Community Outreach

After all the data was collected during Trip 1, the AEMS team developed a variety of community outreach programs to take back to Ile a Vache during Trip 2. Community Outreach Programs were scheduled for the Community Radio Station, the Kakok Community Center, the Government Compound in Madam Bernard, the Digicel (local cell provider) park in Mdme. Bernard, and the school in Point Est.

Each of these sessions would be conducted in English and Creole, and would verbally convey information regarding water sources and purification, storm surge and other hazards, and structures and shelter.  Creole language handouts were created and distributed for the residents to keep.

During each session, the maximum surge height of 10m above sea level was demonstrated, so that all attendee could see exactly how high the water could rise.

Community Recommendations – Water

  • While cisterns and rainwater collection systems are a good way to gather water, effort must be made to properly seal these systems. Cisterns should have little or no organic material (bugs, animals, plant material) in their systems.
  • Cisterns should be placed above the 10m surge line to preserve these systems in the event of a major hurricane.  Cisterns in these locations should be protected from post-disaster outbreaks of E. coli and other bacteria or viruses.
  • Domestic animals should not be allowed within 30m of ground water wells.
  • Controlling waste (animal and human) access to wells and cisterns should be emphasized.
  • Post-disaster, all water should be treated before consumption.

Community Recommendations – Structures

  • Few houses on Ile a Vache would stand up to the winds of a significant hurricane.  They cannot be relied on for shelter.
  • The few community structures on the island will not stand up to the winds of a significant hurricane.
  • No structures below an elevation of 10m above sea level should be used for shelter or refuge.
  • Residents may take refuge on the leeward side of hills during a storm, below the peak.
  • Equipment and supplies in structures below the storm surge line can be moved uphill and saved.

Community Recommendations – Other

  • Community leaders and the brigade are preparing for the effects of a disasters.  Work with them and listen to what they say.
  • Understand what 10m of storm surge means for you and your home.

Community Outreach Materials

This is a Creole language sample of outreach materials distributed at each event: Community Outreach Sample (Creole) [WORD]

Slide decks of community outreach training points:

Public Protection Actions – Aksyon Piblik nan Pwoteksyon – Creole [PPT]
Public Protection Actions – English [PPT]

Professional Training

As part of the needs assessment during Trip 1, it was determined that the local volunteer disaster brigade as well as DPC personnel from Les Cayes and Ile a Vache desired professional training on a variety of topics.

Therefore, several training sessions were developed for professional and community volunteer staff covering a variety of topics. All training was conducted at the mayor’s office in Mdme. Bernard during Trip 2.

Professional Training topics included CPR/First Aid and Incident Command.  AEMS Student Alex Resnick was trained by the American Red Cross as a certified CPR and first aid trainer.