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Preparing for disasters

Since 2012 a British Red Cross programme, backed by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID), has been helping six British Overseas Territories become better prepared for disasters and more able to deal with the effects of climate change.

How are we helping?

Each of the six Territories - Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, and the Turks and Caicos Islands - has its own branch of the British Red Cross. The programme will allow branches to help communities become more resilient to the risks they face, and also strengthen the disaster response capacity of the branches themselves. It has been designed to:

  • help people reduce their risk from natural disasters
  •  build core groups of staff and volunteers trained in disaster management techniques at each branch, and develop pools of volunteers skilled in first aid, emotional support and reuniting families
  •  reach at least half of the islands’ populations with information about preparing for and dealing with disasters, and develop strong links with 63 particularly vulnerable communities
  • make each branch a link between the community, the authorities and other charities and organisations in each territory
  • boost the branches’ volunteer numbers by 25 per cent, ensure they attract volunteers from a range of backgrounds, and build branches’ fundraising abilities.

The programme was shaped through consultations with the islands’ communities about the particular risks they face. The programme will also allow research into the effects of climate change on the lives of people in the area.

Programme timeframe: January 2012 to December 2016

Programme funding: The UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) has provided £900,000 for the first three years of the project, and the Red Cross hopes to secure further funding for the final two years.



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