Danielle Coleman assisting BVI Red Cross

| 26/09/2017
CNS Local Life

Danielle Coleman

(CNS Local Life): Danielle Coleman, Deputy Director of Preparedness and Planning with Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI), has been deployed to the British Virgin Islands to help with aid efforts. She will assist the BVI Red Cross and the BVI Department of Disaster Management following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. Coleman, who left Friday for BVI, will be in the devastated territory for a month, following an official request from the Red Cross to the Cayman Islands Government.

“Through our conversation with the Cayman Islands Red Cross we are aware of the tremendous support and solidarity the Government of the Cayman Islands has shown towards the people of Anguilla,” said Kevin Studds, country manager of the overseas branches of the British Red Cross, who made the appeal on behalf of the BVI branch. He specifically requested the help of Coleman to support the relief efforts in BVI, stated a Cayman Islands Government press release.

Coleman has considerable experience in disaster relief operations, having worked for Cayman Islands Red Cross for five years, liaising closely with colleagues in other British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean.

She is also a member of the International Federation of the Red Cross’s Emergency Response Unit (logistics), the Americas Regional Intervention team, and a trainer for both community based psychosocial support and the National Intervention team. She has also undergone significant training in shelter and security management.

“Given her current role at HMCI, she also has an understanding of the workings of a national disaster management office, which will be important in order to support the BVI Department of Disaster Management to the best effect,” Studds said. “She knows the staff and volunteers of the BVI Red Cross well, and would integrate seamlessly, which is so important in the current context, when time is of the essence.”

In 2004, Coleman contributed to the Cayman Islands Government’s response and recovery following Hurricane Ivan, and undertook recovery work in Thailand for six months following the Indian Ocean tsunami later that year.

“I am really honoured and humbled to have been selected for this deployment by the British and BVI Red Cross,” she said. “Having worked with the overseas branches of the Red Cross for several years, I look forward to assisting them and the BVI government with the response and recovery from the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. I strongly believe that such experience can not only help BVI but also our own response-capacity in the future here in the Cayman Islands.”

Coleman’s role in BVI is expected to include damage assessment in communities, aid distribution and coordinating with other emergency relief stakeholders.

“I am very pleased that Ms Coleman is going to help our neighbours-in-need in the British Virgin Islands,” said Premier Alden McLaughlin. “Ms Coleman is experienced in disaster relief and we are proud that she has been called upon to assist during this urgent situation.”

Tara Rivers, Minister for Home Affairs, added, “In addition to providing critical support to BVI at this time, the practical experience to be gained by Ms Coleman is a tremendous opportunity for Hazard Management Cayman Islands.

“This experience will assist in the development of our own capacity to manage during the aftermath of such natural disasters should the need arise.”

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