The Caribbean Strong Summit: Building Resilience With Equity

Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2020 Feb;14(1):155-157. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2020.18.


The objective of the Caribbean Strong Summit was to plan an intersectoral summit to address the equity of community health and resilience for disaster preparedness, response and recovery and develop a set of integrated and actionable recommendations for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Region post Hurricanes Irma and Maria. A three-day meeting was convened with a wide range of community, organizational and private sector leaders along with representatives from Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, the Americas, and global experts to generate recommendations for enhanced resilience based upon lessons learned and evidence-based approaches. More than 500 participants from the region gave 104 presentations with recommendations for resilience. Over 150 recommendations were generated and ranked for importance and actionability by participants. A representative sample of these are presented along with five major themes for building health resilient communities in the Caribbean. This summit was successful in compiling a set of integrated recommendations from more than 19 diverse sectors and in defining five major thematic areas for future work to enhance resilience for all types of future disasters. A follow-up meeting should be planned to continue this discussion and to showcase work that has been accomplished in these areas. A complete set of the recommendations from the Caribbean Strong Summit and their analysis and compilation would be published and should serve as a foundational effort to enhance preparedness and resiliency towards future disasters in the Caribbean.

Keywords: Caribbean Strong; Puerto Rico; disasters; equity; hurricanes; resilience; social determinants of health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caribbean Region
  • Disaster Planning / methods
  • Disaster Planning / standards
  • Health Equity / standards*
  • Health Equity / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Puerto Rico
  • Resilience, Psychological*