Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Livingston Pemberton, representing the Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis Sub-Committee in St. Kitts and Nevis, said that the Committee is extremely important as it aims to provide a speedy assessment which is critical to a quick return to normalcy after disasters.
“The Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis Committee forms an integral part of the overall national mechanism. It is important whenever our Federation is exposed to any hazard for us to know what was there before and if we know what there before then we can assess the level of impact that that particular hazard would have had in the Federation,” said Mr. Pemberton, while appearing on Working for You on October 06.
Mr. Pemberton said that a certain approach is used to carry out assessments which result in reliable information being disseminated.
“We have a particular mechanism that we use in order to [do] damage assessment and what this does is that it allows us to use a systematic methodology for doing the assessment. It means that all of the persons who are doing the assessment would have been trained, they will be following the same methodology so that the information that comes out will be very consistent,” said Mr. Pemberton.
He noted that the information collected from the damage assessment is passed on to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for further processing and dissemination.
“The damage assessment will then inform, identifying what our needs are because… NEMA, which is like the brain of managing comprehensive disaster within the Federation, all of the information has to go back there for decisions to be made and then forwarded to the relevant authority for onward transmission,” he said.
Mr. Pemberton reiterated the importance of the committee adding that it is “out of assessing the damage that we will be able to come up with what the needs are.”
The National Sub-committees include Warning, Communication and Education; Medical and Public Health; Transport; Housing and Shelter; Damage Assessment and Evaluation; Environment; Foreign Assistance; Welfare, Relief Supplies and Shelter Management; Utilities; and Search, Rescue and Initial Clearance.