The United States military and Taiwan will provide disaster support to Palau should emergency events such as typhoon strike.

In August, members of the US military as part of the Pacific Partnership together with Taiwan and Palau, held a three-day disaster management workshop here to discuss a coordinated response to disasters.

Regional Civil-Military Coordination Program Manager and Chief of Plans, Programs, and Analysis at the US Department of Defense Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance Clyde Louchez in an interview said it is crucial that nations that are allies work together to prepare for disasters.

“The ability to work together, the ability to make people aware of what they need to do, and that they are protected and supported with the appropriate measures and mediums is of paramount importance because it’s something that no one person can do alone, it is imperative that everybody worked together and countries and organizations that are allies know how to help one another. So with the workshop, we were hoping to increase our interoperability, our ability to work together,” Louchez said in an interview.

In April, Palau was hit by Typhoon Surigae and Louchez said that a key to managing disasters is to be prepared especially with many who have to face the impacts of climate change.
‘Many countries don’t think about emergency preparedness, emergency response until an actual emergency…And so the ability to understand your geography, your strengths, your weaknesses, and what needs to be done, obviously makes it very important because typhoons aren’t going to go away with the impacts of climate change. We all have to be prepared and be aware of what’s to come,” he said.

Louchez said in the workshop Taiwan shared technical expertise and the different equipment and technology that they use to help early warning and preparedness for disasters.

 He said the aim of disaster preparedness is to reduce the impact of disasters.

 “The time to be prepared is not when a disaster hits. Disaster Preparedness, disaster resiliency should be 20 473 165 days a year, everybody should always be prepared for the worst… So understanding that disasters are indiscriminate, disasters don’t care who it is. They don’t look at anything but what’s in their path and so the importance of being prepared, I would say is key.”  (B. Carreon)

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