam failure. the convergence of these events within a specific geographic location can exacerbate the flood threat beyond the normal flood levels. The proximate causes of flooding are contained in 16 . There are two water conservancies. The combined water storage capacity of the two conservancies is approximately 250 square miles by roughly 12 feet deep. lies between the Demerara and Mahaica rivers. drainage is highly dependent on the tidal state to create the gravity gradient necessary to assure proper water flow. located in Region 4. coverage is not continuous and there are numerous breaches in the Crown dam to promote local irrigation. These include coastal.5 and 3. while the Region 3 Conservancy borders the western side of the river. Additionally. divided by the Demerara River.and sometimes below sea level elevations of the protected areas.
agricultural. and flow in watercourses or inundation by the sea) exceeds the capacity of the land or drainage system to discharge that water. Canalization. which occurs when the amount of water arriving on land (from rainfall. 2. surface flow. The result is a flood. This occurrence can be anywhere but mainly on land adjacent to watercourses or low lying ground next to the coast or ponding of surface runoff in built up areas. can be caused by a combination of several of the factors listed above. However. drinking water provisions and sanitation1. However. Lack of maintenance of flood defense systems d.unece. an adverse effect results when the amount flowing into one area is greater than the capacity of the system to hold it within natural confines. which increases the rate of flow and decrease the time taken for water to travel within a catchment e. Transboundary flow of water from one near-by river basin into another Transboundary flooding – floods are largely regarded as river basin wide phenomena and therefore do not respect borders. drainage. Additional contributing factors to flooding impacts: a.the everyday environmental stresses of inadequate solid waste management. flooding often creates common problems with locally varying intensity2. Land management practices that increase blockages of hydraulic structures g. 1 2 Extracted from Mark Pelling (2003) The vulnerability of cities: natural disasters and social resilience. In this instance. modification and diversion of rivers and watercourses. It is best understood as water flowing into one part of the cycle (like rivers) to another part (the sea). Information taken from the website: http://www. NOTE: Flooding.pdf 17 . commercial and industrial centre of the country. The building of structures for example embankments that restrict flows over historical flood plains thus creating additional flood risks upstream and downstream f. Building developments in floodplains b.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/water/meetings/flood/workshop%202009/discussion%20pape r%20transboundary%20flood%20workshop.11 CAUSES Flooding can be largely regarded a natural event. flooding can be expected in the interior locations as well via a Tran boundary nature as has been experienced by persons living in Region 9 in June 2011. supports 90% of the population and is the administrative. Built developments in catchments and other changes in land use (increases the rate and volume of runoff in a catchment) c. the water cycle is a balanced system. Significant attention is paid to the coastal plain because it is regarded an area of reclaimed land that lies near or below sea level. as has been found in Guyana.
Contaminants g. It all depends on the severity of impact and/or damage which can result from: a. In flood terms. channel maintenance or degradation and climate change.12 IMPACTS Flooding is not automatic. probability is often referred to as a return period such as a 50-year flood event is a flow or tide level that is expected to be equaled or exceeded on average once every 50 years. Further.2.1% chance of a flood happening each year Return Period 1 in 20 years 1 in 100 years 1 in 200 years 1 in 1000 years Odds 20:1 100:1 200:1 1000:1 The estimation of probability is prone to uncertainty due to the use of short periods of record or to changing conditions such as river basin urbanization. this will dictate the amount of time to prepare c.5% chance of a flood happening each year 0. it is important to take into consideration all of the above listed factors. Depth of inundation f. Flow Velocity (the larger the flow velocity the greater the risk of damage and injury) b. significant flooding affecting a wide area can have substantial economic and public health impacts on communities and infrastructure. Overtopping and possible failure of a flood defence protecting a densely populated built up area is an extreme risk. a 1 in 100 year flood does not necessarily occur only once every 100 years.14 SOURCES OF FLOODING Floods can be categorized by the source of the event. Type and number of risk receptors (for example flood plain properties) The consequences of flooding vary with land use.13 PROBABILITY OF FLOODING Probability is the likelihood of an event occurring. The probability or likelihood that a location will flood in any one year is expressed in Table 3: Probability table Chance of flood event every year Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) 5% chance of a flood happening each year 1% chance of a flood happening each year 0. This can be misinterpreted as meaning that a flood will not be exceeded more often than indicated by the return period. Warning time and rate of onset of inundation. Predictability of flooding d. 2. A similar event affecting agricultural land is unlikely to involve a serious threat to life but may adversely impact economic resilience of a community. 2. Duration of inundation e. 18 . they occur on average once every 100 years. The characteristics of each of the following flood sources will assist in determining the actions taken to alleviate the flood consequences. It is important to note that significant flood events can be complex and can occur at any time day or night and can last for an uncertain period of time. As such. In other words.
generation of electrical power. c.pdf 19 . Failure can result in the sudden release of large volumes of water leading to catastrophic flooding including potential loss of life. 2. b.a. in the field of climate change. Sea Defence Failure Dams occur as human constructed features. and wave activity including tsunamis.15 IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE A significant volume of research has been undertaken. weather fronts and convective storms. Long-term processes like subsidence and rising sea level as a result of global warming can lead to encroachment of the sea on land. pest abundance. with respect to both causes and impacts of change. moisture changes. and is ongoing. increased CO2 content of the atmosphere. This type of meteorological event can cause other effects including landslides. Human constructed dams are built for water storage. Coastal flooding may also be caused by structural failure of defences with some locations subject to combinations of tidal and river impacts. and flood control. water-saturated ground. which are reflected in the box below: Impacts of Climate Change3 Direct Impact AGRICULTURE SEA LEVEL RISE 3 Effects of rising temperature. or as natural features constructed possibly by landslides. and drainage modifications. particularly when the ground is already saturated or when drainage channels become blocked. Conservancy Failure or Overtopping. Dam Burst.int/resource/docs/nap/guynap01. Contained in this document is the impacts of climate change. for example. Rapid (flash) flooding can occur when extensive saturation of high ground accompanied by intense short-duration rainfall in a small catchment or in a heavily built up area results in sudden release of large volumes of water along narrow channels from high ground to low lying locations. Flood defence systems are designed to protect vulnerable low-lying areas and also hold water levels above the surrounding natural ground level. storm surge. Weather patterns determine the amount and location of rainfall. The most extreme events involve a rapid uplift of moist air in the same location for a long time. which overwhelms the drainage capacity of the land or drainage systems. overtopping of sea defences http://unfccc. A number of factors can combine with exceptional precipitation to exacerbate flooding. It also led to there being developed the Guyana Climate Change Action Plan 2001. Coastal flooding Inundation by the sea on coastal areas is potentially caused by unusually high tide. Unfortunately the amount and time over which precipitation (rainfall) occurs is not consistent for any given area. Inundation of coastal areas. unusually high tides (spring tides). Extreme rainfall events may be forced by airflow over mountains. River/Fluvial Flooding: The principal source of river flooding is excessive rainfall within a limited period.
and feelings of fear. Floods can also cause anxiety and have psychological impacts on the affected communities h. Power failure due to a flooded power station 20 . especially in the health Sector Movement of people from cultural roots. the following can be considered as likely to arise under flood conditions: a. affecting many people at the same time f. anxiety and insecurity 2. Collapse of walls/properties e. Disruption of communications j. Dislocation of services: road transport and access may be impeded by floodwaters b. Health impacts may be substantial. floods. Hydraulic structures may be damaged or blocked by floating objects d. Power failure at pumping stations and sewerage treatment works may cause additional flooding and pollution hazards c. Poultry sewage and other pollutants may cause contaminated water containing a number of pathogens i. regional shifts in rainfall patterns.16 FLOOD FACTS Authorities must always keep to their foremost that there is a possibility that lives will be lost on land. Significant economic impacts k. river or sea during a flood event. Once general knowledge is available about a locality. People may be displaced (potentially for periods of up to or beyond a year) physically injured or exposed to chemical and biological hazards g.WATER RESOURCES ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL STABILITY POPULATION SHIFTS HUNGER AND POVERTY SOCIETAL STRESS CULTURAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS Droughts. Social Impact Response to the growing social and economic challenges Migration creating stress in certain towns or villages Disputes over limited or diminishing resources Rapid adjustment to accelerating change.
has embarked on a Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) program that illustrates the cyclic process by which the country plan for and reduce the impact of disasters. The National Level is the policy level consisting of the Office of the President. with the President as the head/ lead in policy decisions in an emergency. In support of the Cabinet. linking with the Cabinet. in particular. to enhance the national capacity for Disaster Management Services To train human resources involved in Disaster response mechanisms To educate all levels in the tenets of Disaster response Guyana. These provisions are made through the government appointed entity – the Civil Defence Commission (CDC). The Terms of Reference of the Commission are: To identify disasters according to established criteria and classification To produce plans for the Management of National Disasters To identify and implement mechanisms for disaster response and mitigation To maintain a permanent body. reduced vulnerability or the prevention of disasters during the next repetition of the cycle.2 Existing Disaster Management Systems: The National Disaster Management System is a three tiered system: National Regional Community or Local level. Appropriate actions at all points in the CDM cycle will lead to greater preparedness. 4. Authority from the Office of the President provides for the maintenance and restoration of order in areas affected by catastrophes. better warnings. the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Democratic Councils and its regional bodies. through the CDC. under Cabinet note CP (97)2:2: reconstituted the CDC in 1997. and take steps to recover after a disaster has occurred. there is currently a Sub Committee of Cabinet addressing DRM issues. and relief against such catastrophes.1 Institutional Framework The Cabinet. Supporting the Head of State is the National Disaster Coordinator (NDC). This body will work through other critical stakeholders. 21 .Chapter: 3 DISASTER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN GUYANA 3.
Assistance and guidance in programming is given to the CDC by the Disaster Risk Reduction Platform. Guyana Police Force Guyana Defence Force Inter American Development Bank In addition to the DRR Platform. 22 . See chart below.On the Technical Level. which is comprised of the following agencies: Disaster Risk Reduction Platform Membership: NDIA UNDP MLG&RD NICEF Sea and River Defence Guyana Fire Service EPA Private Sector Commission Civil Society Organizations Guyana Red Cross Guyana Lands and Survey Commission MoH MoF Hydromet Dept. there is a National Preparedness and Response Structure that will be responsible for the management and execution of this plan. the CDC is the lead/ coordinator. The committees in this structure will operate in conjunction with the CDC and the other levels.
