Jackie Bubb is volunteering as a Disaster Risk Reduction Officer with World Vision in Vanuatu. She will complete her assignment in February 2019.
Published on 31st May 2017
World Vision / VSA volunteer Jackie Bubb worked tirelessly on the ground in Vanuatu during Tropical Cyclone Donna. She shares her experience here...
Cyclone Donna swept through Vanuatu and stayed for close to a week in early May 2017.
In my role as a Disaster Risk Reduction officer with World Vision Vanuatu, I assisted in setting up the Sanma Province Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). The EOC became operational two days before the cyclone passed by the province and was operational 24/7.
We were able to set up some co-ordination systems and put warnings out to the public before the cyclone impacted.
On the night of the cyclone, we recorded over 1500 evacuees in 27 evacuation centres in Luganville and neighbouring Fanafo area council. Information was unavailable for other areas where there was no coverage or that were impacted by communication outages.
Teams formulated plans to make assessments across Santo and clusters started to formulate technical response plans.
The EOC was coordinated by staff and agencies including Sanma Provincial Government Council, Luganville Municipality, Red Cross, World Vision, Save the Children, ADRA, Disability Promotion and Advocacy Association and the Frangipani Association, Vanuatu Police Force, Vanuatu Mobile Force and others.
We asked for the support of other VSA volunteers to assist when we got busy. Department of Tourism volunteer Kay Clarke pitched in as a data officer at EOC.
I felt proud of what our EOC team could achieve in challenging circumstances and with very limited resources. We had just one computer provided for the entire EOC.
It has been a great learning opportunity for me and has given me a great amount of respect for the staff who put their own families and personal lives on hold to assist with the response.
Photo credit: Steeve N. Ayong