Disaster preparedness initiative advances in Sierra Leone with tabletop flood exercise and risk assessment

May 9, 2019
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Disaster preparedness initiative advances in Sierra Leone with tabletop flood exercise and risk assessment
May 9, 2019

Sierra Leone’s national leaders and experts came together on May 8, 2019 to continue collaboration with Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) on the National Disaster Preparedness Baseline Assessment (NDPBA) underway since late 2018. The mid-term workshop held in Freetown at the Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel and facilitated by PDC—an applied science and research center of the University of Hawaii—brought together diverse stakeholders from across disciplines to help build disaster management capabilities as well as review preliminary disaster management and risk assessment findings. The workshop included a case study flood exercise based on the deadly 2017 mudslide affecting tens of thousands in the nation’s capital. The exercise explored pre-event planning and response coordination among Sierra Leone’s Office of National Security, Disaster Management Department, the University of Sierra Leone, United Nations, USAID, Red Cross, Centers for Disease Control, and the U.S. Embassy Freetown. During the exercise, participants were engaged by PDC to identify agency roles and responsibilities during the disaster, explore communication with other agencies, and engage in effective response coordination through the Disaster Management Department. Issues, challenges, and successes were summarized and documented for integration into the disaster management analysis. Participants also reviewed the preliminary findings of the risk assessment currently underway which aims to improve disaster risk reduction capacity and capability at the national and sub-national level. Findings documented disaster risk reduction initiatives, risks and vulnerabilities, and data gaps in critical information needed for effective disaster preparedness, planning, response, and mitigation. “By encouraging a coordinated multi-agency approach to disaster risk reduction, the NDPBA program provides a venue for focused engagement that connects stakeholders throughout all phases of disaster management,” said PDC’s Humanitarian Assistance Senior Advisor Steve Recca who led the workshop. He said that in addition to knowledge exchanges and facilitating collaborative efforts between stakeholders, PDC also conducts in-country data analysis to ensure the necessary temporal and spatial data is available to decision makers to inform effective disaster risk reduction investments and actions. PDC will return to Sierra Leone in late summer and fall to conduct additional data sharing sessions and analysis in preparation for the NDPBA final workshop.

What our partners are saying about us...

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Jonathan Colwell
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"EMOPS (DisasterAWARE) made my day so much easier while monitoring [Tropical Cyclone] AMOS. Data that I thought I'd spend a good part of the morning digging for was available, as were the tools to draw polygons and annotate and meet the requirement."

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“Keep up the good work. I'm using EMOPS (DisasterAWARE) in Texas to monitor Hurricane Harvey.”

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Washington, DC, USAUSDA (2016)

"Your suggestion that we look at PDC content and capabilities has really paid off. We partnered with them, and are ingesting their global disaster feeds into [Global Agricultural & Disaster Assessment System] GADAS. The addition of a couple of our own applications to quickly delineate impacted areas and extract agricultural acreage and population has proved quite valuable."

Christopher Vaughan
500 C St SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

FEMA NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION OFFICER (2015)

"My sincerest thanks to the PDC team during this event. [Tropical Cyclone Dolphin] Your professionalism and dedication to the mission is to be commended. I'm sure we will have plenty to discuss/improve upon in the weeks to follow. Thanks again for all the support. Great job team."

Daniel B. Whitley
1400 Independence Ave SW #5071, Washington, DC 20250, USAACTING ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR, FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE (2017)

"On behalf of USDA's Foreign Agricultural Services, I would like to express my appreciation and full support of the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) for its essential contributions...with data and support...we've been able to improve our global agricultural production and disaster assessment analyses, products, and decision outcomes."

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Gayle Outten-Moncour
The Bahamas

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PDC's support in the SOUTHCOM region and its commitment to promote public safety were unfailing during the Rio Olympics. [DisasterAWARE] greatly enhanced our situational awareness and offered an abundance of useful data and safety monitoring information."

Don Price
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Giuseppe Timperio
21 Lower Kent Ridge Rd, Singapore 119077RESEARCH ENGINEER, ADVANCED SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT & HUMANITARIAN LOGISTICS, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE (2016)

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Dr. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho
Matraman, East Jakarta City, Jakarta 13120, Indonesia

HEAD OF DATA, INFORMATION, AND PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR INDONESIA'S NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT AGENCY, BNPB

Harlan V. Hale
Banten, IndonesiaREGIONAL ADVISOR, USAID/DCHA/OFDA/EAP

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Willem Rampangilei
Jl. Anyar No.12, RT.2/RW.1, Leuwinutug, Kec. Citeureup, Bogor, Jawa Barat 16810, IndonesiaCHIEF, BNPB

"As I mentioned when we met recently at BNPB HQ Jakarta, I want to extend my appreciation to you, to your colleagues at PDC, and to USAID/OFDA for your hard work and dedication – and for your tangible results – in building capabilities and capacities for disaster risk reduction in Indonesia, especially in the area of hazard monitoring and early warning."

Dr. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho
West Java, IndonesiaHEAD OF DATA, INFORMATION, AND PUBLIC RELATIONS, BNPB (2017)

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