The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management is committed
to taking pro-active and timely measures to prevent or reduce the impact
of hazards on Jamaica, its people, natural resources and economy through
its trained and professional staff, the use of appropriate technology and
collaborative efforts with national, regional and international agencies.
'After the June 1979 Floods, which devastated sections of Western Jamaica,
the Government of Jamaica recognised the need for the establishment of a
permanent disaster management organization. This organization would be responsible
for coordination and monitoring the response to hazards as well as educating
the nation on all aspects of disaster management.
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Relief Coordination (ODIPERC),
was established in July 1980. In 1993, the name ODIPERC was changed to the
Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), a statutory
body, under the provisions of Section 15 of the Disaster Preparedness and
Emergency Management Act.
The ODPEM operates out of the Ministry of Land and Environment. A Board
of Management overseas the activities of the ODPEM.
ODPEM'S ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE
Implementation of Community and Vulnerability Reduction Programme in Portland
Development of National Disaster Management Plan and Policies
Relocation of vulnerable persons as a mitigation measure
Coordination of response, assessment and clean-up activities for disasters
and major incidents.
Establishment of a National Zonal Programme of community- based disaster
management structures and procedures.
Completion and maintenance of a National Disaster Catalogue and Hazard
Completion of Damage Assessment Reports for disaster incidents
Establishment of a National Emergency Operations Centre
Establishment of a National Shelter Programme
Establishment of Community Flood Warning Systems.
Establishment of a National Relief and Procurement Policy.
The development of websites, including one specifically dedicated to children.