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Disaster Management Project in Jamaica

Overview
Project Info
  • Placement location: Manchester Parish
  • Role: To help plan for, mitigate, and respond to all types of disasters and to facilitate a community competition geared toward hurricane preparedness
  • Requirements: Interns must have completed at least 1 year of related university studies
  • Accommodation: Host family
  • Length of placement: From 4 weeks
  • Start dates: Flexible

Volunteer works with children affected by natural disasters in Jamaica

The Disaster Management Project in Jamaica involves interning in Manchester on the Community Disaster Management Program.The project is open to interns who have completed at least one year of related studies. You are expected to have a strong interest in the field of disaster management and a desire to help the individuals and communities affected by disasters.

This project would be particularly good for interns with geography, physical planning, international development, urban planning, disaster management, and environmental science backgrounds. The project would also be appropriate for anyone hoping to gain experience or those already with training in the fields of international development, aid and relief work, or those looking to work in charity or governmental sectors.

Disaster Management Internships in Jamaica

Whether they’re natural or manmade, disasters can severely set back the development of a country. The country can be negatively affected in terms of its economic, physical, and social infrastructures. While many disasters cannot be prevented, planning how to effectively respond if they occur is very important. The effects on the development of the country and its poorer members of society can be particularly devastating.

International Development intern assists a Richmond local with a community Disaster Preparedness Plan as part of the Disaster Management program

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management agency (ODPEM) is the agency in Jamaica responsible for handling disaster management. The agency coordinates regional coordinators who work with parish disaster coordinators from the local government to plan for, mitigate and respond to all types of disasters. Interns are particularly useful in this field since a lack of personnel can affect the extent to which the country can be prepared in the event of a disaster.

The Disaster Management Project designs programs that address individual and community resilience to disasters, particularly amongst the most vulnerable sectors of society. The areas our interns focus on include children, women, the elderly and the disabled. The project also focuses on helping farmers and fishermen who are often severely affected by disasters.

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Jamaica Disaster Management Plan.

Your Role on the Disaster Management Project in Jamaica

The Disaster Management Project is located in Mandeville, Manchester Parish. Interns are needed to help by educating communities, schools and the business sector about disaster management through the Community Disaster Management Program. The Community Disaster Management Program (‘Operation Get Ready’) was born out of the concern that most communities in Manchester and St. Elizabeth are never fully prepared for the hurricane season and are also vulnerable to other disasters, natural and man-made. The project aims to engage the most vulnerable communities in a preparedness campaign, decrease the damage which results from natural disasters, and to increase the knowledge of community members with regards to natural disasters.

Volunteer Profile Former volunteer Chris Jefferies shares his story from the Disaster Management project in Jamaica
Chris Jefferies
The wide variety of activities on my placement definitely appealed to me. I confess to having quite a short attention span so it was refreshing to be doing something different every day! It wasn’t all work though – weekends off consisted of traveling about the south and east coast, discovering hidden beaches and exploring local cuisine. Read more...

Interns will be involved in assessing vulnerable communities, conducting research on the background of the selected communities, developing a community plan, preparing presentations for workshops, conducting an annual disaster awareness workshop in selected institutions, conducting earthquake/fire drills, creating disaster management charts, and facilitating at least one disaster management workshop in a community. Interns work with the Disaster Management Program Officer to undertake a number of tasks that include:

  • Public education awareness campaigns to foster a culture of respect for the environment.
  • Creating public education programs on disaster management.
  • Helping train students, teachers, and community groups in basic disaster management.
  • Developing evacuation plans and planning/coordinating drills and evacuation strategies.
  • Facilitating a recycling project at elementary schools.
  • Planning and coordinating workshops and exhibitions in communities to build awareness.
  • Developing and implementing basic mitigation projects such as community drain cleaning days or basic repair to homes for the poor and helping communities to prepare psychologically to deal with the effects of a disasters.

Interns will live with local host families in Mandeville.

Jamaica Disaster Management plan

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