The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) has activated its Early Action Protocol (EAP) for Cyclone Amphan. The EAP trigger was met on 18 May 2020 using the Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) and Bangladesh Meteorological Department’s (BMD) Numerical Weather Product. The trigger was met once there was a forecast of a cyclone making landfall in Bangladesh with wind speeds greater than 125km/h. This forecast was combined with an exposure and vulnerability map to estimate the percentage of houses that could be at risk of destruction in each union. All unions with greater than 25 per cent of houses at risk of being totally damaged were placed on a “priority” list and ranked according to a vulnerability index. The EAP is implemented in as many unions as possible, starting with the most vulnerable on the priority list and proceeding down in order of vulnerability (see Table 1).
Most areas in Shatkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Potuakhali, Pirojpur, Borguna, Bhola, Noakhali, and Lakshmipur districts are expected to experience house damage to more than 25 per cent of total houses.
BDRCS will target 40 cyclone shelters in 18 unions in 9 districts which have more than 25 per cent of houses damaged. BDRCS will provide, with the support of volunteers from the Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP):
1) Support for evacuation of people, livestock, moveable assets (through vehicles);
2) Food and water in the cyclone shelters;
3) basic first aid service at the cyclone shelters for injuries and sickness.
To ensure the safety of the targeted population, BDRCS staff and volunteers, and CPP volunteers in the context of COVID-19, the following measures are being put in place, in accordance with Government advice:
• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is being distributed to BDRCS volunteers and staff, CPP volunteers, and to the targeted population.
• Overall capacity of cyclone shelters is augmented by making alternative spaces, such as schools and government building, available as cyclone shelters to allow for social distancing within the cyclone shelters.
• Hygiene items for hand sanitation are being provided at the cyclone shelters.
• COVID-19 risk communication and health promotion for the targeted population.
• Cleaning and disinfection of cyclone shelters.
The early action will be completed on 22 May 2020.