Dominica: Lessons Learned from Hurricane Maria

Publication language
Date published
01 Jan 2018
Lessons papers
Disaster preparedness, resilience and risk reduction, Hurricanes, Response and recovery

The examination of best practices and lessons learned from humanitarian efforts offer valuable insight for making improvements on the execution of future efforts. As part of the H2H Network, ACAPS has provided an analytical Lessons Learned product to support decision-making in Dominica following Hurricane Maria.

Key findings:

  • UN agencies, NGOs, and government employees sharing the same workspace helped collaboration and information sharing. 
  • Sector-specific and cross-sector coordination meetings allowed agencies and government actors to share information that reduced delays and increased collaboration between actors. 
  • The lack of reliable baseline data greatly hampered efforts and delayed carrying out assessments and distributions properly during the response. 
  • Better communication and collaboration between UN agencies, actors, and CDEMA was needed, to avoid considerable delays in assessments and overlap in activities. 
  • Appropriate and context-specific communication mechanisms need to be tailored in order to ensure two-way communication with affected communities, taking vulnerable and at-risk communities in consideration. 
  • Local technical staff were over stretched and exhausted. Agencies are encouraged to build up their technical surge capacity in preparation of an emergency.