Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (Jamaica)
Disaster preparedness is a dynamic function, which includes the identification of disaster threats and risks throughout the country and the formulation of plans to create a state of readiness to meet the needs of victims when a disaster strikes.
Jamaica is very vulnerable to most kinds of disasters:
Flood events are prevalent.
The constant threat of a hurricane striking Jamaica during the hurricane season – June to November annually - needs serious consideration and planning.
Due to our location and our history, Jamaica is also extremely vulnerable to the earthquake hazard.
There is also the potential for the occurrence of man-made hazards such as chemical spills, and sea, road, rail and air accidents, and environmental pollution. Civil strife, riots and demonstrations are also further possibilities.
Fires may be caused by acts of nature or by man. Forest fires and grass fires may be caused by lightening storms, drought or human error, especially in times of unrest. Similarly home, community or industrial fires may be ignited in a number of ways.
It is because of this realization that, after the June 1979 floods, which devastated sections of western Jamaica, the government of Jamaica recognized the need for the establishment of permanent disaster preparedness and relief organization, which would be responsible for coordinating, monitoring and educating the nation on disasters and disaster events.See more