Building Global Resilience
By Cheryl Griffith – Business Continuity & Disaster Consultant
In December, I had the pleasure of participating in a Crisis and Mass Disaster Management Course offered by the Galilee International Management Institute in Israel.
As a district emergency volunteer for over 10 years, this course provided the opportunity for me to develop an understanding of current approaches to crisis and disaster management and the impact that such events may have on our businesses, communities and islands in the Caribbean. In particular, this program addressed the issues of interruption to business and the need for preparedness, response and recovery strategies to minimize both economic and human losses arising from crises and disasters of both natural and human origins.
I wanted to be able to differentiate between the various phases of crisis disaster management and be knowledgeable to know when and how to appraise alternative approaches to managing crises and disasters that seem to be happening more frequently in our region. The program enhanced and developed my knowledge and skills in risks appraisal, operations management, and crisis communication which now allows me to identify and address conflict and vulnerability within organizations and disaster zones and how to address these effectively.
The 2019 hurricane season saw Category 5 Hurricane Dorian leaving widespread devastation across the Caribbean again. The play book has changed, and we have to better increase our resilience to potential crises and disasters, particularly through using the principles of crisis and disaster management, disaster preparedness, response and recovery planning.
My goal is to use a bottom up approach by sharing this knowledge at the community level to transform vulnerable or at-risk communities. For them to become disaster resilient communities and work my way up to educating, training and awareness-building within institutions and the nation as a whole. This training will also aid in my professional work as a Business Continuity Consultant, as companies make up part of our community. Barbados has not been hit by a major Hurricane since 1955. This course has equipped me to help us one step further to prepare, to respond and recovery effectively if ever we are impacted. Bonus: I got to visit some of the holy land sites and met some wonderful people from the Caribbean and African along the way. AWESOME!!