Preparedness, Response, Recovery

Objective three of the NDMO Strategic Plan 2017 – 2019 is to improve disaster management operations through prevention, preparedness, response and recovery phases.

This page contains information and resources relating to disaster management, and is periodically updated to reflect current operations.

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Current Operations

Project Pipeline

Donors & Contributions


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nq0_-3gA_hPNWRdI9Sptu6-9Ez-nm7lH/view?usp=sharing
On October 29, 2020, the National Disaster Committee approved a new addition to the RMI Condition Level: Condition Level Blue. The BLUE color comes as the RMI addresses its first 2 cases of COVID19 as “BORDER CASES”. What does this mean? As the case was identified at the border and has been subject to strict quarantine and safety measures, there is no immediate risk of the virus spreading in the community. This is why in response to the recent cases there will be no national lockdown measures and businesses and government operations will continue as normal until further notice.

 

Inundation in March 2014 was a result of swells generated by an extratropical storm raising water levels above normal. This made the shoreline of the Marshalls especially susceptible to further inundation and flooding from King Tides. The high waves inundated parts of Majuro, as well as other communities in the outer islands, including Arno and Mili. In the photo, Dr. Dean Jacobson who was a dedicated individual in bringing both the “perils and beauties” of the environment surrounding the islands. (photo credit: Karl Fellenius)

Even if a structure is elevated or built with flood resistant materials, during a typhoon or major tsunami shelter should be sought in designated shelters. It may be acceptable to shelter in place for smaller events, such as the March 2014 floods, however it is more than likely that inundation will be unpredictable. Thus if in doubt, evacuate to buildings that meet specific structural standards. (photo credit: Karl Fellenius)

Coastal erosion is a serious hazard as it causes the shoreline to move inland and thus puts houses and buildings at increased risk from wave inundation and flooding. Erosion can be caused by physical processes associated with a tropical cyclone, tsunami, extratropical storm, and/or sea-level rise.

Wave inundation and flooding during the 1979 extratropical storm in Majuro. Flooding at this location crossed the atoll. In some locations a channel was cut into the atoll.

Photo courtesy of Hamilton Library, University of Hawai‘i Pacific Collection.

During the 1979 inundation event, there were 100 to 300 houses that were destroyed. Many more were damaged. Wave inundation such as this is the reason elevating houses is covered in Part 4 of this book in order to reduce the risk of damage.

Photo courtesy of Hamilton Library, University of Hawai‘i Pacific Collection.

 

During the 1979 event, there was an estimated $26 million in property damage and major portions of Djarrit and Delap were covered in sediment.

Photo courtesy of Hamilton Library, University of Hawai‘i Pacific Collection.

Also during the 1979 event, over 5,000 people lost use of their homes due to flooding (Hoeke et al., 2013).

Photo courtesy of Hamilton Library, University of Hawai‘i Pacific Collection.

Preparing for natural hazards

This handbook was created by The University of Hawai’i Sea Grant College Program to help you prepare for natural hazards so that risks to your family and property may be reduced.

While it is never possible to eliminate all damage from a natural hazard, you as a homeowner can take action and implement many small and cost-effective steps that could significantly lower your risk. Mother Nature can be intense. Your family deserves the protection that only you can provide.

When a natural hazard occurs – whether it be a tropical cyclone, tsunami, extratropical storm, king tide, flood, sea-level rise, erosion, or drought – the results can be devastating for your land, your home, your family, and your possessions. Financial losses can be particularly high in the two administrative centers of the northern and southern Marshall Islands: Majuro and Ebeye.

These areas have seen explosive growth in both population and land area since the mid-1940s. This has been especially true in Majuro, where a number of lagoonal openings along Majuro Atoll were connected by the US Navy to form the single 30 mile strip of land that today is home to over half of the Marshall Islands population. With this aggregation of people and development in Ebeye, Kwajalein, and eastern Majuro especially, Marshall Islanders and their homes have become increasingly exposed to potentially dangerous natural hazards.


Credit: University of Hawai’i Sea Grant Program, June 2015

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RMI COVID19 Preparedness

With the Presidential Declaration of Health Emergency for COVID19, the National Disaster Committee are holding meetings 2x weekly in order to help prepare the country. RMI COVID19 Response Plan finalized on march 25 2020. Conference calls with technical assistance partners also being held.

Latest Press Release and Public Announcements from the Office of the Chief Secretary and the National emergency Operations Center link below: 

Travel Advisory #29: August 27, 2021

 

Project Pipeline

COVID19 Preparedness 

  • MODERNA VACCINE and Johnson and Johnson throughout the RMI
  • Revised RMI COVID19 Response Plan to include new 2021 activities is being drafted
  • National Disaster Committee weekly meeting
  • National Emergency Operations Center Activated 
  • Monthly COVID19 Travel Advisories in place
  • COVID19 Situation Reports
  • Handwashing Station have been completed in School in Majuro and Ebeye as well as various locations
  • Maritime and Airport SOPs in endorsed
  • Economic Impact Assessment make monthly payouts to local business affect by COVID19
  • Tranche 10 of Repatriation of RMI Citizens are in Kwaj Lodge Quarantine facility. 
  • Tranche 11 currently in Hawaii Quarantine at the Aqua Plams Hotel. 

COVID19 Awareness Campaigns

  • RMI COVID19 Condition Levels: Flags on display at Amata Kabua Boulevard. Fliers and poster have been distributed and posters on Billboards around Majuro atoll
  • Awareness materials on Pfizer Vaccination are currently being disseminated. 
  • Ministry of Health and Human Services vaccination incentives include a Nation Wide Raffle drawing of $1000.

