Hurricanes Irma and Maria have left a trail of damage and devastation across parts of the Caribbean in the past month.
MapAction were able to respond quickly and in numbers to this crisis, with good local knowledge and networks in the region. So far eight MapAction volunteers have supported the response in the field, with one more team member due to fly out this week. Many others have been supporting the field teams remotely.
MapAction teams have worked in support of the relevant national government disaster management agencies, usually through CDEMA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency) and UNDAC (UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination).
The work has required much movement between islands, both to provide GIS support where it was needed and to avoid being caught in the direct path of the hurricanes. MapAction volunteers have been operating in Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grand Turk, Haiti, Jamaica and Providenciales.
As of Sept 26th MapAction has three people remaining on Dominica with all others now safely home. With Dominica receiving a direct hit from Category 5 Hurricane Maria MapAction volunteers were amongst the first to arrive, and have been in the midst of the response ever since.
They and MapAction’s other field teams have produced a huge range of maps and data, many of which can be seen at https://maps.mapaction.org/event/irma-easterncaribbean
The maps have illustrated factors as diverse as: –
Areas accessible to humanitarian support,
Disaster reporting by social media account,
Basic reference maps
Disaster preparedness reference maps
And many more besides
Several of the MapAction Irma and Maria teams are available to talk to media by arrangement, including some of those still there (depending upon communications and availability). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01494 568899 and ask for Ian Davis.