To maximize resources and to ensure coordinated approach to potential flood events. including recovery plans are reviewed.1 Phases of Flood preparedness: Effective flood management is undertaken in four phases. Phase 4 − Recovery/ Disaster Financial Assistance: This is initiated when the threat of flooding is over and the replacement and restoration of uninsured essential property to pre-event condition commences. Response. families and businesses can do to be prepared. advisories are prepared. property. The region may. These are: 1. or infrastructure. and provide for mitigation. This includes debris and gravel removal that has not occurred under 23 .Chapter:4 FLOOD PREPAREDNESS FUNCTIONS 4. Phase 2 – Preparedness: Preparedness is a state of affairs during a strong potential to flooding. all related plans. Special resources may be pre-positioned. and any gates or valves are operational and clear. this will occur when river stage (water height) is expected to reach or exceed stream channel capacity resulting in water threatening or impacting any people. provide strategic recommendations to local authorities and engage in flood response training or exercises. from time to time. The regions may hold regional information meetings with local authorities to provide flood event information as possible and to ensure proper information flow. Public information on flood proofing homes. Local authorities also provide public information about the risks of flooding and what individual. The local authority should ensure their Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) are ready and staff are contacted In addition. Generally. response and recovery within the region by all agencies. local authorities begin work on an integrated Regional Flood Response Plan that details what jurisdictional activities are or will be undertaken for preparedness. continue efforts in planning and exercises. 3. The EOC both at the national and regional levels will be activated commensurate to the level of response required. Authorities actively monitor their flood protection works to ensure that such things as electrical connections are functional. Preparedness. provide oversight to dam and dike owners. the Central Coordination Group (CCG) meets and active communication between local authorities and the regions occur regarding the potential for flooding. 4. 2. Planning. Phase 3 – Response: Response is initiated when there is an imminent flooding. businesses and threatened infrastructure as well as public safety advisories will be issued by the EOCs along with bulletin board postings or local newsprint articles to provide flood safety awareness to citizens and explain flood response plans. Recovery Phase 1 – Planning and Pre-Flood Preparation: Flood preparedness is a normal day-to-day operation for the central and regional levels to monitor river levels.
response. There are six essential activities for responding to an incident: plan organize train equip exercise evaluate and improve. Prepare emergency preparedness plan at national level. Prepare hazard specific national level contingency plans Provide technical support to public and private sectors in preparation of contingency plans Lay down the guidelines for preparing disaster management plans for different Ministries. 4. review. 2. Coordinate with relevant Ministries and agencies and the RDCs for Emergency stockpiles of relief material to ensure that such material is available at short notice. Incremental costs for a local authority’s Recovery Centre under Community Disaster Recovery are administered under Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) programs. Define and review roles of key agencies in disaster risk management. Continuous cycle to improve the system During the preparedness phase. 3. 5. maintain and upgrade the communication mechanisms for early warning and devise such information dissemination strategy that the information reaches the end user. 6. 24 8. 9. coordinate and monitor the national disaster response strategy and policy. development of Preparedness and Response Plan is essential for effective response. . Thus. Implement. Ensure that Local Government Authorities develop emergency preparedness plan. 7. CDC will: 1. Department and the RDCs Prepare.
housing etc. Promote general education and awareness with regards to disaster management and perform such other functions that may be required. 10. 5. Coordinate with NDCs and the CDCs to ensure that local and community preparedness and contingency plans are prepared. 25 . Assist the Civil Defense Commission in national level response planning. 6. Maintain and upgrade emergency telecommunications system to ensure the coordination of emergency operations involving emergency services. 12. Design. Set up regional emergency operation centre (REOC) and maintain state of readiness with all equipment in working order. 17. 16. 13. At the regional Level. 18. 14. NGOs and the private sector for disaster mitigation and preparedness activities. 20. Orient and train REOC personnel on its operations. 8. 15. 11. RDCs will work in the preparedness mode. focusing on key areas such as critical facilities. Orient and train EOC personnel on its operations. NDCs and other stakeholders and organize training sessions for them. 2. 19. to adequately enhance disaster preparedness and awareness. the Regional Democratic Councils will undertake the following preparedness activities: 1. using the information to design and implement a hazard loss reduction programme . the Guyana Red Cross. 22. Design. Prepare Regional emergency preparedness plans. 21. Prepare hazard specific maps showing vulnerable areas and population. Provide technical support to the RDCs for emergency preparedness plan development. Prepare an inventory of resources for emergency response in collaboration with of RDCs and NDCs disaster management authorities. During peace time. Prepare hazard specific maps showing vulnerable areas and population. 3. Conduct hazard and risk analysis as required. Assess training needs of the RDC and NDCs in relation to emergency preparedness and response and organizing trainings for them. Assess training needs of the RDCs. Provide technical support to NDCs for emergency preparedness and contingency planning. Prepare regional contingency plans. plan and run annual field simulation exercises as necessary to include all aspects and agencies involved in disaster response. 4. 7. Review and update national plan at an appropriate interval. 9.10. training. Prepare communication and transportation plans for potential disaster response. inventory management and resource procurement. Set up the national emergency operations centre (NEOC) and maintain state of readiness with all equipment in working order. working during the day time in order to take care of extended emergency preparedness activities. Conduct risk analysis for use in contingency planning. Coordinate/ develop a network with humanitarian organizations such as. Design and implement ongoing DRM programmes in public education.
(iii) dissemination and communication and (iv) response capability. during last couple of years. 4. Alternate warning system must be kept in readiness in case of technical failure. INFORMATION FLOW Early Warning is key to successful preparedness of a country. b. d.1 NATIONAL EWS STRUCTURE and MECHANISM The National Structure is being established under the National Disaster Management Framework. However. In many cases. Only the designated agencies and officer will issue the warning. Coordinate with the relevant departments for the preparation of a resource inventory for use in emergency response. the country has witnessed development in the field of communication. loss of life and damage to property. and is established as follows: 26 . region and communities against any natural disasters. (ii) monitoring and warning service. Communities in the disaster prone areas are made aware of the warning systems. Early warning system can be made more effective by ensuring that:a. In order to be effective and better organized and making an informed community early warning system needs to comprise four interacting elements: (i) risk knowledge. to reduce the possibility of personal injury. An early warning is only effective if it reaches the communities in time so that required action can be taken. to act in sufficient time and in an appropriate manner. 4. c. print and electronic media to ensure effective contributions to early warning at national and local levels to reduce the impact of disasters. hidro-met agencies. This progress has certainly improved the ability of the emergency services to communicate. e. It has been recognized internationally that EWS have to be people centered to be most effective with end-to-end approaches to it.11. the CDC must collaborate with the telecommunication.2. The EWS must empower individuals and communities at risk. early warning systems are either non-existent or are ineffective / prone to break down at critical point. All warning system and technologies are maintained in working condition and checked on a regular basis. The warning should be in clear and easy to understand.2 EARLY WARNING. The EWS will be a sub set of the National Disaster Committee. To be effective.
iii. Before dissemination. the Director General of the CDC holds discussions with relevant technical agencies and prepares a draft alerting and preparedness message. On completion. Public Works and Health.2.4 COMMUNICATION/ DISSEMINATION PROTOCOLS 27 . The three main ministries who will provide the warnings will be Agriculture. the implementation of the national EWS is guided by the following protocol. plan of action and public advisories. 4. the relevant parties needed. they must be approved by the NDC. for their review and approval. 4. Based on hazard assessments. taking into consideration all the current factors. Under the management structure. it is recommended that the message be forwarded to GINA for onward dissemination to the press and to the emergency services for their action as required.2. depending on the hazard.National Early Warning System Sub Committee Technical Support Group National Emergency Operations Centre .Figure 2: National Early Warning System Management Structure 4. The information passed to the CDC will be used to generate a composite picture. a pre determined warning message is dispatched to the public for their information. will be called into the NEOC to do the analysis of the information at hand. A copy of this information is recommended to be passed to the CDC prior to the dispatch to the public. The EWS is started when the monitoring and warning mechanisms of the ministries detect a threat that could lead to a major impact. On receipt of the warning. On agreement on the content. and health hazards. He forwards a copy of same to the Office of the President and to the National Disaster Coordinator (NDC). On receipt of information.2 IMPLEMENTATION SYSTEM: EWS PROTOCOLS i. The outputs will be recommendations.3 DECISION MAKING PROCESS ii. the EWS is predicated mainly on hydro meteorological hazards.2. Their internal teams and policies kick in and the relevant analysis is undertaken.
vi. This is so as they have strong PR machinery and it will provide a natural follow up on their original message. a copy is still sent to the NDC/ OP for information purposes. If purely technical. Other copies will be distributed to the Joint Services by the HPS and also to GINA who will send to the media houses as well (Digicel and GT&T) have indicated that they can also disseminate messages using the SMS Text feature. . ii. If no approval needed. Other means of passing messages: Amateur radio CB Land line Cell phone Signs Runners Email Social networks 28 vii. On receipt of warning. x. Messages will be sent directly to the Minister’s office from the DG CDC. iii. leading to public advisories and advice to emergency responders Public advisories will be so structured as to inform on what/ where/ when/ who/ how severe/ actions to be taken After formulation. Dissemination flow: it is agreed that all messages from the Technical Group will be sent back to the main originating ministry for dissemination to the public. v. This is to facilitate planning. Ministry of Health and Ministry of Public Works and be sent directly to the public. and if a representative from the ministry is present in the EOC. discussions will be held and then decisions made. then disseminated directly to agencies and to GINA etc. public advisories sent to NDC for approval if there is policy level content for approval. Warnings/ alerts etc will originate from the Ministry of Agriculture. iv. to ensure that they are aware of all that is being sent out. they will also pass back to the Minister. early warning and preparedness Timelines for dissemination will be driven by the nature of the event.i. Same alerts are to be passed to the CDC prior going to the public. ix. viii. who needs to know what is to be done. xi. by policy and the extent of the hazard.
