The Red Cross Red Crescent is helping thousands of people who have been affected by Hurricane Gustav’s path through Haiti and the Dominican Republic – and is gearing up to protect people in Cuba.
Many of the affected communities are still recovering from the impact of 2007’s Hurricanes Dean and Noel.
Red Cross societies across the region are analysing weather conditions and mobilizing highly-trained disaster response and preparedness volunteers. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is monitoring the situation from its regional base in Panama and coordinating the response.
Dr Michaele Gédéon, president of the Haitian Red Cross, says: “With early warning action and use of pre-positioned stock here in Haiti, we can now say that our disaster preparedness process saves lives.”
Red Cross societies in Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and other countries in the region are working in partnership with their respective governments and well as their colleagues from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
“Our volunteers have the capacity to support the people affected by Gustav because they have the necessary skills – all that they require is financial, material and technical support,” says Xavier Castellanos, deputy head of the IFRC’s Americas zone.