LAC PROGRAMS UPDATE
Serving Central America, Cuba, and the Caribbean
Community and Port Resiliency Program (C-PReP)
Disaster Preparedness Training for Airports
Location: Merida, Mexico | Dominican Republic
Once more, Outreach Aid to the Americas (OAA) contributed to building the capacity of airports and communities in the region to effectively prepare for disasters and emergencies. In partnership with Aeropuertos del Sur de Mexico and Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI, OAA conducted two C-PReP workshops: the “XV International Hurricane Seminar,” which was held in Merida, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic Virtual Seminar, “Preparedness for Natural Disasters during a Pandemic.” More than 22 panelists, including OAA staff who are members of the C-PReP team, provided disaster resilience and emergency management training to 417 participants representing 32 airports and six countries (Bahamas, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, and the U.S.) as well as management agencies, airlines, the media, federal agencies, and academia. After the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, the Dominican Republican C-PREP event was changed into a virtual seminar, and speakers adapted their presentations, training materials, and workshop exercises to address the needs and realities of the new COVID-19 regulations and safety measures in airports.
Key stakeholders at the 2020 Merida seminar
Growing out of the challenges and lessons learned in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, C-PReP began in 2012 as an effort to improve the resiliency of airports and seaports in disaster-prone areas in the region. Over time, a broader range of organizations and groups began receiving the C-PReP training, including, for example, firefighters and law enforcement officials. This year’s seminars addressed the 2020 hurricane season and responded to the new realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected airport operations and disaster preparedness among many other things.
Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) experience various natural hazards such as droughts, earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. These crises can create and exacerbate humanitarian challenges when ports are adversely affected and cease to operate at full capacity. C-PReP seeks to support ports and others who are involved in disaster response and preparedness as they seek to strengthen operations so that commerce and humanitarian aid can enter affected countries and reach those who need these most.
Screen Shot of the inauguration of the 2020 C-PreP virtual seminar