The declaration will be based upon the damage assessments and recommendations of the NDC and DG of the CDC. Level 3 Disaster events that overwhelm the capacity of the national resources to respond and recover (such an event may be designated as a National Disaster). Level 2 Emergency/disaster events that overwhelm the capacity of the resources in a region. A Disaster Area. recommendations are made to the CDC then onward to NDC/HPS and Cabinet. mobile loud speakers sirens flyers sides of buses Messages sent from CDC to agencies will be sent via: Email Fax Land line Radio Hand delivery to offices Direct to representative in EOC 4. three levels of emergency/ disaster are categorized: Level 1 Localized emergency events can be managed within the regular operating mode of the protective and emergency services. xii.6 Criteria for Declaring a Disaster There is no clear benchmark or guide line currently existing. and based on these makes the relevant declaration. 29 . as described above.5 DECLARATION OF A DISASTER The declaration of disaster depends upon the nature and size of the level of hazard impact. but which do not overwhelm the capacity of the national resources to respond and recover (such zones of impact can be declared Disaster Areas). or if it is a contained area within a region. The President reviews this information and recommendation.2. a technical committee/ damage assessment team is dispatched and based on their assessment. 4. Under the CDEMA mechanism.2. Can be managed by the RDC with its own resources. Normally. The President will make the declaration of a National Disaster or Regional Disaster.
even if guaranteed under the constitution. or following a declaration of war. 4.7 Levels of Emergency Level 1. Actions and responsibilities are as under:Actions Activate REOC partially Conduct rapid assessment of the situation Declare local level emergency Inform MLG and departments about the local level emergency declaration Immediately initiate relief work in the affected area Prepare relief operation report and share it with RDC and relevant line departments at district level Stand down the REOC and inform RDC and line departments Close down the relief operation and inform all line departments and RDC Responsibility Lead RDC Led by the RDCc RDCc 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Lead RDCc 8 Lead RDCc Level 2.2. The SOE was used for disaster purposes prior to the formalization of the terms National Disaster or Disaster Areas. Such declarations usually come during a time of periods of civil unrest. Request is also made to neighboring RDCs for assistance where possible. or order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. during.It is critical to note at this point that the declaration of a National Disaster or Disaster Area is different from the Declaration of a State of Emergency (SOE). Given below is a hazard-specific set of criteria that is generally to be followed by disaster management authorities for declaring a disaster area. It can also be used as a rationale for suspending rights and freedoms. Emergency/disaster which overwhelms the capacity of the Regional Disaster Committee (RDCc) and the RDC to manage the situation. situation of international or internal armed conflict. The RDC is capable of handling the situation on its own. a SOE is a governmental declaration that may suspend some normal functions of the executive. By definition. Emergency may be declared by the Chairman after consultation with the relevant local authorities. legislative and judicial powers. alert citizens to change their normal behaviors. natural or manmade disaster. RDC can make a request for assistance to the Civil Defence Commission through the Ministry of Local Government. especially in 30 . Localized flooding event will be dealt with by the RDCs/ NDCs at the regional level. regional disaster or national disaster.
evacuation. Actions and responsibilities are as under:Actions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Activate National EOC Inform RDC and Regional Disaster Committee. SAR team. Actions and responsibilities are as under:Actions 1 2 3 4 5 6 Activate REOC Inform NEOC / CDC about the situation Alert and inform all line departments in the region Conduct damage and loss assessment in the affected area Immediately initiate relief work in the affected area Share assessment report with MLG and request for assistance for emergency operation Mobilize and deploy resources e. Emergency responders regional line departments NGOs/CBOs RDC RDCc Lead is RDCc Level 3. In case emergency/disaster is beyond the capacity of provincial/regional government national emergency is declared by the President. In this situation an emergency is declared by the Chairman.situations close to the boundaries. medical team etc Make request to MLG for financial assistance Coordinate and facilitate CBOs and NGOs for relief Operation Prepare relief operation report and share it with relevant line departments at regional level Stand down the REOC and inform MLG and line departments Responsibility Lead RDC RDCc Lead RDCc 7 8 9 10 11 Support Agencies. Support Agency regional line departments NGOs/CBOs 8 9 31 . Appeal may be launched internationally for the assistance.g. about the activation of NEOC Alert relevant ministries and departments Support provinces/regions in conducting damage and loss assessment in the affected area Share assessment report with NDMC Support provincial/regional and district authorities in resource mobilization for relief operation Provide technical support to provincial/regional and district authorities for relief operation Coordinate with GDF for assistance Initiate the process of emergency declaration and notification process Responsibility Lead is CDC Relevant Ministries.
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Prepare situation report on daily and weekly basis and share with relevant stakeholders and President NDMA request to the NDMC for financial assistance Coordinate with NGOs. philanthropists for effective response Inform public about the situation through media briefings Coordinate with UN Cluster System for effective resp Stand down the NEOC when the relief phase is over NDMA Prepare relief operations report and share it with key Stakeholders 32 . UN and other international humanitarian organization.
under the Regional Democratic Councils (RDC). including ministries. These regional bodies shall be responsible for region level planning.1 Civil Defence Commission CDC 33 .2 Response Agencies Roles and Functions 5.1 Command and Coordination/ Disaster Response Systems On immediate declaration of an emergency following a severe flood situation.1 Response Agencies Civil Defence Commission (CDC): After the devastating floods in December 2005/January 2006 the Office of the President entrusted the CDC with the national mandate to serve as the focal point and to coordinate all response related activities among all stakeholders. the RDC will establish Neighborhood Disaster Committees (NDCc) under the management of the Neighborhood Democratic Councils (NDC) as well as Community Disaster Committees (CDCc) under the Community Democratic Councils (CDC) 5. all entities must bear in mind that there are standard operating procedures and a criteria that must be adhered to. various agencies must respond as early as possible to provide immediate response to those most in need. Region Disaster Committee (RDCc) Disaster Management units have been established in all ten regions. women. relief and immediate evacuation of the affected population to safe places with basic supporting including health and shelter provisions with special attention to the small children. old and destitute. The ultimate authority lies with the Central Government with local oversight provided by the regions’ Regional Executive Officers (REO) in collaboration with the Regional Chairmen. standards and criteria to be used for organization of emergency response by different stakeholders. divisions. coordinating and implementation for disaster management and take all measures for the purpose of disaster management in the region in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the national management authorities. and humanitarian organizations at all levels for emergencies in Guyana. The purpose of this section is to explain the response functions of various agencies.CHAPTER:5 DISASTER RESPONSE FUNCTIONS 5.2. However. departments. This response includes rescue.1. 5. In furtherance of the three tier level.
technically skilled people (e. Health and Education etc to prepare them to activate and deploy resources.2.g. USAR. (k) updating the central government from on regular basis for any support required on any emergency situation. (c) Coordinate with relevant departments for response. & Rescue teams etc) heavy machinery. 34 . (e) Conduct post disaster rapid assessment and actively play role in emergency declaration notification process. higher level ministries and donor for any required support on any aspects of relief and rescue operations. (g) Coordinate with public and private sector at regional level to mobilize resources and deploy for effective response. coordinating and monitoring body for disaster management. NGOs for mobilizing their relief assistance. (f) Mobilize and deploy teams e. (g) Mobilize and send food and non-food items to the affected Regions for distribution. GDF. (j) Keep track of all the relief. search and rescue.g. (l) Coordinate with UN agencies. (k) Establish and maintain communications with incident command authorities to ensure a common and current operating picture regarding critical resources requirement. (f) Mobilize. (d) Responsible for incident management at the regional level. humanitarian organizations. (c) Inform and alert concerned ministries and departments about the incident. (h) Coordinate with relevant ministries and department e. 5. rescue and evacuation and identifying the gaps and immediate support on various fronts.g.During Disaster: The CDC acts as the lead implementing. (l) Manage and coordinate coordination meetings. immediately to the affected areas. (b)Manage national level incidents and support the RDCs and NDCs in incident management. (e) Lead rapid assessment in the affected area. updating the media. Its functions are to:(a) Activate National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) and make it operationalized on 24 X 7 basis. medicines.2 Regional Disaster Committees/ Regional Democratic Councils/ CDCc During Disaster: (a) Activate regional emergency operation centre (REOC). Civil Aviation Authority. (d) Inform concern ministries and departments to join the NEOC. Social Welfare. (j) Coordinate with the RDC in the affected areas and provide them with the necessary technical and material assistance for relief operation. medical equipment. activate and deploy resources for disaster response at regional level. (b) Conduct rapid assessment.
voluntary organizations and communities in different aspects of disaster response. (k) Provide timely and essential relief goods and logistics support to the affected areas of the region (l) Monitor hazards risks and vulnerable conditions within the region on regular basis and prepare plans accordingly. rescue and other related operational work ii. (n) Coordinate and facilitate humanitarian organizations. UN and private sector organizations for effective response. Work in support of the CDC in relief.(h) Closely coordinate and update the CDC before. for informed land decisions as it relates to disaster preparedness and response plan. Land Definition: To advise on land surveying matters as it relates to the disaster preparedness and response plan. Land Information: To create and provide relevant geographic information. in order to guide the orderly and efficient utilization of public land resources. Assist with preparations for flood contingency and relief operation plans v. Gazetteer of Guyana) To create and provide relevant geographic information using the appropriate technology to aid decision making.2. ground and marine efforts. i) Land Policy and Planning: To provide Guidance on Land Use by way of policy. (m) Encourage participation and facilitate NGOs.4 Role of Guyana Land and Surveys Commission(GLSC): As the National Mapping Agency of Guyana. during and after disaster situation.2. departments vi. 35 ii) iii) iv) . The main areas of responsibility for this entity include. Assist in the management of the NEOC iii. Liaison with the CDC in search and rescue operations and provide available resources as needed to assist in response iv. but not limited to: i.3 Guyana Defence Force (GDF): The GDF has always contributed very effectively in emergency response operations and provided immediate relief through extensive air. the role of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission in relation to the National Multi Hazard Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan can be classified as follows. (j) Coordinate and provide necessary support and guidance to the affected districts/agencies in the event of disaster. (GIS mapping. (o) Inform public of the situation on a timely basis through print and electronic media 5. Assist in setting up and managing shelter facilities in close coordination with other relevant ministries. The GDF is a critical stakeholder to the CDC that provides readily available manpower and national resources. and plans. Assist with security during disasters if required 5.
To provide charts. financial and medical assistance iii. They will also ensure the provision of nationwide telecommunication support to the National and Regional Disaster Management mechanisms. plans and images of spatial information. general public assistance and provide a loan scheme for single parents.2. The Ministry will work closely with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 5.5 Welfare and Relief: The lead in this section is the Ministry of Human Services who works closely with the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs and the Guyana Relief Council among others. The Guyana Relief Council will assist with provisions for the most impacted. Hydromet Department. 5. The Amerindian Affairs Ministry will oversee needs for this specific population.7 Telecommunications: The lead entity will be the Frequency Management Unit. and will coordinate national telecommunications activities. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA).2.v) vi) vii) To provide maps of Guyana or parts thereof. To undertake flood level mapping 5. The Human Services Ministry has standing arrangements with small businesses to accessing goods and is also closely linked with UNFPA. will deal with vulnerable persons – old age pensions. There will also be: i. They will provide their Community Development Officers to offer assistance to those Amerindian populations hardest hit.6 Agriculture and Natural Resources Group: The Ministry of Agriculture will lead this group that includes Forestry Commission (GFC). counseling ii. UNICEF and Red Cross and will utilize these associations to make the necessary relief provisions. They will provide shelter which will focus on keeping families together. The FAO is currently in the process of establishing a plan for the agricultural sector. Displaced Amerindians will be housed at welfare hostels. Human Services will provide: i. Human Services also works very closely with the Ministry of Housing and have established a Women’s Affairs/Men’s Affairs Bureau.2. The Ministry of Agriculture will provide assistance to affected farmers. the coordination of the requirement of temporary telecommunication in the affected areas by identifying operational telecommunication facilities within the so identified affected areas 36 .
