Perry Center Launches Virtual 2024 HADR Course
20240426 - HADR 2024
26 Apr 2024

On Monday, April 22, sixty participants gathered online for our 2024 Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) course. The annual week-long course is among the most popular offered by the Perry Center. This year, participants from 19 Latin American and Caribbean countries heard from experts about the risks, preparation, and responses to disasters, preservation of critical infrastructure, interagency coordination, regional cooperation, and international assistance.

The bilingual course convened experts from the region in Perry Center virtual classrooms. Participating authorities from regional and international HADR organizations represent the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, US Southern Command, and USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance. Course participants discussed case studies, including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the 2018 Volcan de Fuego eruption in Guatemala, and Hurricane Dorian’s landfall in the Bahamas in 2019. Climate change is an essential topic of discussion as global temperatures rise to dangerous conditions and cause more powerful cyclones, forest fires, droughts, and sea level rise.

Perry Center Director Dr. Paul J. Angelo greeted the participants on the first day and stressed the importance of examining ways to increase regional cooperation to respond to natural and human-made hazards throughout the Western Hemisphere, particularly in the Caribbean and Central America. Course director Dr. Patrick Paterson underscored the significance of the course in addressing the unique challenges of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The course concluded on Friday, April 26, with a practical tabletop exercise. This exercise tested the response abilities of course participants and provided them with hands-on experience in dealing with a scenario based on an actual event in the region. Perry Center Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Scott Tollefson provided closing remarks. The 2024 HADR faculty team was led by course director Dr. Patrick Paterson, with support from deputy course director Max Nathanson and facilitator Colonel (ret.) Glyne Grannum, former Chief of Defense of the Barbados Defence Force. Perry Center staff members Sydney Knapp, Liliana Besosa, and Raul Neine also assisted with course’s execution.