Dominican Rep.

Dominican Republic: Hurricane Irma (MDRDO010) DREF Operation Update (14 December 2017)


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Hurricane Irma impacted the Dominican Republic from Wednesday, 6 September 2017 through Thursday, 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, resulting in higher than usual rainfall; additionally, 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 vulnerable communities in rural areas. In addition to the effects of Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria struck the northern area of the country on 14 September 2017, worsening the conditions of the population already affected by Irma.

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 were 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. Finally, the National Society readied 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 (PSS), search and rescue, first aid and restoring family links [RFL]), and the National Society distributed relief items to initially support 2,096 families affected by Hurricane Irma.

After the passage of the Hurricane, the National Society deployed five DANA teams to the most affected provinces ((Montecristi, Santiago, Puerto Plata, Duarte, Espaillat, Dajabón, El Seybo, San Pedro de Macorís, La Altagracia, María Trinidad Sánchez y Samaná) and the Santo Domingo Province to conduct rapid evaluations, which took place from 8 September until mid-November 2017.
The United Nations (UN) Country Team, in support of the government, conducted a multi-sectorial DANA, and the National Society supported the assessment through the provision of DANA-trained volunteers and vehicles.

The DRC HAS distributed non-food items (NFIs) to 3,000 to families affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, such as Hygiene Kits, cooking kits, long-lasting insecticide treated [mosquito] nets (LLITNs) and repellent. The DRC’s water and sanitation teams have been able to produce and distribute 3,288,758 liters of water in the municipalities of Miches, El Seybo, Gaspar Hernandez and Ramon Santana throughout the emergency, benefiting 312,257 families.

Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country

The IFRC and Partner National Societies (PNSs) 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. Additionally, the Canadian Red Cross Society deployed a delegate to support a Real-Time Evaluation (RTE) of the National Society’s response. Lastly, 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.

Movement Coordination

ARO declared an orange alert for the event on 6 September 2017, and coordination was established between the Dominican Red Cross, Latin Caribbean country cluster, and ARO. To provide more comprehensive support to the National Society, both the Country Cluster team in Haiti and ARO office moved three delegates (coordination, planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting [PMER] and information technology [IT]), who accompanied the relevant National Societies activities in their response to the hurricane. Finally, ARO developed a Dashboard to monitor the storm’s progress.

Overview of non-RCRC actors in country

The government of the Dominican Republic activated the country’s national disaster response system and the system’s municipal committees of preparedness, mitigation and response (PMR); in addition, 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.