2.9 Public Works/Engineering Transport – Ministry of Public Works and Commission: The lead will provide the coordination of transportation to the State and Regional bodies in need of assistance during emergency situations. planning. 5. the GDF and the Fire Service will perform in their mandated role. identify telecommunication facilities that need to be transported to the affected site to establish emergency operational services identify the actual and planned action of private telecommunication companies towards reconstruction of their facilities Establish a temporary communication facility through mobile exchanges. air and marine traffic control. Patients whose injuries do not pose any threat to their health will be discharged after first aid. direct and integrate national level response to provide medical and sanitation health assistance to the affected areas. There will also be the provision of human services assistance through the Ministry of Human Services. 5. supplies and equipment in response to the request for national assistance. on priority. 5. The lead will also coordinate efforts to restoring roads and the emergency supply routes.10 Public Safety and Security Group: The lead is the Ministry of Home Affairs but each essential service is aware of its responsibilities in an emergency. iii.2. The main purpose of this group is to organize and coordinate meetings of UN on a regular basis to monitor response of various agencies. iv. This coordination assistance will supplement national and regional resources in response public health and medical care needs following a significant natural or manmade disaster. the MoH will direct the activation of health/medical personnel. Coordination of the evacuation of patients from disaster areas will be overseen. UN takes a lead role in establishing the Inter Agency Standing Committee. Further. In addition to this. the UN assists in 37 . for use by the State on priority basis 5. recovery and longer term disaster risk reduction programme.ii. The Guyana Police Service.2. search and rescue and damage assessment. MoH will coordinate.11 United Nations (UN) Agencies: UN Agencies (UN Cluster approach System) play a significant role in disaster management especially in assessment. coordination.8 Medical/ Public Health: The Ministry of Health (MoH) will take the lead in this area assisted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Red Cross Society as dictated in the National Health Sector Disaster Plan. It will also assist in the prioritization and/or allocation of civil transport.2. response.
providing technical assistance to building capacity and strengthening public organizations in emergency response and disaster preparedness through training. handsets. media (on condition that the release is approved by the OP). ii. departments and humanitarian response agencies. it will provide information on recovery efforts taken by government and other humanitarian organizations. ix. public information. departments and those humanitarian organizations who will join the NEOC during the disaster time.3 The National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) The NEOC will serve as the hub for receiving early warning and issuing information to the public. communications. vi. x. GINA will also coordinate messages sent to prevent communicable diseases. v. Telephones (landlines. VHF wireless radio communication and standby power system. vii. These representatives will assist the NEOC Director and Operations Officer in dealing with the emergency messages that come in to the NEOC. in conjunction with the RDCs and the REOC. and in general assist in the management of the response to the particular incident. iii. 5. Further. administration and logistics support teams. The NEOC will function 24/7 during the peak of the disaster 38 . relay information on missing persons and stranded communities. evacuation orders. cellular and satellite phones) Fax Internet/emails Computers Printers Photocopiers Televisions Status boards and map boards Generators Other telecommunication systems – radio telephone. The NEOC will be part of the CDC office with full and part time staff and facilities for representatives from different ministries. The NEOC will also lead the coordination and management of relief operation in affected areas. 5. The NEOC will be supervised and directed by the Director General of the CDC or his designee and will be headed by the Deputy Director General (NEOC Director) and supported by the operations. ministries. All the agencies will be coordinated by the NEOC and the respective REOC. finance. iv. and public messages on disaster situations to help save lives and property. viii. The NEOC will be equipped with facilities such as: i.12 Media: The lead entity (the Government Agency GINA) will ensure that the public receives timely early warnings.2.
x. Set up national emergency operations centre and maintain state of readiness with all equipment in working order. Objectives. Conduct risk analysis from the perspective of contingency planning. iii. on a rotating three shift basis. Coordinate with humanitarian organizations to discuss their plans for preparedness and response for future hazards. vi. v. and in the non-disaster time. Prepare national contingency plans. v. xii. analyze and circulate information related to emergency operations to the key stakeholders. undertake analysis and arrange dissemination c) Liaise with all stakeholders d) Disseminate warning on time e) Coordinate with different stakeholders for effective response Functions. ii. it will operate on normal office hours. Coordinate and provide technical support to the regional and sectoral EOC for emergency response. drinking water. medical supplies. Assess training needs for regional bodies and organizing training for them. iv. Orient and train personnel of EOC on its operations. 39 . Provide technical support to regional bodies for emergency preparedness plan. Mobilize and deploy resources in the affected areas. Prepare emergency preparedness plan at national level ii. viii. Coordinate with regional bodies for regional contingency plans ix. Prepare communication and transportation plan for potential disaster response. Prepare damage need assessment and relief reports. During partial activations. Collect. Prepare hazard specific maps showing vulnerable areas and populations vii. iii. or as deemed necessary by the CDC. and non-food items to the affected populations. Ensure that regional and sectoral disaster management authorities develop emergency preparedness plan. iv. Supply food. vi. Prepare inventory resources for emergency response with collaboration of regional and sector disaster management authorities. b) During Disaster: i. The main functions of the NEOC are:a) Pre-Disaster: i. consolidate. at full activation. The main objectives of the NEOC are to:a) Organize and manage emergency operations at national level b) Collect information.time. Screen and issue emergency warnings and information to the public concerning preparedness and safety. xi.
advise the NEOC director to be on alert or standby position of the NEOC. humanitarian organizations and alert them v. The CDC DG will update the NDC and seek his approval for activation of the NEOC.1 Activation Procedure and Stand-Down Procedure On Receipt of Alert (Standby – Stage 1). Put everything ready and functional in the NEOC iv. Director General will collect information from the regional bodies and other stakeholders about the potential disaster. xi. Forward urgent information to relevant agencies for immediate action. bilateral and multilateral agencies for resource mobilization and deployment in the affected areas. which might be required for relief operation iv. The NEOC Director through the Operations Officer will inform key ministries. Coordinate with key ministries. Organize regular media and public information briefings in conjunction with OP.3. Monitor the situation ii. 5. ix. Closely coordinate with stakeholders to get information and review it. Share information regularly with critical stakeholders These activities to be done by the NEOC director and the Operations Officer 40 . Collect essential information including detail of resources. These activities will be done by the NEOC Director (DDG CDC) On Receipt of Warning (Stage 2).vii. Alert the NEOC staff on the operationalization of the NEOC at short notice iii. Coordinate relief operations. xii. DG will issue notification to the NEOC Director for full activation of the NEOC. departments. SOPs to be followed for this stage are:i. Prepare situation report (SITREP) on daily and weekly basis and circulate to the NDC & other critical entities. x. Coordinate with humanitarian organizations. SOPs to be followed for this stage are:i. and other key stakeholders and remain fully operational on 24/7 basis. viii. after reviewing it. xiv. Inform all relevant ministries and departments to send their representatives to sit in the NEOC v. dead and other relevant information on basic do’s and don’t’s to be adhered by the affected or vulnerable population. and route to OP for approval prior to release. Prepare daily briefings on disaster situations for the NDC Prepare press release and other information for general public and specific group. non-governmental organizations. Open all communication systems and links iii. private sector. Provision of all information to any citizen on the disaster related updates and information on lost. xiii. Place NEOC fully operational ii.
the situation is brought under control and no further threats exist. After reviewing the situation and consultation between the DG and the NDC the DG will advise the NEOC Director for stand down. The NEOC Director will notify stand down to key ministries and departments. DG will notify NEOC Director to approve stand down iii. Put communications system in store In the event there is sufficient information gathering from the Early Warning System regarding the likelihood of flooding the following phased stages should be utilized. NEOC staff will work in normal mode vi. Stand down is considered once the emergency phase is over.Stand Down Procedure (Stage 3). NGOs and voluntary organizations of the possible flood and advise to review local plans CDC convenes meeting of Technical Committee to apprise members of the situation CDC NDC NDC/CDC CDC CDC 41 . DG will consult with NDC about stand down ii. Final report on the emergency operations will be prepared by the NEOC director and circulated to key stakeholders v. departments and other stakeholders iv. SOPs to be followed for this stage are:i. Pre-Plan Activation Responsible agencies NDIA/HYDROMET NDAI/HYDROMET NDIA Increase in the rate of monitoring of rainfall and river stage by NDIA and Hydro-met CDC is notified of increase in river levels and intense rainfall Once water levels reach a critical levels as outlined in EDWC Management Plan warning of potential flood conditions based on the possible release of water from the conservancies should rains persist and levels continue to rise is given to CDC by NDIA CDC Informs NDC of high flood potential NDC Advises the President GINA is briefed on situation and asked to prepare alert bulletins for release and to prepare for general media briefing CDC informs ministries. NEOC Director will disseminate notification to the relevant ministries. and the all clear has been issued in case of meteorological events.
PS in all ministries hold preliminary meeting with their emergency Committees Coordination of rainfall and river gauge readings and preparation of combined reports submitted to CDC by NDIA/Hydro-met detailing Emergency drainage clearance is carried out by all responsible Agencies CDC checks NEOC and ensures it is in working order NDIA intensifies monitoring of water level in dams and submits reports to CDC CDC informs MoLG&RD about the possibility of release of water from the conservancies and flooding Farmers are advised by MoA to identify safe areas for animals and to commence round up of animals Ministry of Finance activates “Disaster Budget” for easy access. internet feed and radio communication system. Mo A identifies sources for emergency feed stock and pre-position for easy transportation GDF advises Guysuco of the potential flood and submits request for possible use of pontoons CDC advises ML&HSS of the possible increase in shelter residents Warehouses are inspected and sprayed to prevent infestation Ministries. agencies and utility companies are provided with updates Based on information about where flooding will take place at risk communities are identified along with possible shelters Shelter managers are alerted Shelters are prepared Preliminary briefing of NEOC Management team is conducted by NEOC coordinator CDC provides Situation Report to GDF and emergency stand by status upgraded CDC notifies heavy equipment operators and places operators on stand by MoAg. Extra lines ALL MINISTRIES NDIA/HYDROMET NDIA/M&CC/NDC CDC NDIA CDC MoA Mo F MoA GDF CDC MoA CDC CDC CDC MoE/RDC/NDC CDC CDC CDC MoA GDF All relevant egencies NDIA CDC 42 .arranges with local committees/NDC for the disposal of dead animals GDF compiles list of available vehicles and prepares fuel plan Available relief supplies are identified by all response agencies and list presented to CDC NDIA establishes contacts e with external agencies capable of providing extra pumps GDF/Digicel/GTT establishes and checks NEOC telecoms system hotlines.
