At 9.30 am on Weds Sept 6th a two person MapAction Disaster Mapping Team flew to Barbados, in position and immediately ready to assist with the response to Hurricane Irma, should it be requested by local authorities. In Barbados they will join up with UNDAC (UN Disaster Assessment & Coordination) who have also sent a three person team. MapAction are also in discussions with CDEMA (Caribbean Disaster Management Agency) on how it might best support them in coordinating the regional response.
As is widely reported, Irma is now a category 5 hurricane moving across the Leeward Islands with expected impacts on several countries. Some of those countries, such as Haiti, have already seen resilience to natural disasters seriously reduced by a succession of recent events such as Hurricane Matthew and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake.
MapAction has significant recent experience in the region, having provided GIS teams in response to the Haiti earthquake and Hurricane Matthew, as well as assisting with Tropical Storm Erica and Hurricanes Ike and Tomas.
The team MapAction have sent this time consists of two volunteers, both highly skilled GIS specialists with significant experience in disaster mapping and response. MapAction also has a small team of trained Disaster GIS Volunteers who live in the region and can be called upon once the impact of Hurricane Irma becomes clear. Further MapAction volunteers might be requested once the effects of Irma and the need for mapping support become apparent, and MapAction is ready to provide them if necessary.
Maps and data will be published on the MapAction maps and data repository as they are created.