16 May 2013, Dhaka.
Photo copyright: BRAC/Ferdous Uddin Ahmad.
As Bangladesh braces itself for cyclone Mahasen hitting its coastal areas today, a combined effort by different BRAC programmes, including Disaster, Environment & Climate Change (DECC), is mobilising precautions. The coast between Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar currently hoists a danger level of 7, on a scale of 1 to 11.
Standard operation procedures (SOP), established by DECC, are being followed to maximise the efficiency and resources of all necessary actions taken during different phases of this natural disaster. Emergency team meetings are being held in BRAC’s field offices and a situation room, activated in Dhaka’s head office to coordinate a prompt response, is managing constant updates from over a dozen districts as well as different international and national weather modelling sources.
District BRAC Representatives (DBR) in coastal districts formed the Incident Command System (ICS), following BRAC’s SOP, and are compiling resource maps, making inventories, disseminating information on protocols to the public, listing necessary emergency materials and identifying possible retail vendors that can help. They are also working with local authorities such as in Chittagong, Bagerhat, Cox’s Bazar, Barisal and Khulna, which are conducting consecutive emergency meetings to assess the situation.
BRAC closed its schools in vulnerable areas yesterday and ensured all government and BRAC cyclone shelters were opened and properly prepared. It is also providing meals for evacuated community members at cyclone shelters as and where necessary.
The extended BRAC family, including village organisation members, community health workers, school teachers and adolescent leaders, are being advised to carry out their roles as first responders alongside BRAC staff. Teams from BRAC’s Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH), Health, Nutrition and Population programme (HNPP) and DECC are also ready to provide support as first responders if an emergency situation arises.
For up to date information as the situation develops, please check our blog.
Media spokesperson from BRAC:
Dr Babar Kabir
Senior Director, Disaster, Environment & Climate Change
For Bangladesh Media:
Mahbubul Alam Kabir
Sr. Media Manager, Communications
For International Media:
For International Media(From May 21st):
Deputy Manager, Communications