CDC opens special section on web page and post flood updates and safety instructions for persons living in flood prone areas CDC conducts review of NEOC message handling system Police Force coordinates the Review of security plan and coordinating system with GDF/CDC and all relief agencies River and Sea Defences alerted by CDC CDC CDC CDC/Police CDC Actions President is updated on situation CDC convenes meeting of technical committee. All ministries/departments are advised to activate their disaster plans Ministry of health commences the stockpiling of medicine GINA convenes media briefing and provides bulletins and establish system for providing updates Ministry of agriculture commences the stockpiling veterinary medicine. Ministry of Health mobilizes vector control team Flood warning signs prepared for placement by Public Works Dept Road closed signs/detours signs checked out and delivered to police force for placements GDF/CDC reviews evacuation plans and check routes. Routes undergoing major repairs should be noted.are installed to facilitate information requests from the public. River and Sea Defences conduct inspection of pump stations MoA advises farmers to move animals higher grounds NDIA conducts physical inspections of dams to check for possible breach points. Updates are provided to community leaders NDC advises CDEMA of potential disaster situation CDC prepares the NEOC for 24 hours operation (or as deemed necessary) Responsible Agencies NDC CDC CDC MoH GINA Mo A MoH MPW&C MPW&C GDF/CDC/GPF RSD MoA NDIA MoLG&RD NDC CDC 43 .
M&CC GDF. water tanks. NDIA. beds and boats Security plan for evacuated areas are implemented by the police Police establish control points for evacuated areas CDC briefs Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis teams and coordinates transport for the team with the GDF. MPW&C. GPF GDF/CDC identifies relief distribution points and security plans are prepared for these 44 . Utility companies are advised by CDC to activate their emergency plans CDC/GDF prepares transport plan for the movement of relief items Coordination plan for deployment of pumps prepared Responsible Agencies CDC CDC CDC CDC/GINA MoE CDC CDC GPF GPF GPF CDC CDC CDC/GDF GUYSUCO.Supplies are moved to shelter Reports on prevailing conditions and forecasts are provided on a four hour schedule by NDIA and Hydro-met. Comprehensive list of relief supplies available is prepared by CDC and submitted to the GDF NDIA prepares sand bags for deployment GDF/CDC HYDRO MET CDC CDC Actions NEOC is activated and plan and SOPs implemented NEOC establish Situation Board to monitor situation NEOC starts recording log to record all /decisions actions taken from this point on CDC and GINA implement full emergency warning system Ministry of Education instructs that all schools in impact zones are ordered closed CDC activates evacuation plan Families are evacuated Police stations are relocated from vulnerable locations Back-up telecommunications system is installed in relocated stations which are equipped with emergency supplies and equipment MREs. generators.CDC.
(f) Collection of Information. 45 . Conduct risk analysis from the perspective of contingency planning. analysis and dissemination Functions: (a) Pre-Disaster: i.2 Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC). Prepare emergency preparedness plan. The REOC will be working round the clock during the disaster time and full activation. Assist relevant departments to update their SOPs. In disaster times the REOC will be disseminating early warning information. Anticipate resource inventory needs in collaboration with line departments for emergency response. Interact with NEOC for assessing training needs and organize training for them. Prepare multi hazard contingency plans. In the non disaster time and partial activation. All the government departments at the regional level and concerned stakeholders will be coordinated by the REOC for emergency response. iii.Heavy equipment is pre-positioned Sand bags are trucked to identified weak areas where over topping may occur Excess water is released from conservancies Convene meeting of Technical Committee for updates NDIA NDIA NDIA CDC 5. The Regional Democratic Council will lead the coordination and management of relief operations in affected areas. vi. (e) Organize and manage emergency operation at provincial/regional/state level. ii. (c) Coordinate with concerned departments and other stakeholders for effective response. (d) Mobilization and deployment of resources. The REOC will function throughout the year in disaster and non disaster times.3. (b) Communicate with stakeholders. the REOC will be working in normal office hours. The Regional Emergency Operations Centre will serve as the hub for receiving early warning and management of response to all events occurring within the Region. The REOC will be overall supervised and directed by the REOC Director appointed by the REO. iv. The REOC will be headed by the REOC Director and supported by the operations and other support teams. relief coordination and management and focus on early recovery. v. Objectives (a) Issue timely warning. In non disaster times the focus will be on preparedness and contingency planning.
Alert the REOC staff. ii. Provide medical and sanitation facilities to the affected population. viii. Once approval is given. Deploy evacuation. Update different stakeholders about the situation. v. xii. viii. concerned departments and other stakeholders. Coordinate with NEOC. concerned departments and other stakeholders. Advises REO and Chairman to seek alert/activation approval about the alert phase.vii. Closely coordinate and gets information on the situation ii. in coordination with GINA and the OP who gives approval. medical. iii. vii. Monitor the situation. Supply temporary shelter as relief camp to the affected population. search and rescue teams in the affected area. iii. Conduct rapid assessment of the relief needs. consolidate and circulate to NEOC. Coordinate with key departments and humanitarian organizations. (b) During Disaster: i. ix. vi. This assessment is done as per the DANA plan and passed to national level as per the National DANA plan. Arrange daily briefings on disaster situations. Coordinate with humanitarian organizations for preparedness and response plans. Record keeping and preparation of consolidated reports. xiv. These activities are done by the REOC Director (b) On Receipt of Warning (Stage 2). Analyze. 46 . xiii. Forward urgent information to relevant agencies for immediate action. Issue press releases and information for general public and specific groups. Update the REO and Chairman iv. x. Activation Procedure: (a) On Receipt of Alert (Standby . vi. Put everything ready and functional in the DEOC centre. Coordinate operations management at regional level. iv. xi. Provide relief assistance to the affected population in the district. Approval of Alert phase is notified to the key departments and NEOC. Liaison with concerned departments and stakeholders engaged in emergency response. Closely coordinate and consult with PEOC. REOC Director receives information and regular update on potential disaster from key stakeholders about the situation.Stage 1). v. Collect information from NEOC. SOPs to be followed for this stage are:i. vii. Screen and issue disaster warnings and information to the communities concerning preparedness and safety.
Ideally. Inform NEOC for stand down. In each disaster. Evacuation plan. The Chairman/REO will inform concerned departments at regional level. After reviewing situation and consultation with MoLG administration. shelter etc. Notification for full activation of the PEOC. REOC Director will advice the Chairman/REO to stand down. Evacuation of affected persons can be done before and after the disaster happens.Notification for full activation is issued and REOC remains fully operational at 24/7 basis. Coordinator REOC will debrief Chairman/REO about stand down.4 Disaster Response Elements 5. Chairman/REO REOC will approve it and issues notification iii. Develop communication mechanisms to inform communities and volunteers for evacuation. Recognition of potential threat. The term may be used to refer to evacuating people from a single place or an entire area. NEOC. through variety of means. 47 . ii. Chairman/REO will approve the stand down of the REOC.4. 5. v. time planning. Evacuation of people to safer place is the responsibility of district administration for which a detailed plan will be prepared. humanitarian organizations. Prepare safer routes in advance.SOPs to be followed for this stage are:i. iv. There are several steps involved in the emergency evacuation. Prepare a team of Government officials from different departments. Security Forces and volunteers for evacuation. Some of the steps are given below:a. REOC will notify to the key departments at all levels.1 Evacuation: An emergency evacuation is the rapid removal of people from a dangerous environment to a safer place. Final report on the emergency operations will be prepared by REOC Director and circulated to key stakeholders. The Chairman/REO will inform concerned departments. iii. REOC Director disseminates notification to the relevant departments and other stakeholders. NGOs etc (c) Stand Down Procedure (Stage 3). all the people at risk are removed and taken to the safety. and NEOC. SOPs to be followed for this stage are:i. Place REOC fully operational at 24/7 basis. and can be done by using different transportation means including local means. evacuation is different. ii. After getting approval of MoLG. Some of the salient points of the plan are: Develop and clarify roles and responsibilities of the government officials or designated staff and inform them. Develop transport plan for evacuation.
Tagging is the process of prioritizing transfer of the injured people based on first hand assessment by the medical officer on disaster site. elderly person.g. All evacuations are ordered by the Chairman/ REO or senior police officer in the region. Provision of basic facilities e. The mandatory evacuation happens prior to the disaster strike. as far as possible Involve local community leaders. The identification of the patient is done by attaching tag to each patient. tagging procedure should be followed. These minimum essential items are listed in the National Shelter Plan d. Evacuation of Injured. Identification of Evacuation routes/circuits under intimation to all concerned. Prior arrangements for shelters at earmarked evacuee’s lodgment sites. At times. cable TV and other local communication means for evacuation Inform communities of evacuation routes Tell communities about transportation arrangements Notify communities about temporary shelter arrangements (Shelter site should be within 5 km or one hour walk of dwellings. 48 . CBOs/NGOs in the evacuation process Prepare list of people who are being evacuated Evacuate family together as a unit. and army to evacuate local communities to protect them from the potential threat. minimizing chances of separation in a family Give priority to evacuate a seriously injured & sick people. The voluntary evacuation can takes place just 1-2 days before the disaster happens depending upon the warning available. Guidelines for Efficient Evacuation: Advance planning. and then the responsible government officials at district and below district level shall try to convince local communities for voluntary evacuation. Actual Evacuation. children and women Display the list of evacuees in the shelter All evacuations are reported to the REOC c. government use pressure of force such as police. handicapped or disabled persons. In situations like floods. water supply. sanitation etc. conflicts government makes decisions for mandatory evacuation. Enforce measures for timely evacuation of the elderly. pregnant women and disabled persons. pregnant women. at the site. In emergency evacuation communities should be allowed to take minimum essential items/ belongings. b. Different colors are used for tagging different categories of patients for evacuation. For evacuation of injured people. Evacuation team should be given trainings on emergency evacuation of disabled persons. Following may be ensured: Alert communities using siren. radio.
