Hurricane Sandy reached south-eastern Jamaica on 24 October 2012 as a Category 1 storm. The hurricane caused one fatality and injured several people. Fallen trees blocked several roads and made some communities inaccessible. Hospitals, clinics and health centres also suffered damage. The hurricane destroyed houses and led to collapsed roofs in some communities, while in others the local flooding as a result of the hurricane caused families to evacuate to community centers. The heavy winds had significant impact on the agricultural areas, leaving plantain, banana and sugar cane crops damaged.
Assessments and relief distributions were conducted by the Jamaica Red Cross and the Ministry of Labour and Social Services (MLSS) in the most affected parishes of St. Mary, St. Thomas and Portland. The assessment indicated that a total of 11,456 families have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Relief distributions were done in coordination with the Office for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. The initial plan of action focused on emergency response: relief, shelter and health, as well as early recovery/livelihoods. Low funding resulted in some planned activities not being implemented. The plan of action was revised to better reflect the current funding situation.
A total of 6,918 families were reached in the three most affected parishes. Across the three parishes, a total of 5,543 families were reached with non-food items, 1,011 families were reached with food and 364 families have been reached with mattresses. Validation of all assessments and distributions reports was completed using physical records and database information. The distributions of non-food items, food and mattresses were based on current needs to beneficiaries, thus resulting in more families reached than initially targeted. In coordination with other stakeholders, 140 persons were trained in Damage and Needs Assessment (DANA) and 135 in shelter management. Thus far, 8,000 students have been reached with youth violence prevention campaign, and 30 teachers were trained in psychosocial support, to support an average of 9,000 students.