Tragic stories emerging from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Haitian Earthquake in 2010 revealed the extent to which the initial damage of a natural disaster can be compounded by disabled or poorly-functioning ports. As they struggle to restore normal operations, port authorities often face complicated issues arising from the absence of sound policies, logistical preparedness, cooperation between agencies, etc.
The Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region must develop highly functioning, highly resilient ports to ensure timely, effective responses that maximize humanitarian relief efforts and minimize the collateral harm of natural disasters. In response to this urgent need, Americas Relief Team (ART) initiated and manages the Port Resiliency Program (PReP). PReP provides LAC ports with technical, material, and strategic support to help them tackle the complex challenges inherent in preparing for and responding to a crisis.
PReP’s fundamental approach is to help airports and seaports identify and address logistical and strategic weaknesses and build on existing strengths. Participants are coached in evaluating their unique risks and current plans as well as identifying gaps in preparedness. The program guides airports and seaports as they strive to close identified gaps through custom-tailored training, exercise, monitoring, and mentoring. A continuous improvement cycle ensures that best management practices are shared as more and more ports are served.
|The Need||The PReP Solution|
|Non-formalized, inadequately communicated standard operating procedures (SOPs) create a disjointed, harried response, particularly in the early phases of recovery.||A planned, well-communicated set of SOPs provides a valuable roadmap for essential port personnel. Procedures are formalized, and the approach is unified and coordinated. Disaster response practices are coordinated with Strategic Operations Centers’ (SOCs’) pre-positioned goods as well as with the efforts of all partner alliance organizations.|
|Port personnel are inadequately trained.||Trained port personnel with a full understanding of SOPs, including how to best use materiel in the SOCs, are on standby for short-notice dispatch when disaster strikes.|
|Key participating organizations (vendors, suppliers, local government, NGOs, Consuls General, etc.) lack coordination.||An alliance of organized, mapped member organizations coordinates and harmonizes efforts, preventing confusion and redundancy.|
PReP is designed to improve the disaster readiness of airports and seaports in the LAC region. PReP applies lessons learned from recent disasters along with widely received best practices to assist regional ports in advancing continuity of operations. The program promotes capacity building, implements resiliency assessment and planning activities, and provides post-disaster technical and commodities support. It is based on the creation, development, and dissemination of state-of-the art disaster mitigation standard operating procedures and training. PReP seeks to achieve the swift revitalization of the logistics supply chain after a disaster, facilitating the rapid delivery of much-needed aid and stabilizing traumatized communities.