Open Issue V3I1 - Thongs & Griffith | Journal of CESaRE
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Building Resilient Caribbean Small-Island Developing States Through Community-Based Disaster Risk Perceptions

Gabrielle Thongs, Kerri Griffith
Department of Geography The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine

Vol. 3, Issue 1, 2020.     DOI:  10.33277/cesare/003.001/03



The Caribbean’s susceptibility to natural disasters was reinforced after the multi-hazard impact of the 2017 hurricane season. Multiple disasters have caused severe physical, social, and economic loss in the region since the Caribbean’s disaster susceptibility encompasses more than physical exposure. These susceptibilities, however, have not translated into heightened disaster data collection or risk assessments. The fact is that the region currently lacks a standardized methodology to assess risk. In response to this absence, the ‘Caribbean Risk Information Tool’ (CRIT) was developed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Since assessing risk is a key aspect to increase resilience, this study seeks to investigate the usefulness of this community-based risk information tool, within the Caribbean context. The paper accordingly aims to examine the role of community-based and local-level approaches using a small island developing state case study. The present results are significant in at least three major respects. From the information collected through the CRIT in the Sangre Grande regional corporation, it was possible to identify the peak months of disasters, the hazards with the highest impact in the regional corporation, the most susceptible communities, the communities that are in immediate danger or crisis, as well as the natural and man-made triggers of the most impactful disasters. The continuous collection of this qualitative data hopes to, therefore, consistently inform mitigation and resilience strategies in the Caribbean.


Community-Based, Risk Assessment, Disaster Risk Perceptions, Small Island Developing State

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The Caribbean is disaster-prone and climate change is not making our region any less vulnerable. Thongs and Griffith explore the Caribbean Risk Information Tool (CRIT) to assess its usefulness in community-based approaches in Trinidad and Tobago.

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