Local August 24, 2023 | 8:26 am

Disaster expert says protocols are not kept in the Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo.- When a hydrometeorological threat looms over a region, the paramount goal is to minimize risk factors and mitigate potential damages. Disaster management experts emphasize the indispensable role of protocols during such times of atmospheric peril, yet it appears that local authorities, including city councils and governorates, fail to internalize the lessons from past experiences.

Martin Melendez, a disaster management specialist, highlights the repeated errors made by local authorities in the wake of tropical storm Franklin’s passage. He questions the current actions of cleaning streets, picking up garbage, and pruning trees in the midst of the storm, asserting that such activities are inappropriate and against the recommended protocols for these situations.

During an interview, Melendez criticized the responses of certain mayors who failed to mention the implementation of flood protocols. He underscores the significance of protocols, which guide actions before, during, and after a disaster event. These protocols must address fundamental questions such as what actions to take, who is responsible, how to execute tasks, and establish response timelines.

Melendez distinguishes between emergency and contingency plans devised by surveillance and relief agencies and the specific protocols that local authorities should adhere to. He emphasizes the necessity of every agency fulfilling its designated role in a timely and effective manner, particularly in preventing tragic incidents like deaths resulting from flooding.

The disaster management expert emphasizes that the present situation should not result in further tragedies, underscoring the value of proactive prevention. He calls for a thorough review of the lessons learned from the current event to inform future strategies for addressing similar circumstances.

Melendez draws attention to the significance of the Territorial Ordinance Law, approved recently but yet to have the necessary regulations for implementation. He highlights the urgent need for such regulations, as they play a crucial role in guiding settlements and land use in vulnerable areas, minimizing inappropriate land management practices that exacerbate risks during emergencies.

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Paul Tierney
August 24, 2023 9:05 am

It is known protocols for anything in the RD are not followed. The biggest abuser is the government.

Think about big developers in the RD who get permits from gov’t without question.