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close this bookDisasters Preparedness and Mitigation - Issue No. 06 - January, 1981 (PAHO)
View the documentFood and nutrition in the wake of disaster
View the documentNews from PAHO and WHO
View the documentNotes from other agencies
View the documentMember countries
View the documentMyths and reality: Communicable disease following natural disasters
View the documentCountry disaster preparedness programs
View the documentReview of publications
View the documentSelected bibliography

Country disaster preparedness programs

With this issue, Disaster Preparedness in the Americas begins the publication of brief descriptions of the disaster preparedness structures of member countries. One or two countries will be covered in each issue.


In Barbados, the Central Emergency Relief Organization is directly responsible to the Prime Minister. It consists of a coordination council, an executive committee and a secretary. The government ministries and the departments have been assigned functions in emergencies that are based on broadening their usual responsibilities. A nation-wide communications system is the responsibility of the police, which functions out of stations covering the country's 15 districts. Further information can be obtained from: Chairman CERO, Prime Minister's Office, Government Headquarters, Bridgetown, Barbados.


The Chilean National Emergency Office of the Ministry of the Interior (ONEMI), is responsible to the Ministry of the Interior and is in charge of the development of the general executive emergency plan and the regional emergency center organizations. Once the final plan has been developed, ONEMI will assume the control and coordination of the operations and will coordinate whatever national and international assistance is required. Should a disaster strike more than one national region, ONEMI will designate a Chief of Zone to take executive charge of relief operations.

The thrust of the program is to utilize what structures already exist rather than creating new ones, with the aim in mind of maximizing the utilization of, limited resources. Further information may be obtained from: Plan Nacional de Emergencia (ONEMI), Ministerio del Interior, Beaucheff 1637, Santiago, Chile.