As Tropical Storm Elsa rages across the Caribbean we revisit a conversation with climate change and disaster risk expert Kelli Armstrong. Start with the global pandemic, throw in a volcanic eruption and then add the Atlantic hurricane season – It’s near impossible to depart from the Caribbean’s vulnerability in any conversation of this nature. Natural disasters are not giving us space to recover so planning and preparation must be the order of the day. What goes into that planning? Lot’s of data, so we are grateful that people like Kelli are up to this task.
Kelli regales us with her early childhood experiences and love for the environment, her pursuit of environmental sciences and the academic determination and support which led to her current career. Disaster risk management is a community level effort as much as a national effort. We talk the importance of local practices for disaster-based preparedness as well as the critical importance of data collection to forecast based disaster planning. We get insights into regional approaches like the Caribbean Outlook Forum (CariCOF) which prepares forecasts for the region’s wet and dry seasons.
Adapting to climate change, preparing and responding to natural and non-natural disasters is an overwhelming effort. However the resilience of the region’s people is a refreshing reminder to keep moving forward.
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