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Communities consider their vulnerabilities and capacities and look to build resilience.

Published 14th December 2017, 1:25pm

The annual CERT Challenge has taken a completely different format this year. Instead of bringing the teams together to practice and compete using skills acquired during training, the 2017 CERT Challenge motivated teams to dive back into their own communities, re-assess their strengths and challenges, consider how best to build capacity by identifying the community needs, attempt to fix the issue or mitigate against it, or just do something really beneficial to uplift and improve their local area and people.

CERTs across the island were given a detailed brief that required them to identify the vulnerabilities and capacities (VCA) in their own communities, look at the risks, meet with key stakeholders and determine ways they could build community capacity and resilience. They were also asked to present three potential mitigation projects that they would like to see happen in their community within a specific budget.

Prior to the challenge, HMCI and the Cayman Islands Red Cross agreed that the team proposals would be required to conform to certain principles of equity, equanimity and integrity, and each team would be given 20 minutes to pitch their ideas to the panel, followed by a 10 minute Question and Answer session. The panel consisted of the Deputy Governor, Honourable Franz Manderson, HMCI Director, McCleary Frederick and CIRC Director, Jondo Obi who were tasked with adjudicating the various proposals. The team with the best proposal would receive six thousand dollars towards their mitigation project, the second place received three thousand, and the third would be awarded one thousand.

“It was a difficult task as all teams had put considerable time and effort into their presentations and we were impressed with the level of commitment demonstrated by CERT members” commented HMCI Director, McCleary Frederick.

Whilst it was a very close call between North Sound Gardens, West Bay and Prospect, Prospect CERT were awarded first place with funds going towards a Siren system for the community. In second place, West Bay CERT were awarded $3000 towards equipment and the setting up of a CERT Headquarters and North Sound Garden came in third place with funds going towards a wheelchair ramp and community equipment.

All funds will be spent over an agreed period of time with appropriate monitoring and oversight provided by HMCI and Red Cross.

For more information please contact HMCI Deputy Director, Danielle Coleman at 244-3143