Michelle Bufkin, AU Agriculture Communications Student/EDEN Community of Practice Social Media Assistant, recently interviewed EDEN delegate Pete Barcinas from Guam.
1. How did you first get involved with EDEN?
Our involvement with EDEN began March 2004 when we were welcomed by then EDEN Chair, Mark Hansen from Michigan State University and continue to participate since then.
2. What is your role in disaster preparedness?
At the University of Guam we collaborate with various agencies to help address both technical assistance requests related to programs and information around disaster education. This includes periodic review and updates of our typhoon publications. We work closely with our local first responders to provide information and support.
3. What are some unique challenges you have seen, pertaining to disaster preparedness, from living on an island?
The area of food security continues to be a concern for the community. Recently, a delayed container shipment impacted the availability of food commodities and came at the same time with the West coast port labor disputes that handles our Guam-bound surface shipments. While the industry and government folks work to address the pending food shortages, this came at some significant costs (for air freight) for perishable foods. Also, Guam serves as break-bulk point to the other islands and you can imagine their food needs when we experience these situations. For food, being prepared with a steady stock of important foodstuff can get the family by until the short term crisis is resolved. As you can see, while food is important other non-food commodities add to quality of life and well-being issues.
4. Can you share a lesson learned about working with communities on disaster preparedness?
Maintaining your disaster networks both locally and nationally is important. They can provide updated information and resources that can be helpful. The training opportunities is just amazing.
5. What would be your biggest piece of advice to other EDEN Delegates?
I think the work that EDEN attempts to address across all disaster topic and issue areas is just awesome work, keeping the community interest first and providing timely and useful information is important.