The Department of Emergency Management is the government department responsible for the development and implementation of the Emergency Management Programme in Barbados. It has the responsibility for coordinating emergency management activities in Barbados.
The Department came into being on April 1, 2007 by the statutory legislation of the Emergency Management Act 2006. It replaces the Central Emergency Relief Organisation Secretariat which dated back to the 1940's when an organization for Hurricane Relief was formed under the authority and direction of the Governor and members of the Executive Committee, as was the then Colonial System of Government. At that time the main emphasis was on relief.
DEM today is developing and implementing a national Comprehensive Disaster Management programme which embodies the concept of all hazards: natural and man-made at all phases of the Disaster Continuum: Prevention and Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery as well as integration of disaster risk reduction.
It utilizes the integrated emergency management approach, which is necessary if it is to effectively and efficiently accomplish its mission through the identification and mobilisation of all appropriate resources and detailed planning for the possible impact of any hazard.