A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
Hurricane Irma impacted the Dominican Republic from 6 September 2017 through 7 September. The eye of the storm passed north-east of the coastline of the country, creating storm surge along the country’s northern coast and causing wind and flood damage to vulnerable communities. The country experienced a higher than usual rainfall, and tropical storm winds were felt 270 km away from the hurricane’s eye in Santo Domingo. The hurricane impacted coastal towns and mountainous areas, particularly communities in rural areas.
Summary of the current response
Overview of Host National Society
In anticipation of a direct impact from Hurricane Irma, the Dominican Red Cross activated its internal disaster response protocols in coordination with the national disaster response system; the National Society also carried out national assessments before the storm to identify critical areas that are likely to pose a challenge to its response activities.
Additionally, the DRC activated the Community Disaster Response Teams (Community Networks) to respond to a potential emergency. The National Society has been readying its emergency stock, equipment (21 water purification units, 5 water trucks) and emergency teams (Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA), water and sanitation (WATSAN), psychosocial support, search and rescue, first aid and restoring family links (RFL). The National Society distributed relief items to support 2,000 families affected by Hurricane Irma.
After the passage of the Hurricane, the National Society deployed five damage and needs assessments teams to the most affected provinces (Montecristi, Santiago, Puerto Plata, Maria Trinidad Sanchez, El Seybo y Hato Mayor and Samana) and the Santo Domingo Province to conduct rapid evaluations from 8 to 10 September 2017.
The UN Country Team, in support of the government, is conducting a multi-sectorial DANA; the National Society is supporting the assessment through the provision of DANA-trained volunteers and vehicles.
Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country The IFRC and Partner National Societies (PNS) do not have a physical presence in country; consequently, the Caribbean country cluster office in Haiti and the IFRC’s regional office for the Americas (ARO) in Panama have deployed an operations coordinator and an information management (IM) officer to the DRC. The Canadian Red Cross Society, as a bilateral collaboration, deployed a delegate to support a Real-Time Evaluation of the National Society’s response. The Spanish Red Cross has been closely monitoring the situation, and it is ready to provide support either from its country office in Haiti or its national headquarters in Spain.
The Regional Office of the Americas (ARO) declared an Orange Alert for the event on 6 September 2017, and coordination among the Dominican Red Cross, the Latin Caribbean country cluster office and the ARO was established.
Additionally, to obtain more detailed information a Dashboard was developed a to monitor the storm’s progress.
Overview of non-RCRC actors in country
The government of the Dominican Republic has activated the country’s national disaster response system and the system’s municipal committees of preparedness, mitigation and response (PMR). The government activated its Ministry of Public Works contingency plan to expedite the clearing of blocked drains and the trimming of overhanging tree branches from power lines.