Government of Trinidad and Tobago
Facebook Twitter YoutubeInstagram

You are here




Monday 15th November, 2021                                                                                                   For Immediate Release




“Hope for the best but prepare for the worst!” These were the words echoed by the CEO of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), Major General (Retired) Rodney Smart, as the agency continues to encourage All of Society preparedness, for the closing weeks of the 2021 Hurricane and Wet Seasons, which end officially on November 30th and December 31st respectively. At the time, the CEO was commenting on the current Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) training and simulation exercise, which the ODPM is hosting for key sectors in Trinidad and Tobago.

The PDNA is an internationally accepted methodology that aims to enhance our country’s capacity to thoroughly understand effects, damages, and losses, as well as to adequately prioritise resources for recovery and reconstruction, after a national disaster event. This initiative, “Advancing the Preparedness for Recovery Programme in Trinidad and Tobago” is being undertaken with the United Nations Development Programme’s support, through a tripartite agreement between the United Nations, the World Bank Group and the European Union.

The exercise, which is being led by Dr. Asha Kambon as the lead facilitator, is using as its backdrop, the severe weather event of October 2018, when several communities inclusive of Greenvale, Sangre-Grande, St. Helena, Kelly Village, Penal, Debe, Diego Martin, and Barrackpore were flooded. Exercise participants are using the post-flood data and information to ascertain the total damage and losses that occurred within the composite productive, social and infrastructure sectors.

Meanwhile, a second output of this exercise is the development of a comprehensive, national database of critical assets and capabilities, utilising the data and information collected from this simulation, as well as current and historical events and impacts. Hence, should a national disaster occur at any point in the near future, Trinidad and Tobago will possess a current database upon which an effective assessment of damage and loss can be undertaken, which will assist in building back better and faster.

The ODPM was pleased to extend this capacity building exercise to Ministries and agencies critical to the recovery effort. These include the Ministries of National Security; Rural Development and Local Government; Works and Transport; Finance; Energy and Energy Industries; Health; Public Utilities; Social Development and Family Services; Sport and Community Development; Divisions of the Tobago House of Assembly, including the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and the UNDP.

This endeavour is timely as it coincides with COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference aimed at arriving at solutions to the global climate crisis and by extension, to reduce the increasing frequency and intensity of disasters. The CEO concluded his remarks by appealing to all participants to remain prepared and not to become complacent as the end of the Hurricane and Wet Seasons are approaching. He indicated that as late as it is, all it takes is one event to cause serious social, economic, environmental and technological disruption to a nation’s development.

Photo and Caption:


Photo and Caption 1: A cross-section of representatives of key agencies participating in the ODPM’s five-day multi-stakeholder virtual training exercise on the Post Disaster Needs Assessment Methodology, under the theme “Advancing the Preparedness for Recovery Programme in Trinidad and Tobago,” with the support of the United Nations Development Programme, and through a tripartite agreement between the United Nations, World Bank Group and the European Union.




Issued by:

Public Information, Education and Community Outreach Unit





Hazard Maps         Emergency Contacts