Within these 7 days. which is carried out to rapidly obtain a broad picture of the extent of the damage caused by the impact of the hazard. including livestock. After the “All Clear” is given. Separate camps for the latter. The method for collecting this data will be house to house surveys where applicable. Details of deployment will be contained in Standard Operating Procedures. An aerial reconnaissance done by national or regional teams Community/Local surveys The application of pre-established baseline vulnerability database The objectives of this stage in the DANA process are to.2 Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA) In an emergency. Identify the initial needs of the impacted population which must include emergency response requirements STAGE 2 This phase must be conducted within the first seven (7) days after the “All Clear” has been issued. STAGE 1: This is the first stage of the damage assessment process. This data is intended to be more quantitative than qualitative. Teams comprising both community and sector personnel will be deployed to carry out the surveys.4. Fool proof security arrangements for the evacuated areas as well as camp sites. The DANA process will be conducted in three stages. Adequate arrangements for transportation of the affected communities and their minimum belongings. A predesigned form (in DANA plan) will be used to execute the assessment in the field. 5. The damage assessment will be undertaken within 4-8 hours after the “All Clear” has been given. The main objective of this stage is to obtain more detailed and specific data on damage and needs. To obtain a general overview of the damage. DANA Teams will be deployed at the earliest possible time to undertake assessments. 49 . damage assessment is undertaken in order to give the NEOC a clear understanding of the situation. as well as recovery. The DANA plan will be activated and followed. and to assist them in making decisions on what kind of resources and capacities are required for effective response. These SITREPS are then compiled at the end of the 7 days to produce the Stage 2 DANA Report. an interim SITREP must be prepared and submitted at the end of 48hrs followed by SITREPS at the end of each 24hr period. The assessment will be informed by one or all of the following.
Various technical approaches employed by sectors (engineering. structural integrity of infrastructure and recommendations for demolition. This report will be used to inform the macro-economic assessment usually conducted by the UN ECLAC. Ongoing daily situation reports (SITREPs) of damages.The main outcomes are as follows. The method for reporting this information will be on a specific form. A report on specific needs generated within 48 hours or two days after impact. retrofitting or continued use of structures. To determine an estimate of the recovery cost (inclusive of rehabilitation and reconstruction) A detailed damage report on the full extent of the impact of the hazard on the country will be produced to include best estimates of direct and recovery/rehabilitation costs. The National Damage Assessment Team drawn from the Damage Assessment Committee will conduct the assessments at this stage. This stage of the assessment will help to: Determine the overall direct cost of the impact Determine the rehabilitation and reconstruction needs of each sector Determine the types of long term assistance required This stage again employs the use of a multi-disciplinary team to execute the detailed assessment. The team may be the same as that used at the second stage or be expanded to include specialists in the various sectors being assessed. To generate the direct and indirect cost of impact. STAGE 3 This stage will be conducted within 21 days of the all clear. The 48hrs report should include where possible preliminary cost estimates of damage. The direct costs and recovery/rehabilitation costs associated with these elements should as far as possible be included in the assessment. The focus in the third stage is to do a more detailed assessment to include estimation of direct and recovery/rehabilitation costs. Surveys will be conducted primarily by sectors. economic) will be used to determine detailed damage in terms of absolute numbers. This team will be a multi-disciplinary team of persons to execute the necessary surveys. 50 . land use planning. The main outcomes are as follows. A comprehensive report will be generated at the end of the 7 day period.
2) The Commissioner of Police in consultation with the National Disaster Coordinator or other competent authority will invoke the LSAR plan. the officer in charge of Force Control. This means that the sooner the search and rescue operations start the better are the chances for survival of entrapped people. b) Eliminate or ameliorate. A trained and equipped team of professionals is able to carry out timely and effective coordinated operations to locate and rescue persons in distress and deliver them to a place of safety. PROCEDURE: The focal point of the LSAR will be Police Force Control. there are three sub plans: Guyana National Land Search and Rescue Plan standard operation procedure Aeronautical search and rescue plan – Guyana Civil Aviation Authority Maritime search and rescue manual – Maritime Administration Dept Land Search and Rescue The objectives of the LSAR are to: a) Mobilize and coordinate timely national response to terrestrial events requiring SAR operations. will head the Incident Command Post (ICP). 51 . the immediate consequences of terrestrial events requiring SAR response. 6) The Incident Command System (ICS) will be utilized as the onsite command and control mechanism. 3) Call out proceedings will be initiated when the SAR team and MRT leaders are notified by the Commissioner of Police of the LSAR plan being invoked. will inform the Commissioner of Police of the incident. 4) Upon activation.6. The first 12 hours of any disaster are regarded as the critical hours. as far as practicable.4. 1) After receiving information on a SAR incident. The Incident Commander will manage the event in keeping with the principles of the ICS and will convey information on the event status and response needs to the EOC. the Director of the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will retain responsibility for oversight and coordination of national LASR response. an Incident Commander. the most senior rank. 5) The EOC team will be comprised of the EOC and support agencies as determined by the specific land based SAR event. or in the absence of the officer in charge.3. Under the National SAR plan. the National SAR plan will be activated. During the activation of the NEOC. 7) Utilizing the principles of the ICS. if reports received indicate the need for SAR. Search and Rescue (SAR) Search and Rescue will be undertaken according to the National SAR plan of Guyana.
In accordance with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue1. an operation coordinated by a Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) or a Rescue Sub-Centre (RSC) using available personnel and facilities to locate persons in distress and the retrieval of persons in distress. operations and procedures which are intended to form the basis of aeronautical search and rescue in Guyana. Maritime Search and Rescue According to the National Search and Rescue Plan. Note: The National SAR system will provide assistance as required during an Airport Emergency. overdue or downed aircraft.. missing and downed aircraft and its’ occupants either believed to be or are in distress. To provide initial response and relief capabilities critical to saving lives in an aeronautical incident or accident. missing. Air Search and Rescue The Air SAR plan involves the aeronautical SAR organization. Mission: To search for and locate overdue. the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD). extricating and providing initial medical treatment to persons involved aircraft incident or accidents in the areas outside of the perimeter of Cheddi Jagan International Airport and Ogle Airport. It is prepared using guidelines from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Guidance Material for Preparation of a National SAR plan. Scope of Aeronautical SAR Aeronautical SAR activities include but are not limited to the process of locating. coordination. shall assume responsibility for maritime search and rescue in Guyana’s maritime Search and Rescue Region (SRR). It shall be used in conjunction with the above mentioned documents to guide SAR personnel in the performance of their duties.8) The designated LSAR team and MRT leaders will oversee the operation of the LSAR team in the field and report to the Incident Commander. Search and Rescue Services Search and rescue services comprises of two components. The CJIA and Ogle Airport Emergency plans include procedures applicable to aircraft incident and accident in the vicinity of and on airports. 9) The decision to de-activate the LSAR Operations will be made by the Commissioner of Police after due consultation with the Director of the EOC. provide for their initial medical and other needs and deliver them to a place of safety. the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual. the Government of Guyana 52 .
coordinating SAR in respect of civil aircraft in the maritime SAR area. Return of SRUs to a location where they are debriefed. b. in urgent situations. The stage may include evaluation and classification of the information. communication checks and.The RCC is to be staffed continuously and is responsible for: a. accepts responsibility for the coordination of maritime search and rescue in Guyana’s Search and Rescue Region (SRR). rescue and final delivery of survivors to medical facilities or other places of safety as appropriate. Dispatching SAR assets to the scene. e. conducting searches. air.through Maritime Administration Department (MARAD). These responsibilities shall be exercised through a Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC). provision of information on maritime activities such as oil pollution. The development of operational plans including plans for search. offshore mineral exploration and dumping at sea. d. Preliminary action taken to alert SAR assets and obtain more information. Planning. sea or land and receive regular updates. rescuing survivors. coordinating maritime SAR for all classes of ships c. the activities of one stage may overlap the activities of another stage such that the portions of two or more stages are being performed simultaneously. 53 . promulgation of Maritime Safety Information (MSI). These stages are groups of activities typically performed by the SAR system in responding to a SAR incident from the time the system becomes aware of the incident until its response to the incident is concluded. Knowledge by any person or agency in the SAR system that an emergency situation exists or may exist. Initial Action. The five SAR stages are: a. Conclusion. b. SAR stages The response to a SAR incident usually proceeds through a sequence of five stages. Awareness. return of SAR assets to their normal activities and completion of all required documentation. providing necessary emergency care for survivors and delivering casualties to medical facilities. All SAR activities will be overall coordinated by the NEOC. d. The response to a particular SAR incident may not require the performance of every stage. immediate performance of appropriate activities from other stages. Operations. assisting distressed craft. For some incidents. re-fuelled. replenished and prepared for other missions. The NEOC Director or the Operations Officer will establish contact with the relevant control centre. alerting of SAR assets. c. The NEOC as stipulated in the various SAR plans will provide additional support as needed.
Further. Restoration and Reconstruction. Recovery is a phased process in which the phases overlap and the boundaries are blurred.Chapter:6 EARLY RECOVERY FRAMEWORK 6. The effectiveness of the Framework is determined by the commitment to its procedures and uses. The Early Recovery Framework is intended to provide a framework for the national disaster recovery effort. may extend over many years. must be lead. 54 . Experiences in many countries show that following the relief phase. coordinated actions of all agencies involved in the recovery process Promote timely decision-making and the implementation of such decisions in support of the recovery goal. investment in affected communities drop considerably. controlled. 2. in order for it to achieve its objectives. The Framework is not intended to replace any wider National Strategic Development Plan that the GoG may have in place.2 Objectives: The objectives of the Framework are: 1. early recovery seeks to address issues surrounding resettlement and livelihoods as well as the cross-cutting issues of climate change. adequate opportunities to provide for their families and decent local services. monitored and evaluated. It must be stressed that the Framework is intended as a guide. 3. It is essential to incorporate early recovery measures that will ensure those persons who were impacted live in a dignified manner. Prioritize recovery action requirements. short and medium term Recovery. 6. it is necessary to carry forward the positive momentum created by relief operations into sustainably rebuilding lives and communities.1 Principles of the Early Recovery Framework The purpose of an early recovery section is to assist in bridging the transition period from the relief phase to the recovery phase and to minimize the impact of future disasters. As such. This Framework focuses attention on Immediate Response. directed. disaster risk reduction and environment. Action in the Recovery context will be required at: i) The Immediate Response Phase ii) The Restoration phase – Short-term Recovery iii) The Reconstruction phase – Medium term Recovery iv) The long term Reconstruction Phase Recovery is a complex. dynamic process which depending on the nature of the event. The Recovery Process. as with any other process. with proper housing. Promote effective.
duplication of effort and waste of resources. Reduce vulnerability to disasters in future. 5. transparency and accountability (c) Informed Decision: The affected population should be able to make an informed decision regarding whether to return to their homes communities relocate or integrate if they are staying in host communities. Recovery planning incorporates several immediate intentions.4. Establish and maintain appropriate accounting and reporting arrangements for the recovery process. 6. (a) Alignment with Key Government Plans. is essential for ensuring equity. Enhance capacity for dealing with disasters in future. resettlement or return 55 . Reduce. strengths and resilience of both local communities and the Government. To the extent possible. The key areas of strategic intervention covered are: 1) Resettlement and access to basic social service and infrastructure 2) Livelihoods 3) Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change and 4) Environment. ownership. and where possible eliminate. (c) Stimulating local initiatives to respond to the effects and impacts of a disaster. information should be made available on rights to voluntary. the key principles that ought to govern an Early Recovery Framework (ERF) include. 8. Policies & Priorities: (This section ensures that the ERF is closely linked to the Strategy for the Development of Guyana) (b) Community-centred & Inclusive: The effective reconstruction and resettlement efforts from natural disasters are characterized by a closely coordinated multi-sectoral approach that emphasizes systematic consultation with affected communities as well as close collaboration between Government and non-Governmental agencies. which include: (a) Promoting a return to the provision of services and the availability of goods which support normal life. The full integration of communities. (d) Developing plans and strategies to enhance the process of long-term rehabilitation. Against this backdrop of synergies and cross-linkages across sectors. Provide appropriate arrangements for the dissemination of public information. 7. (b) Promoting courses of action which will contribute to a reduction in the vulnerability of the population to a range of hazards. The Early Recovery Framework encompasses a detailed assessment of a range of sectors and activities that take into account the capacity. taking special measures to ensure that the poor and most vulnerable groups are included. in reconstruction and resettlement strategies. safe and dignified return.
