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The Resiliency Project

Lessons From
Hurricane Maria

The VCHT Resiliency Project is born out of lessons learned after Hurricane Maria. Climate change is producing more active hurricane seasons, stronger hurricanes, and from what we experienced during this year's season, hurricanes that are intensifying faster and lasting longer. Vieques is extremely vulnerable to hurricanes and other natural disasters such as earthquakes because, should such an emergency occur, we are isolated for many weeks as we were with Hurricane Maria.

True community resiliency goes beyond providing people with support services in the event of an emergency

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To be resilient it is necessary to have preparation, training, knowledge of where the weakest or most needy are, and to determine what provisions would be necessary to deal with the emergency. 

The Resiliency Project provides climate change education and training to different age groups through school visits, community workshops/meetings and distribution of age-appropriate information to encourage resilience in our community.

The Resiliency Project Addresses These Issues

  • Preparedness for all types of disasters including how to prepare, for how long, water storage, equipment needed, verification and how to secure home, workplace, care for bedridden, disabled, etc.

  • Emergency communications plan

  • What to do during and after an atmospheric event

  • What to do during an earthquake

  • Use and handling of radios, communication protocols in disasters.

  • Emergency plan for pets

  • Renewable energy

  • Water collection and storage systems

  • First Aid and CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation)

  • Courses for various radio communications licenses:

    • Ham Radio License Technician

    • Ham Radio License General​

    • Ham Radio License Extra

To Be Resilient We Organize These Activities

  • Community and school fair-type activities to promote disaster preparedness, interest in radio communications and distribute information and supplies as well as offer demonstrations of first aid techniques, handling of tools such as chainsaws and machetes, among others.

  • Support to the other NPOs in Vieques and Culebra in disaster preparedness including radio communications

  • working with other NPOs and community members to create an inventory of the most vulnerable people and their needs in a disaster situation as support for the municipality and organizations that may come to Vieques to provide post-disaster assistance

  • Facilitate CERT and FEMA training.

  • Educational campaign on local social media

  • Post-disaster services from two resiliency centers equipped to provide photovoltaic power to charge cell phones, tablets and laptops; potable water, emergency radio communications and wifi.

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