THE painstaking process of rebuilding and recovery is now underway following the damage caused to our Caribbean neighbours by the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The damage reports and scenes of devastation are mind-boggling, especially in the case of our OECS sister island, Dominica, which suffered a direct hit from the Category 5 hurricane Maria. With such extensive damage to be repaired, how exactly do we proceed with rebuilding a country that has been battered by one of the greatest forces of nature?
We can view this mammoth task of rebuilding a country as a battle being fought on many fronts in a race against time. Considering the logistics involved, it is a tremendous headache for those involved in planning the relief and recovery effort! So much to be done but where do you begin?
Here are a few items to choose from:
* Fix the air and sea ports to allow the movement of goods and people;
* Ensure that law and order is maintained to uphold public safety;
* Care for the casualties to prevent a worsening of their condition;
* Rebuild communication links to get a true sense of the disaster;
* Focus on restoring water, electricity, food and other basic items; and
* Clear debris from roads and rivers to easily distribute supplies.
This unenviable choice is clearly a battle to be fought on many fronts. The featured items are all important, urgent and impact on each other. None of them should be excluded, either. We definitely need to multi-task as we provide assistance.
In computing environments, multitasking refers to programmes constructed using a feature called threads, which are independent processes that run alongside each other, allowing work to take place on many fronts. Ever found yourself waiting for a computer to respond? Maybe it was waiting on a free thread of execution to allocate to the task of responding to you.
At a higher level, ICT can help during disasters with the messaging, forecasting, planning and logistics, but the long slow process on the ground must still occur. Let’s hope that the strong motivation for coordinated action to restore normalcy to our brethren outpaces the rate of deterioration of their plight and is also completed before the arrival of another disaster.
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About the Author
Dr. Lyndell St. Ville is an ICT Consultant based in Saint Lucia, offering expertise in systems design, backup, and business continuity planning.