Next Step in Pacific Disaster Response

As New Zealand still recovers from Cyclone Pam, Red Cross staff from around the Pacific met in Suva, New Zealand, this weekend to coordinate their responses. In light of what happened in New Zealand, the head of the pacific delegation for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, Aurelia Balpe, said that disasters affect countries in different ways and that they needed to tailor their input to the extreme weather events to each community’s needs and contexts.

For Cyclone Pam, the IFRC (International Federation of the Red Cross) aimed to raise nearly 6 million (in US dollars) to aid 81,000 people in 13,400 households. Additional relief aid would come in the form of clothing, help with water supply and sanitation.

Jacqueline De Gaillande, The Vanuatu Red Cross Society’s chief executive, said that the weekend this meeting was “an opportunity to learn from each other and ensure that the next steps in the response were as effective as effective as they could be.”


This relates well to our hazards class because we’re interested in the steps taken after a disaster to help prevent and mitigate future disaster in the future and to have the best response to a disaster. A lot that we learned in this class was directly related to learning from mistakes made in response to past hazards. Learning from that, we’re able to better prepare in the present and the future.