On Saturday, July 20, staff from Malteser International Americas trained members of the Order of Malta American Association to be better prepared for the next major disaster. During a one-day Emergency Response Workshop and simulation exercise Executive Director, Ravi Tripptrap, and Program Manager, Matteo Cinquemani, provided members with an overview of Malteser International’s scope of relief and development work, as well as the geopolitical aspects of humanitarian aid, before progressing into a deeper discussion about best practices in emergency response.
Approximately 15 members met in Jacksonville for the workshop organized by Malteser International Americas and Thomas M. Egan, KM, Northeast Florida Area Hospitaller. Attendees then received a hands-on practicum on water purification using Malteser International Americas’ new portable self-contained Aspen 3300M water purification unit. They learned how to identify a source of raw water, tap into it, make sure it is treated and stored, and then how to distribute it to communities in need following a disaster. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is undoubtedly one of the crucial sectors of aid delivery and it is labelled a life-saver sector in the aftermath of any major disaster. Basics of WASH were discussed, specifically with respect to water supply and water treatment.
While the purification pump is commonly used following disasters in underdeveloped third-world countries, it is important for local emergency responders from the Order of Malta to know how to treat unsafe water to make it clean and usable. Last year, Hurricane Michael destroyed coastal regions of southern Florida as a Category 5 storm and there is potential for another storm to it the state this Hurricane season, which runs through November.