The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) was established in Antigua and Barbuda in 1984 as a division in the Ministry of Health and Home Affairs following a Cabinet decision.
It started with the National Disaster Coordinator as a single full-time staff working with a part-time secretary.
The office was first located in the Home Affairs Building on St John’s Street before relocating in 1990 to American Road, where it is still situated.
In 2002, the House of Representatives passed the National Disaster Legislation.
Since the inception of NODS, the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) has been activated during the passage of Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and provided support for Montserrat when that territory’s volcano erupted in 1995.
The NEOC was again activated for Tropical Storms Iris and Marilyn and Hurricane Luis in 1995, Hurricane Georges in 1998, Hurricane Jose and Tropical Storm Lenny in 1999, Hurricane Omar in 2008, Hurricane Earl in 2010, Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
The Pan Caribbean Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Project (PCDPPP), which preceded the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA), ended its operation in Antigua in 1991. As a result, the Caribbean took ownership of Disaster Management in the region that same year through the formation of CDERA, which has since been renamed the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
In 1991, four sub-regional focal points were established – Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.
Antigua and Barbuda has focal point responsibility for Anguilla, Virgin Islands UK, Montserrat and St Kitts/Nevis.
Other focal points and their assigned islands:
Barbados: Dominica, St Lucia, St Vincent
Trinidad: Tobago, Guyana, Grenada, Suriname
Jamaica: Belize, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and Haiti
To reduce the vulnerability of natural and technological hazards in Antigua and Barbuda, through multi-sector and integrated hazard risk reduction planning practices.
To seek at all times to save lives, protect property in Antigua and Barbuda and aid in sustainable development by protecting the environment.