56 . relocate or integrate locally under conditions of sustainability. Urgent attention must be focused on re-building better and resettling vulnerable families that cannot rebuild for themselves.(d)Human Rights Based & Protection Approach: Efforts must be responsive to the diverse needs of communities and individuals in a way that recognizes and appreciates their integrity. more evenly distributed ownership of assets. dignity and basic rights. the Government shall enable the displaced and affected communities to return. (e)Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change: Disaster risk reduction/management needs to be considered as a key cross-cutting issue throughout the recovery process. (f)Gender Sensitive & Equitable Distribution of Resources: The recovery and rehabilitation phases provide opportunities to promote gender equality within communities. girls. (3) resettlement areas have safe and ready access to all basic services. (2) new constructions are culturally acceptable and meet building safety codes and international standards on adequate housing. managed and controlled in order for it to be effective. 6. enhancing safety standards and avoiding the rebuilding of previous vulnerabilities and the creation of new risks must be factored in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of houses. the process must be led. directed. safety and dignity and to ensure that: (1) resettlement areas area assessed as stable and safe by the competent authorities. as well as to employment and appropriate livelihood opportunities and markets. services and support are provided to groups with particular needs. In particular. At the same time. (5) a compensation or restitution package is made available for those whose land might be affected by the resettlement operations. and (6) in order to prevent inter-community tension and to ensure a targeted and equitable response. the needs of non-affected or indirectly affected communities should be assessed. The Early Recovery Framework will outline in greater detail the approach that will be taken to increase the chances of disaster victims returning to a dignified life. Additionally.3 Early Recovery Process The Early Recovery Process will be lead by a committee established to oversee this process. As the process may take an extended period. As stated above. the committee must be clear of its mandate and prepared for the “long haul”. (g)Adequate Shelter: Shelter remains a problem in early recovery that has serious humanitarian concerns. (4) special housing. and improve the condition and position of women and other vulnerable groups. men and women. development interventions should address core issues that result in the equal improvement in the quality of life for boys. infrastructures and livelihoods.
(This information will be supplied by the DANA committee). 2) The leaders of all key agencies are made aware of the goals and objectives. the committee head is alerted. decisions will be taken in terms of the effectiveness and efficiency of the process. The Committee will ensure that: 1) The specific goal and objectives of the Recovery effort are widely publicised. The lead then contacts the committee and assembles them to begin the process. The committee will provide reports to the HPS and Cabinet on the progress. decisionmaking process and actions for items listed in Table 1. 4) All key agencies will be required to report on progress (or otherwise) on agreed priorities frequently and regularly. The lead of the committee will undertake a review of the DANA on the impact of the hazardous event. the disaster management functions being undertaken by other sectors and groups within the NEOC. the lead of the Group will initiate the alerting. From assessment of the DANA (rapid-8hr and detailed-72 hr) information. The Recovery process will work in tandem with the other disaster management functions of the CDC and will also work in tandem with the NEOC. 6) Appropriate directives will issued from Cabinet to sustain progress 57 . They will not only be promoting a return to the provision of services and the availability of goods which support normal life. the Committee will then develop an appropriate recovery plan and strategy for the particular event. 3) The Recovery Committee will develop an Action Plan which specifies key tasks. This will be carried out mindful of and in coordination with. but they will also be developing plans and strategies to enhance the process of long-term rehabilitation. A simple report format should be devised. targets and time schedules.The committee will include those agencies and ministries that are involved in mitigation and recovery: reconstruction and rehabilitation. The disaster recovery process will be activated by the authorities who will determine the appropriate time to trigger this phase.4 Monitoring Disaster Recovery pursues specific goals and objectives. 5) A cabinet level review of progress will be done regularly. Once an event occurs and the NEOC is activated. In so doing. The Committee will constantly assess the Recovery effort to determine the degree of goal achievement. The work of the committee is facilitated by the DANA reports and thus works in close conjunction with this committee. As more detailed DANA reports are provided. 6.
6. It is recommended that for all emergencies.7) Consideration will be given to the imposing of sanctions on agencies which hinder goal achievement. the Recovery plan is then adjusted accordingly. Based on these. The lessons extend from the nature of hazards and their effects. medium and long term. emphasis will be placed on identifying specific mitigation lessons learnt and recommendations for action in the short. a detailed review of the entire event be undertaken. Planning and Preparedness and Recovery efforts. jetties and fuel depots Coordinate inter-agency actions Monitoring. through the effectiveness of Mitigation. Table 1: Key Tasks and Activities in Recovery Planning and Management KEY ACTION AREAS IMMEDIATE RESPONSES (days to weeks after the event) TASKS AND ACTIVITIES Essential services restoration Support services restoration Recovery aid appeal Recovery logistics Undertake damage assessment and identifying needs High level briefings Information dissemination and management Network with local and external agencies Development of Recovery Plan for this disaster Repair of houses and other buildings Restoration of utilities and related facilities Repair and replacement of infrastructureWelfare assistance – building materials and financial assistance programmes Restoration of social services such as education Restoration of commercial & economic activities and services Replacement of critical facilities such as ports. Response. evaluation and accounting Restoration of external communications and 58 - SHORT AND MEDIUM TERM RECOVERY (weeks to months after the event) - - . For prevention and recovery purposes.5 Evaluation Every disaster event offers many lessons.
Supportive legislation .Hazards reevaluations and mapping Capacity enhancement for recovery .Exercising and rehearsals of plans .Physical Planning .Network with local and external agencies .Mitigation Planning .Training and personnel development .Zoning .LONG TERM RECOVERY transport arrangements .Building zones and permit management .Vulnerability Reduction Retrofitting of critical facilities Relocation of vulnerable groups Environmental and vulnerability Impact Assessments .Public awareness and education -Environmental Management Coastal Zone protection Reforestation and soil conservation Development of GIS systems 59 .
and appropriate techno-legal regimes. Many structural measures also transfer flood risk by reducing flood risk in one location only to increase it in another. coordination.2 Structural Measures: Structural measures range from hard-engineered structures. embankments and their slopes become permanent settlements to flood victims and their livestock. the embankments are now the best means of Communication in the flood-prone areas and are being recklessly used for transportation of materials by tractors and other heavy vehicles.1 Approaches to Flood Mitigation: Flood mitigation approaches are measures taken prior to the impact of a disaster to minimize its effects through effective planning. 2. and embankments become susceptible to breaches during floods.Chapter:7 FLOOD MITIGATION: APPROACHES AND STRATEGIES 7.structural measures are in the nature of planning and help in “modifying the losses due to floods”. They can be highly effective when used appropriately. 7. Structural solutions can also have high upfront cost. however.2 Measures of Flood Mitigation: There are two different ways to mitigate floods: 1. b) Water Shed Management: Timely cleaning. 7. During floods. Thus. Non-structural. In the structural measures we keep the water away from people and in the non-structural measures to try to keep the people away from water. Whenever there are lapses in maintenance. as the well documented successes of the Thames Barrier and many more such good examples. Few examples of structural flood mitigation strategies are: a) Embankments: Embankments have been extensively used for protection against floods of important towns and lands. They are complementary to non-structural measures that intend to keep people and the habitation safe from flooding through better planning and effective management. Structural measures can. the protected areas are exposed to serious flood hazards. Flood management measures are typically described as either structural or non-structural. However. Structural. Structural measures aim to reduce flood risk by controlling the water flow both from outside and within. Structural and non-structural measure don not preclude each other. people shift to the embankments for temporary shelter and often settle down there for good. be overtopped by events outside their design capacity. It messes up proper maintenance. and most successful strategies combine both. de-silting and deepening of natural 60 . All of these works can be individually divided into long term and short-term measures. can sometimes induce complacency by their presence and can result in increased impacts if they failed or are overtopped as was in the case of Tsunami of Japan in 2011. Structural measures are in the nature of physical measures and help in “Modifying the floods”while non.