RMI Cluster Updates

  • WASH with Gender and Protection Clusters Complete Vulnerability Assessment  on Majuro and Ebeye. Follow up survey now being conducted with response items being distributed. 
  • RVA food basket for Majuro commenced on Saturday July 03, 2021 and EbeyeRVA in progress. 
  • Food Security Agriculture Cluster  and Logistics Clusters have deployed RMI supplemental food supplies to the neighboring islands. This activity is completed.
  • Fishing Gears and Farming tools have been procured and the NEOC is working closely with Neighboring Islands local governments to get them out into the remote communities. 
  • Risk Communications and Community Engagement is in the process of conducting a Knowledge, Attitude and Practices survey (KAP) that will examine where the people in all levels of the community receive their information on COVID-19 and how effective are the RMI’s information and  communications tools.

Donors & Contributions

This space recognises the effort and generosity of our operational partners.

RMI Grateful for UAE’s Contribution Towards COVID-19 Efforts

12 January 2021

The Republic of the Marshall Islands received from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Government medical supplies to assist medical professionals through the provision of personal protective equipment (PPEs) supplies. These donations were stored in Fiji since late last year, to transport to a number of Pacific countries. RMI had an allocation of this donation with 25,000 surgical masks, 16,000 N95 masks, and 1,000 coveralls to assist in COVID-19 efforts.
With the assistance of the World Food Program (WFP) a charter flight was scheduled on December 14th, 2020 which delivered RMI’s allocation. The WFP’s Pacific humanitarian air service supports the work of the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 – a regional
coordination platform established by the 18 countries of the Pacific Islands Forum to facilitate timely and rapid movement of medical and humanitarian assistance across the region. It is also part of the greater Pacific Humanitarian Team COVID-19 Response Plan – a comprehensive regional response plan that seeks to consolidate efforts by UN agencies, governments, regional and multilateral organizations, NGOs, donors and development partners.

RMI is grateful for this contribution from the Government of the United Arab Emirates, in our continued efforts towards COVID-19 preparedness and response.

Rapid Vulnerability Assessment Interventions

 

The Rapid Vulnerability Assessment (RVA) was first undertaken in May this year in Majuro atoll and continued on to Ebeye. The focus firsthand was to assess the current status of WASH, focusing on the availability of running water in each household. After close consultations with other clusters, other questions were included in the survey that included gender, employment, communications and health.

The initial report for the Majuro assessment was provided to the National Disaster Committee in June and provided an evidence based picture of the challenges faced by households and provide a snapshot of the current situation to donor partners as well as the RMI’s preparedness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic relating to water, sanitation and hygiene.

Next Steps
Based on the results of the rapid assessment the NEOC will begin household COVID-19 preparedness interventions for the most vulnerable. This includes beginning with 36 households in Majuro. The households will receive WASH kits, AM/FM radio and Homecare Kits of masks and vital information. During the distribution the WASH cluster will complete a household assessment that will gather technical specifications for the household to connect to running water and the Gender and Protection Cluster will follow up on specific needs at the household level. Once the first round of households are complete the team will move onto the second priority group and continued based on funding availability. Interventions will begin week of November 9, 2020.
The second round of distribution of WASH kits, AM/FM radios and Homecare kits will be given to the 64 households that were identified in Priority Criteria 4. A follow up WASH survey will be done as well to identify what proper works needs to be done in regards of running water interventions. Intervention work will commence once materials for WASH, AM/FM and homecare kits are made available for distribution.
The third round of distribution of WASH kits, AM/FM radios and Homecare kits will be given to the 21 households that were identified in Priority Criteria 3. A follow up WASH survey will be done as well to identify what proper works needs to be done in regards of running water interventions. Intervention work will commence once materials for WASH, AM/FM and homecare kits are made available for distribution.
The fourth round of distribution of WASH kits, AM/FM radios and Homecare kits will be given to the 189 households that were identified in Priority Criteria 2. A follow up WASH survey will be done as well to identify what proper works needs to be done in regards of running water interventions. Intervention work will commence once materials for WASH, AM/FM and homecare kits are made available for distribution.

WASH CLUSTER

The fifth and final round of distribution of WASH kits, AM/FM radios and Homecare kits will be given to the 340 households that were identified in Priority Criteria 1. A follow up WASH survey will be done as well to identify what proper works needs to be done in regards of running water interventions.
Intervention work will commence once materials for WASH, AM/FM and homecare kits are made available for distribution.

A total of 646 homes will be provided assistance during this intervention.

Government of Japan

September, 2019

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), along with the Government of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), conducted its inaugural project inception and Board meeting in Majuro, on 30 August 2019 for the Disaster Risk Management project, funded by the Government of Japan.

The RMI was awarded US$7.4million for the implementation of the Disaster Risk Management project, “Enhancing Disaster and Climate Resilience through improved Disaster Preparedness and Infrastructure”. The project aims to improve RMIs capacity for preparedness and mitigation to geo-physical and climate related hazards; and enhance resilience to climate change impact in order to protect lives, sustain livelihoods, preserve the environment and safeguard the economy from consequences of different hazards.

 

Marshall Islands Red Cross Society (MIRCS)

April 8, 2020

Marshall Islands Red Cross volunteers continue to support the NDMO and the National Government on COVID19 Awareness and Preparedness measures in communities throughout Majuro and the outer islands. MIRCS is also taking the lead in psycho-social first aid training that will support the Mental Health Coalition during COVID19.