June 25, 2021 | St. John’s, Antigua | Kay White
In preparation for the Atlantic hurricane season, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and the Community Services departments of the South Leeward Conference (SLC) conducted a virtual community response training. The two-day training, held from June 14 - 15, 2021, brought together Community Services leaders, ADRA coordinators, pastors, church members, and members of the public.
Entities such as the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) on Antigua, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on St. Kitts and the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross Society were invited to present during the sessions. Mr. Philmore Mullin (NODS director) conducted the first session on the importance of emergency centers. He shared that these emergency centers aid in preparation for storms and remain in operation during and after a disaster.
Pastor Kay White (SLC ADRA director) shared hurricane preparedness tips with the attendees. She emphasized the importance of households devising emergency response plans and preparing their homes for the arrival of a hurricane.
Ms. Sherry Joseph (Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross Society) conducted a comprehensive session on ‘Basic First Aid’ in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation prepared the attendees to respond to medical emergencies and preserve life while the emergency medical personnel are on their way.
The final session, focused on ‘Disaster Psychology’, was presented by Dr. Carson Greene (SLC president). He explained that disasters have significant impact on the mental stability of individuals. He also highlighted the importance of emergency volunteers having a basic understanding of disaster psychology and appropriate responses to catastrophic events.
It was noted that over 100 persons participated in the training, and from all reports, it was deemed a success. Attendees were informed that the sessions would become part of an overall certification, and plans are in the pipelines for ‘part two’ of this community response training.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is committed to promoting individual and community development in the areas of disaster training and relief. Sessions such as these show that the Church will continue to provide relevant ministries until Christ comes to bring the ultimate relief from all disasters.