Latin America Risk Reduction Activities
Vulnerable communities throughout Latin America are frequently exposed to natural disasters. Since early 2011, the American Red Cross has been helping community members and Red Cross partners prepare for future disasters through community-based education programs that teach people how to provide basic first aid, and support the installation of early warning systems such as public address (PA) or Very High Frequency (VHF) radio systems. The program is also providing training to Red Cross staff and volunteers on disaster preparedness best practices like keeping a basic emergency kit in the home and actions that individuals should take in the event of an earthquake. Through this regional program, the American Red Cross is working with local Red Cross partners to improve disaster preparedness in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama and Paraguay. In total, this project aims to reach more than 176,300 people across all six countries.
Resilience in the Americas (RITA)
In an effort to adapt current programming to better fit the needs of local communities, the American Red Cross has developed an assessment model to be piloted in ten countries in the Latin America and Caribbean Region that is designed to be a holistic, multi-sector analysis of community risks. The assessment process is led by communities themselves and allows them to identify their key needs and vulnerabilities, as well as the capacities and resources they have to enhance resilience. Through this pilot, the American Red Cross and local partners will develop tools, training manuals, a compilation of lessons learned, and a roll-out strategy that can potentially be replicated in other parts of the world. The American Red Cross will work with local Red Cross partners to pilot this assessment model with 126 communities in the Bahamas, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru. As a pilot, this assessment will directly benefit almost 3,500 people across all ten countries.