Hurricane Response: Learning from Disaster Management in Haiti

For Rita Sciarra, Project Manager for the United Nations Development Programme disaster response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, preparation for disasters is key to effective response. She talks about the critical steps to creating a good disaster response program, multilateral coordination efforts with local governments, and the role of technology in ongoing disaster response. She talks about how the increasing number of hurricanes in the Caribbean could make affected islands increasingly vulnerable to more damage and the importance of preparing communities not traditionally affected by hurricanes as they become increasingly common in the Atlantic. “The statistics say we are going to have more and more disasters and less and less money,” she says. But there’s still hope. With better public sector planning in advance of disasters, governments like Mexico are learning to avoid loss of life on the scale of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.