The COVID-19 pandemic has served to reveal the systemic nature of risk and highlights the exposure of these systems to all hazards. Its unprecedented cascading effects have impacted all sectors and levels of our economies and societies. The Global Assessment Report 2019 (GAR) and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction convey the reality that in an ever more populous, networked, and globalizing society, the very nature and scale of risk have changed, to such a degree that it surpasses established risk management institutions and approaches.
The Caribbean region is experiencing the effects of systemic risk as we witness the interplay and amplification of the varied effects of multiple events. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a direct impact on the education systems of all countries in the region. Education systems have been responding to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they are also preparing and implementing actions to mitigate the potential consequences of the upcoming hurricane season—expected to be more active than usual—and other potential hazards, such as earthquakes and tsunamis.
Governments in the region are facing challenges with limited capacity to respond and they are now using the instruments that they have available to secure school safety. The lack of specific preparedness measures to face pandemics during the hurricane season has led to improvisation and real-time testing of policies and measures.