Palau state representatives trained on initial damage assessment post disaster

Palau state representatives are currently undergoing a three-day training to conduct initial damage assessments after disasters using the National Emergency Committee-adopted Initial Damage Assessment form.

The development of the Initial Damage Assessment form and training is funded by the European Union’s Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project which is implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community or SPC.

The training, facilitated by SPC’s Geoscience Division, adopts training materials that have been delivered across the Pacific since 1995 and incorporate the latest thinking in disaster risk management.

Participants from the 16 states of Palau were appreciative of the efforts to standardize the assessment forms given the challenges faced during the responses to Typhoon Bopha and Haiyan in 2012 and 2013.

Typhoon Bopha inflicted damage estimated around $6.3 million while the Typhoon Haiyan damage bill was estimated to be around $8.5 million.

The new form and training will help ensure that state offices can better coordinate assessments of all affected families in their state jurisdiction and submit the information to the National Emergency Operation Center within the first 24 hours after the impact.

The timely availability of sound damage information will assist the National Emergency Operation Centre to better prioritize and coordinate distribution of humanitarian assistance to the victims.

The Anguar State representative, Ken Uyehara, commented that Anguar was assessed very late after Bopha as the assessors were deployed from the capital, and by involving the state, it will ensure that timely assessment is carried out and humanitarian needs identified promptly.

The training concludes on 18 September 2015.