The Barbados Red Cross Society trains and equips community response teams, known as Community Disaster
Response Teams, or CDRTs. CDRTs operate at the level of the neighbourhood/community, and are encouraged to work closely with, and report to the respective District Emergency Organisations (DEOs) for their area.
These community response team members are trained in areas such as first aid, basic search and rescue, psychological first aid, response coordination, fire safety and shelter management.
After their training, the CDRTs are expected to work with their community to develop community disaster plans as well as to identify early warning systems and evacuation routes, and in some cases, the Barbados Red Cross equips them with disaster response kit.
Team members receive practical experience through simulation exercise carried out in the community, and are also empowered to disseminate messages to the wider community using communications materials such as the Family Disaster Plan Checklist, which provides guidance on family preparedness and risk reduction.
Disasters can occur with or without warning. We may not always be in a position to prevent a disaster, but measures can be taken to significantly reduce their impact.