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close this bookDisaster Reports Number 5: Hurricane Gilbert in Jamaica, September, 1988 (PAHO-OPS, 1988, 42 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPrologue
View the documentBackground
View the documentThe hurricane and its effects
View the documentThe surveillance system
View the documentRelief shelters
View the documentPreparedness and response
View the documentLessons learned
View the documentAppendix 1
View the documentAppendix 2
View the documentReferences


There is no doubt that disasters can yield valuable lessons. These lessons, when shared with other countries with similar vulnerabilities, are an important step toward avoiding costly mistakes in the future. Yet postdisaster data is perishable. If it is not collected and analyzed soon after a disaster, valuable information will quickly disappear.

With this in mind, the Pan American Health Organization commissioned the University of the West Indies to collect information and data in the wake of Hurricane Gilbert and prepare a report for the Organization's Disaster Reports series.

The report that follows was compiled under the competent, dedicated supervision of Dr. Wilma Bailey of the Department of Geography of the University of the West Indies, Kingston. We wish to thank Dr. Bailey and the University for their efforts.

Part of the material contained herein originated in a report prepared by a team from the Pan American Health Organization (June, 1989) at the request of the Ministry of Health. The team was comprised of Dr. Norma Andrews, PAHO/WHO Representative at the time of Hurricane Gilbert, Ms. Sybil Brooks, Mr. Ernesto Dobrovsky, Mr.James Murray, Mr. Cortez Nurse, Dr. Homero Silva and Mr. David Taylor. This group acknowledged the valuable cooperation provided to them by the personnel of the Ministry of Health both in Kingston and in the parishes.

The Emergency Preparedness Program thanks Mr. Taylor and Dr. Silva for their review of the final manuscript.