In times of disaster, the Red Cross Overseas Branches in the Caribbean have to respond quickly and in co-ordination with local agencies. Even before disasters happen, the Branches are planning ahead by developing their ability to respond and making sure others in their community are prepared too. And when disasters do take place, the size of the crisis will affect how the Branches react.
When disaster strikes, the local Overseas Branch immediately responds in partnership with local government agencies. This response can include evacuating buildings, setting up and running shelters and providing first aid. If the scale of the disaster and the needs of the community outstretch the local capacity to respond, the Branch launches a regional response.
The Red Cross has trained specialists in the Caribbean who can advise local volunteers and guide their response to disasters. The British Red Cross also keeps relief supplies in Panama which can be sent to any Overseas Branch, speeding up our response and helping people recover more quickly.
If the disaster is bigger than the regional capacity to respond, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva launches and co-ordinates an international response. Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies around the world mobilise disaster management specialists and resources to help the response and long-term recovery.