The American Red Cross is preparing some of the region’s most disaster-prone communities for future emergencies. Alongside local Red Cross partners, we train people in first aid, disaster preparedness, emergency response, and shelter management. We help neighborhoods to recognize their specific vulnerabilities and devise plans to reduce risks.
We work with communities to establish early warning systems using sirens and megaphones, dig drainage ditches to reduce flooding and standing water, map evacuation routes, and a spectrum of other activities.
Resilience is the ability to respond and adapt to changing circumstances. Resilient communities, then, are ones that can react to and rebuild from disasters and emergencies quickly.
Our programs in Central America reduce neighborhoods’ vulnerabilities and increase their ability to remain healthy, connected and organized. We emphasize proactive community engagement and embrace communities’ roles as conveners, resource brokers and catalysts.
Through this initiative, people assess, analyze and map the most significant, locally-prevalent hazards that put their communities at risk. Then, we help them to create strategies and action plans that reduce those risks. Recent projects include: providing educational outreach to improve health and hygiene, retrofitting shelters, and installing drainage systems to reduce standing water. In Central America, we are implementing resilience initiatives in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.