Increased preparedness through awareness campaigns.1 Non Structural Measures: There is always a role of non-structural measures which manage risk by building the capacity of people to cope with flooding. However. non-structural methods are becoming popular in mitigating flood disaster. Landowners in areas that adopt local ordinances or laws to limit development on flood plains can purchase flood insurance to help cover the cost of damage from floods. Non-structural measures do not usually require huge investments upfront.water reservoir and drainage channels must be taken up. 48hrs and 24hrs. which places restrictions on the use of land on flood plains. planning and management. i. Encroachments on tanks and ponds or natural drainage channel share to be removed well before the onset of monsoon. complete flood control in terms of structural methods of flood protection are neither economically viable nor these are environment friendly. Therefore. 7. mitigation. e) Buildings on elevated area: The buildings in flood prone areas should be constructed on an elevated area and if necessary on stilts and platform. Non-structural measures such as early warning systems can be seen as a first step in protecting the lives of people in the absence of more expensive structural measures. Local governments may pass laws that prevent uncontrolled building or development on flood plains to limit flood risks and to protect nearby property. Flood avoidance through land use planning.2. It can change the existing scenario substantially and render informed decision making in adopting proper measures towards disaster preparedness. can reduce the cost of flood damage. Dams and levees can also be constructed which can be used as temporarily storing space which reduces the chances of lower plains getting flooded. c) Reservoirs: The entire natural water storage place should be cleaned on a regular basis. This kind of advance warning can help the authorities for better flood preparedness and also effective flood mitigation. A few examples of non-structural measures are mentioned below: a) Flood Plain Zoning: Flood plain zoning. control. 72hrs. ring bunds and other bunds. Non-structural measures can be categorized under four main purposes: Emergency planning and management including warning and evacuation. an effective Warning System is one that can release warning in advance. b) Flood Forecasting and warning: These are issued for different areas mostly by the Central water Commission/ Meteorological department and by the State Irrigation/ Flood Department. c) Natural water retention Basins: Construction and protection of all the flood protection embankments. Speeding up recovery and using recovery to increase resilience by improving building design and construction through commonly used term “Building Back Better”.e. However. Therefore. but they often rely on a good understand of flood hazard and on adequate forecasting systems. initiatives have to be taken to modernize the operation of Flood Forecasting & 61 .
civil society organizations and the communities. d) Preparedness Planning: Effective preparedness at all levels coupled with effective early warning will also substantially reduce the losses out of a flood disaster. Many non-structural measures are seen as flexible and cost effective in nature. It also gives an opportunity for both the disaster managers and also the affected population to identify the risks. along with meteorological and planning institutions. While the implementation and outcomes of flood risk management measures can be defined in purely economic terms.Warning by adopting the state of art technology and integrating it into the forecast and warning dissemination process. ministries. 62 . national governments. Thus it is important to strike a balance between both structural and non-structural mitigation measures in a coordinated manner and through involvement of all stakeholders in the decision making process. public sector companies. the judgment made by policy makers. identifies strengths and involved in effective risk reduction planning process. bearing in mind that the disaster tends to weaken over time. urban planners and technical specialists must also consider broader issues. awareness preparedness over decades without a flood event. Integrated flood risk management therefore requires greater coordination between structural and non-structural measures effective inter departmental and inter agency coordination between city government. The challenge with many non-structural measures lies in the need to engage the involvement and agreement of stakeholders and their institutions. This includes sometimes maintaining resources. their vulnerabilities.
4 During Floods: 1. Do not get into water of unknown depth and current 5. Check your emergency kit 8. 8.2 When you hear a flood warning: 1. Tune in to your radio or watch for warning and advice 2. 63 . Keep vigil of flood warning given by local authorities 3. Keep the First Aid Kit ready with extra medication for snake bite and diarrhea 3. need not become a disaster. Know the route to the nearest safe shelters that you are aware of. kerosene etc 6. This would reduce the losses of life and minimize human suffering. 4. Pack clothing. which are a natural hazard.1 Before flooding occurs: 1. Stay away from water over knee level. 3. if we are prepared and are aware of how to deal with them. Drink boiled water or use halogen tablet to purify water before drinking. Keep dry food and drinking water and warm clothes ready 4. Keep your food covered 3. If you need to enter then were proper foot wear. Floods. 8. essential medication. torch and spare batteries 5. Raise furniture. Use bleaching powder and lime to disinfect the surroundings 5. Umbrellas and bamboo sticks (to protect from snakes) 7. 2. Put sandbags in the toilet bowl and cover all drain holes to prevent sewage back flow. Higher ground where people and animals can take shelter 8. Strong ropes for tying things 4. This guide lists simple things one can do to stay safe and protect one from floods. personal papers etc in water proof bags to be taken to the safe shelter.Chapter:8 Flood Safety Measures Flood Safety is an important component of Flood Response and Preparedness Plan. Thus flood safety measures are key to a successful preparedness and response planning process. Lock your house and take the recommended or known evacuation routes for your area of safe shelter. 6. appliances on beds and tables. matchbox. It aims at providing basic life saving skills and tips through which large number of lives and properties can be saved without any investment. Do not let children remain on empty stomach 4. dry food. 2. Stocks of fresh water. A radio. candles.3 If you need to evacuate: 1. valuables. 2. Avoid entering flood waters.
or a portable. flood waters. You may need to act quickly. Water may become contaminated or service may be interrupted. If electric power is cut off. 8. snakebites are common during floods. Boil tap water. Get your preassembled disaster supplies ready. Fill your car's gas tank. 8. Floods and flash floods can happen quickly and without warning. battery-powered radio (or television) for updated emergency information. Be alert to signs of flooding. and if you live in a flood-prone area.6 What to Do During a Flood WATCH: When a flood or flash flood WATCH is issued: Listen continuously to Radio. In some areas. Be prepared to evacuate. Use halogen tablets before drinking. Local stations provide you with the best advice for your particular situation. 3. and plastic bottles with clean water. Stay tuned to local radio. 4. culverts. Be ready to act immediately. If you are instructed by local authorities. turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve. Unsecured items may be swept away and damaged by flood waters. gas stations may not be able to operate pumps for several days. be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice. Local officials may ask you to leave if they truly feel your home is at risk from flood waters. local authorities may advise you to turn off utilities to prevent further damage to homes and the community. 2. If flood waters affect your home. such as patio furniture. Everyone in a WATCH area should be ready to respond and act quickly. 7. 64 . sinks. Stay away from drains. Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home. They will best be able to tell you areas to avoid. Be careful of snake bites. Do not eat food. Having your supplies ready will save time. 5. in case an evacuation notice is issued. Follow the instructions and advice of local authorities. Bring outdoor belongings. Do not allow children to play in. 6. indoors. Local authorities are the most informed about affected areas. higher floors are less likely to receive damage.5 After a Flood: 1. Do not use electrical appliances. Floods can happen quickly and you may need to leave with little or no notice. which has been in floodwaters. If your residence is in a flood-prone area: Fill bathtubs.8. or near.
Barricades are put up by local officials to protect people from unsafe roads. 65 . not your belongings. streams. Move to higher ground away from rivers. If you are driving and come upon rapidly rising waters. Help a neighbor who may require special assistance .infants. What to Do After a Flood or Flash Flood: Seek necessary medical care at the nearest hospital or clinic. Most flood fatalities are caused by people attempting to drive through water. Local stations provide you with the best advice for your particular situation. mudflows. evacuate immediately. or a portable. Contaminated flood waters lead to a greater possibility of infection. Shortcuts or alternate. The depth of water is not always obvious. Follow recommended evacuation routes. Local authorities are the most informed about affected areas. Be alert to signs of flooding. creeks. Two feet of water will carry away most automobiles. and sweep them away. landslides. and areas subject to sudden flooding.What to Do During a Flood WARNING: Listen continuously to. If advised to evacuate. Rapidly rising water may stall the engine. and other hazards. Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water. Delaying too long may allow all escape routes to become blocked. Elderly people and people with disabilities may require additional assistance. If you live in a flood-prone area or think you are at risk. Follow the instructions and advice of local authorities. Save yourself. If your route is blocked by flood waters or barricades. and put you at further risk from the residual effects of floods. and storm drains. The roadbed may be washed out under the water. turn around and find another route. People who care for them or who have large families may need additional assistance in emergency situations. do so immediately. battery-powered radio (or television) for updated emergency information. non recommended routes may be blocked or damaged by flood waters. Your presence might hamper rescue and other emergency operations. A WARNING means a flood is imminent or is happening in the area. find another route. Driving around them can be a serious risk. Look out for flooding at highway dips. or people playing in high water. bridges. and you could be stranded or trapped. What to Do if You are Driving During a Flood: Avoid already flooded areas. and people with disabilities. crumbled roads. Severe injuries will require medical attention. Leave early enough to avoid being marooned by flooded roads. They will best be able to tell you areas to avoid. and low areas. Move quickly to higher ground. Avoid disaster areas. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Evacuation is much simpler and safer before flood waters become too deep for vehicles to drive through. The most important thing is your safety. engulf the vehicle and its occupants. such as contaminated waters. elderly people.
Check for gas leaks. call an electrician first for advice. You can obtain safe water from undamaged water heaters or by melting ice cubes. Smoking in confined areas can cause fires. Watch carefully every step you take. or if you smell burning insulation. business. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged. Inspect foundations for cracks or other damage. open a window and quickly leave the building. Check with your utility company now about where broken lines should be reported. If you turn off the gas for any reason. Gas leaks or electric or waterline damage can create additional problems. it must be turned back on by a professional. or submerged furnaces or electrical appliances. flooded electrical circuits. Flood dangers do not end when the water begins to recede. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires. use extreme caution. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker. The most common injury following a disaster is cut feet. Continue to listen to a Weather Radio or local radio or television stations and return home only when authorities indicate it is safe to do so. Wear sturdy shoes. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Report broken utility lines to the appropriate authorities. avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. Reporting potential hazards will get the utilities turned off as quickly as possible. there may be flood-related hazards within your community. floors. or other) before local officials have said it is safe to do so. and windows to make sure that the building is not in danger of collapsing. Buildings may have hidden damage that makes them unsafe. preventing fire hazard for the user. Avoid smoking inside buildings. Batterypowered lighting is the safest and easiest. Examine walls. Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights when examining buildings. When entering buildings. Check for sewage and waterline damage. Fire is the most frequent hazard following floods. Avoid entering ANY building (home. Flood waters often undermine foundations. There may be broken or leaking gas lines. floors can crack or break and buildings can collapse. Stay out of any building if flood waters remain around the building. and building. Look for fire hazards. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise. preventing further hazard and injury. occupants. Look for electrical system damage. contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. 66 . Cracks and damage to a foundation can render a building uninhabitable. staircases. Flammable or explosive materials may travel from upstream. doors. If water pipes are damaged. causing sinking. which you could hear about from local broadcasts. Building damage may have occurred where you least expect it. Electrical equipment should be checked and dried before being returned to service.
If the water is pumped completely in a short period of time. Watch out for animals. If water is of questionable purity. for insurance claims. throw them away. After returning home: Throw away food that has come in contact with flood waters. boil or add bleach. Flood waters flush snakes and many animals out of their homes. call your local public health authority. and leaching systems as soon as possible. which may have come into buildings with the flood waters. Pump out flooded basements gradually (about one-third of the water per day) to avoid structural damage. Use a stick to poke through debris. and ceilings that could fall. drywall. especially poisonous snakes. If in doubt. Food contaminated by flood waters can cause severe infections.saturated soil on the outside could cause basement walls to collapse. Take pictures of the damage. Service damaged septic tanks. Watch for loose plaster. cesspools. Some canned foods may be salvageable. and distill drinking water before using. both of the building and its contents. Damaged sewage systems are health hazards 67 . If the cans are dented or damaged. pressure from water. Ill health effects often occur when people drink water contaminated with bacteria and germs. pits. Wells inundated by flood waters should be pumped out and the water tested for purity before drinking.