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Preparing for extreme weather in the Eastern Caribbean: What role for forecast-based early action?

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Key messages

• The increasingly severe impacts of cyclones, floods and drought in the Eastern Caribbean necessitates a rethink in the way OECS member states prepare for disasters and build longer-term resilience.

• Preparedness plans are typically out of date and disaster risk management agencies have limited resources. As a result, actions taken when extreme weather is forecast are ad hoc and incomplete.

• Establishing a framework for forecast-based early action could help address these weaknesses in preparedness and reduce disaster impacts. Such a framework would link impact-based forecasts with early action plans, disaster risk finance and predefined channels for targeting assistance to vulnerable groups.

• There is huge potential to pool resources and strengthen coordination of preparedness at the regional level, as well as enhancing national preparedness systems. Options include creating a regional savings scheme to ensure reliable funding for early action and response, and developing a regional shock-responsive social protection system.

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