Residents of the Bendals Community were quick to respond to the damage left by Hurricane Earl due to the preparation undertaken by the Antigua & Barbuda Red Cross.
Due to the community’s extreme vulnerability to disasters the Antigua & Barbuda Red Cross launched the Readiness to Respond initiative, an OFDA USAID sponsored programme within the community in March. Since then, members of the Bendals Community have undergone intense training on how to prepare and respond to a disaster which has proven useful.
Volunteer of the Antigua & Barbuda Red Cross Michael Joseph spoke of the community’s successful implementation of the training received.
“Upon the passing of Hurricane Earl, Director General Gerald Price, Programme Coordinator Charlesworth Jarvis, and I went to carry out a damage assessment around the island.
“When we got to Bendals the water was about 6 to 7 feet high, it covered the bonnet for the vehicle so we had to turn back, but when we returned to assess the area, members of the community had already used the chainsaws donated to them by the Readiness to Respond Programme to cut trees that had fallen and blocked the roads. Other debris had been cleared from the roads and the community members had already carried out their own damage assessment.
What pleased me most was when I saw a guy dressed in the Red Cross jacket, boots with his floatation device heading towards the water that was 6 to 7 feet high so he could offer any assistance needed. The whole attitude of the community was amazing!” Joseph said.
The Readiness of Respond initiative will soon be implemented in Barbuda.