Preparing You

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Preparing You!


Preparing You’ in a disaster management and emergency evacuation programme for persons with special needs.  In 2015, the Digicel Foundation collaborated with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) to implement the disaster risk reduction intervention for special needs schools throughout Trinidad and Tobago.  The programe was initially funded by the UNDP Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) for two years.  In 2018, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) came on board to sponsor ‘Preparing You’ for an additional two years.  To date, it has impacted 1000 beneficiaries from 18 schools with an investment of US$315,000.

The programme comprises three stages;

  1. A ‘Train the Trainer’ training component facilitated by the ODPM and officers from the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Prevention Unit
  2. A student training aspect, where alternative teaching methods are used to build capacity in students with intellectual disabilities. Alternative teaching methods include: puppet shows, music, dance, role-play and learning through virtual reality.
  3. A safety assessment of the educational facility.  This assessment is conducted by Fire Services and Health and Safety Officers who help build evacuation plans and design drills for each school, assign muster points and install fire safety equipment including emergency and strobe lighting and  egress points. 

In the four years, ‘Preparing You’ has produced four instructional videos where persons with disabilities are the featured talent.  Each video provides insight on disaster preparedness in the event of a natural disaster.  In 2018, the Digicel Foundation incorporated a virtual reality game called ‘Masters of Prep’, as part of the initiative.


Masters of Prep

Masters of Prep’  is an interactive virtual reality game that engages persons with disabilities to identify hazards within the home and mitigating tools.  The game is presented in the form of an animated room where they player participates in a school or home hazard hunt.   Parents, caregivers and students will also learn tips and tricks about how to prepare for a disaster while at school or home. The goal is to show the target audience that if properly prepared, the risk of disasters can be reduced and or avoided.  ‘Masters of Prep’, has six selections for the hazard hunt: adverse weather alert, hurricane alert, earthquake, fire, emergency kit preparation and an evacuation drill.      

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Preparing You