Disasters Do Happen...Be Prepared!


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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.


  • 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 Data Base.

  • 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.

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