CASTRIES, St. Lucia – A social media campaign promoting good practices for individuals and communities in an effort to be better prepared for natural hazards in the context of an epidemic has been launched by the Regional Intervention Platform for the Americas and the Caribbean of the French Red Cross (PIRAC).

Daily messages will be shared within the Caribbean region from September 15 to October 13, in honour of International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR).

This activity is the part of a wider regional public awareness campaign on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation under the ‘READY Together’ programme. The Red Cross Red Crescent movement considers it essential to remind individuals and communities from the Caribbean that they are exposed to natural hazards such as seismic, volcanic and hydro-meteorological hazards. Risks are exacerbated by social, economic and environmental vulnerability factors, low preparedness and response capacities, and a limited risk culture.

Increasing risk knowledge and promoting social and behavioural change are essential to reduce the vulnerabilities of individuals and communities. Through this regional campaign, PIRAC and its partners are expecting to contribute to long term community resilience to natural hazards and climate change. This campaign also aims at consolidating solidarity and interaction among Caribbean territories and populations who are facing similar significant natural hazards and epidemic risks, making the cooperation crucial.

Many Caribbean territories are currently facing COVID-19 and dengue epidemics which increases vulnerabilities. Despite the epidemic situation people have to maintain and adapt good practices to be prepared for natural hazards that can be exacerbated by climate change.

The one-month social media campaign will be disseminated within the Caribbean region via the network of partners of the READY Together programme: regional disaster management actors (the Caribbean Disaster Management Agency, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction), the EU INTERREG Caribbean programme, the French Development Agency (AFD), the Regional Council of Guadeloupe, the territorial delegations of the French Red Cross, as well as Red Cross National Societies and their partners. Visibility of the messages will be optimised thanks to the use of a common hashtag in all targeted social media networks (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter): #READY_Together.