FFTP Shares Expertise in Mock Disaster Drill at FIU

Food For The Poor President/CEO Ed Raine, center, is joined by, left to right, Desmond King, FFTP-Jamaica; Daniel Calderón, CEPUDO;, Lille Rietti, CEPUDO; and Marcela Magaña, FUSAL El Salvador, at last year’s disaster drill exercise. Photo/Food For The Poor

As the world faces an increasing number of disasters requiring quick response, Food For The Poor put its experience and expertise to the test during a field exercise with other organizations at Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami.

Disaster Drill at FIU

The four-day field exercise was designed to groom the next generation of first responders and give students from FIU’s Academy for International Disaster Preparedness, the event’s host, firsthand experience in responding to a large-scale mock international disaster.

Last year, teams were dropped into a fictional country that had been devastated by an earthquake. This year, they responded to a fictional hurricane impacting an island in the Caribbean.

FFTP team members were embedded into students’ teams, along with 70 Marines from the 4th Civil Affairs Group, Force Headquarters Group, which provides support to the U.S. Southern Command, a longtime FFTP partner. Representatives also participated from FEMA, USAID, U.S. Coast Guard and the Miami-Dade Fire Department.

Over the years, FFTP has honed its experience in responding to large disasters from earthquakes in Haiti to back-to-back hurricanes in Central America to volcanic eruptions in Guatemala and on the island of St. Vincent. Key to the charity’s disaster response is the prepositioning of critical relief supplies in the Caribbean and Latin America so that partners can respond quickly if disaster strikes.

FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said in times of disaster, partnerships between nongovernment organizations like FFTP and others are critical to helping families in crisis recover.

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