The 2005 hurricane season wreaked havoc in the Caribbean region. The storms left a death toll of 2,280 people in their wake, with more than 3 million people displaced and an estimated USD100 billion in economic damage.
In response to a call for action from the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-06) to develop ICT-based solutions to cope with emergency situations, the International Telecommunication Union along with the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organszation (CTO) is organszing the Caribbean Forum 2006 on Using ICT for Effective Disaster Management. The event, which will be held in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Sept. 26-28, 2006, aims at improving early-warning communication and disaster preparedness in the Caribbean region while reducing vulnerability to natural disasters and mitigating their effects through the effective use of information and communication technologies (ICT). The three-day forum will address policy, regulatory and technological issues related to emergency telecommunications and look at practical ways by which ICT can help mitigate disasters. The event is intended for senior government and telecommunication regulatory officials, private sector organisations, disaster management agencies from the Caribbean Region, Western Caribbean Donor Groups, and civil society.