The Caribbean region is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts and various natural hazards including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, landslides, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. The increasing incidence of such hazards, coupled with the small size of the islands and fragile ecosystems compound their vulnerabilities.
With today’s sophisticated earth observations, maps, communications and information technology, countless lives are being saved by early warning. Yet, for many events, in places around the world, societies continue to suffer immensely from hazards. Lives that might have been saved are still being lost, often for lack of reliable, timely warnings reaching affected populations. In some cases, when warnings are timely, an unprepared public will be unable to act quickly enough to protect their lives and/or property.
Early warning is therefore one of many important tools that contribute to the protection of lives, prevention of disasters and preparedness for hazards and threats. Further Early Warning Systems (EWS) are prioritized as life-saving measures within the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 at the global level and within the Implementation Plan for the CARICOM Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change regional framework and the Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy 2014-2024 at the regional and national levels.
This resource seeks to create some level of systemization and will provide guidelines, sample tools and reference documents for organisations and countries to source information relating to the development of EWS (hydro-meteorological and coastal hazards).
Information contained in this toolkit has been gleaned from partner agencies who have documented experiences/guidance documents on Early Warning Systems in the Caribbean.
This toolkit is dynamic and comprises 5 sections namely:
Development of this toolkit was initiated through the “Strengthening Resilience and Coping Capacities in the Caribbean through Integrated Early Warning Systems” (EWS) initiative funded by the European Union Humanitarian Aid Department.