The Perry Center concluded its Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) 2022 course on Friday, Aug 5. Led by Course Director Dr. Pat Paterson, nearly 40 participants from 17 countries were involved in the virtual five-day course which touched on multiple important HADR issues:
The course concluded with a tabletop simulation of a hurricane strike on a fictitious island in the Caribbean: Arcadia. Course participants, divided into three working groups, had to make recommendations about emergency assistance to the country. The exercise simulated conditions expected in the event of a catastrophic category 4 or 5 hurricane like those that struck Dominica in 2017 or the Bahamas in 2019.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Daniel Erikson, during his closing remarks, pointed out the numerous topics that the course touched: critical infrastructure; interagency coordination; regional cooperation; international assistance; emergency operation centers; evacuation procedures; joint personnel recovery centers; search and rescue; and international principles of humanitarian interventions, among others.
Climate change was also an important topic and course participants had a chance to hear from Dr. Anjuli Bamzai on the fourth day. Dr. Bamzai is the lead climate change scientist at the National Science Foundation in Washington, DC. Global warming is such an urgent concern that the Perry Center plans to offer its first-ever climate change course in May 2023.